California Bluegrass Association’s Fathers Day festival is June 14-17 in Grass Valley

THE CALIFORNIA BLUEGRASS ASSOCIATION presents its 43nd annual Father’s Day Festival June 14-17 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley.

As in the past, this year’s event features a lineup of top touring bluegrass bands and five of California’s best bluegrass and old-time music groups. The festival offers four days of entertainment on three stages, plus nonstop jam sessions by music-playing fans in the camping areas.

The major bands appearing include Del McCoury Band, Balsam Range, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, The Grascals, Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike, Edgar Loudermilk Band featuring Jeff Autry, Molly Tuttle, Thompsonia, Bluegrass Etc. and Dave Stamey, and Possum Trot String Band.

Five West Coast bands will appear on the main stage this year as the California Showcase: A.J. Lee & Blue Summit, The All Girl Boys, Windy Hill, Honeysuckle Possums, and The Blue J’s.

Each year the fairgrounds at Grass Valley begins filling up with tents and RVs on the Sunday before the festival begins. Many are there for a three-day music instructional camp that runs through Wednesday, but most arrive early to play music, hang out with old friends and meet new ones.

On Wednesday, the festival’s vendors arrive, setting up booths in the food area to offer coffee, sausages, Asian food, vegetarian fare, Mexican food, crepes, snow cones and ice cream. There are also vendors of hats, apparel, jewelry, crafts and musical instruments.

Inside the fairground buildings is a luthiers’ pavilion, where they display beautiful handmade guitars, banjos, mandolins, fiddles and basses. They also offer instrument setup and repair services.

The California Bluegrass Association Father’s Day Festival is a family friendly event. For children learning to play a instrument, the Kids on Blue- grass program works up songs beginning on Thursday and performs on the main stage Friday and Saturday — a big thrill for the kids and the audience. For tickets and information, visit

(Photo: Del McCoury Band)

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