California Bluegrass Association’s Fathers Day festival is June 16-19 in Grass Valley

THE CALIFORNIA BLUEGRASS ASSOCIATION presents its 41st Annual Fathers Day Festival June 16-19 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley.

With a lineup of top touring national 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.

Among the major bands that will be appearing are Rhonda Vincent & the Rage, The New Reeltime Travelers, The Gibson Brothers, Danny Paisley & The Southern Grass, the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band, Crary, Evans & Spurgin, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, Blue & Lonesome, and Flatt Lonesome.

Each year the CBA delegation to the International Bluegrass Music Association music convention selects a group to be the festival’s Emerging Artists. This year internationally acclaimed two-time national banjo champion Jeff Scroggins & Colorado was picked to fill that slot.

Five West Coast bands will appear on the main stage this year as the California Showcase. They are the Alabama Bow Ties, Barwick & Siegfried, Rocky Neck Bluegrass Band, One Button Suit, and The Roustabouts.

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 just arrive early to play music, see old friends and make new ones.

Tents congregate in the camping area under the tall pines while RVs create a small village around the rest of the grounds. Meanwhile, dozens of volunteers are erecting the big main stage and preparing the two smaller stages.

On Wednesday, the festival’s vendors arrive, setting up a food area that offers coffee, sausages, Asian food, vegetarian food, Mexican food, crepes, snow cones and ice cream. Nearby are vendors of hats, apparel, jewelry and craft items, musical instruments and supplies.
Inside one of the exhibition buildings, luthiers display their beautiful hand-made guitars, banjos, mandolins, violins and basses and offer repair services as well.

The California Bluegrass Association Father’s Day Festival is family friendly. For children who are learning to play an instrument the Kids on Bluegrass program works up songs beginning on Thursday and performs on the main stage Friday and Saturday.

(Flatt Lonesome; photo by Kim Lancaster-Brantley)

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