Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Greg Stone's List of Recommended Bluegrass Festivals

Greg has compiled a list of festivals he recommends, along with some comments about each one.

Please look for the Turtlegrass banner to find a slow jam hosted by friendly Taborgrassers at the festivals listed here.

Goldendale Pickers Festival

June 3, 2016 - June 5, 2016

$10 gets you ten million stars — and all the genuine old time, country and bluegrass music you can carry. It also gets you camping for the weekend. The festival is free to anyone not camping.

Join a group of music lovers who have reserved Ekone Park in Goldendale, Washington - June 3 through June 5 - for an informal weekend-long picking party. You are welcome at the park anytime after 10 a.m. Friday, June 3, and you can stay until 10 a.m. on Monday.

There will be some informal concerts and an open mic — and all the jamming you can imagine. Plus Goldendale is a lovely, welcoming community — featuring a fabulous observatory.

Have questions? Email clairell@aracnet.com. See you there!

Wheeler County Bluegrass Festival Fossil, OR.

Thursday, July 5th to Sunday, July 8th

Did I say HOT!! Yes. This festival is hot…I mean really hot…up to 100 degrees on some days. But I think the heat is well worth it. I complain the whole time I’m there but this festival always holds my
fondest memories of the summer. There is a parade on Friday, a car rally all weekend with an Elvis impersonator. The main stage is at the Courthouse lawn which is nicely shaded. The root beer floats at Big Timber are to die for as well as the steak dinners across the street at RJs. I recommend you throw an inflatable wading pool in the back of the car before you leave town for this one.

Columbia Gorge Bluegrass Festival, Stevenson WA.

Thursday, July 26th through Sunday, July 29th

This is the largest festival of the year in this area. Lots of national acts on the big stage, a beer garden, a dance hall, workshops, food and instrument vendors. The view of the gorge from this location in the
fairgrounds is spectacular. Plus there is a sizable pond for canoeing or kayaking. Reservations for big RVs and camping need to be made well in advance. It’s windy folks. Stake all your stuff down, including the kids and dogs. My 10X10 canopy was half way to Idaho before I caught up to it a few years back.

Winlock Picker’s Festival Winlock, WA.

Friday, August 3th through Sunday, August 5th

This small and very friendly festival is located in beautiful Winolequa Park. This is one of the best jamming festivals especially if you are new to the scene. The snack bar serves a basic breakfast and sells hot dogs and hamburgers. The train tracks just on the other side of the trees are long and straight and the trains are fast. The jingle, rumble and the roar provide a nice back up rhythm if you are  singing or snoring in A flat.

Mount St. Helens Bluegrass Festival Toledo, WA.

Thursday, August 9th through Sunday, August 12th

I gotta say this is one of my favorite festivals. It’s located on the High School grounds, there is wide open lawn and beautiful oak groves to camp under. You have to get there early to find a spot under the oaks. There are band scrambles, a gospel show on Sunday, workshops and a snack shop. Showers too. You will probably get a friendly visit from the General, the man in charge, driving his golf cart through the festival grounds each day.

Tygh Valley Jamboree Tygh Valley, OR.

Thursday September 27th to Sunday September 30th

The finale festival of the season, this one is special for that reason and also because it is located in a beautiful valley in central Oregon surrounded by rocky buttes with clear skies at night and a billion stars. Settle in under the locust trees for some of the best jamming of the summer. Bring ear plugs if you want to get any sleep that weekend. Big RVs need to reserve a space well in advance.