Author: Shelton, Randy


Once again the normally quiet Bolado Park at the San Bonito County Fairgrounds came alive with the sound of bluegrass music. I hope you didn’t miss this event, but if you did, mark your calendars for the second weekend in August, 2013 now! This is a “not to miss” event.

Early birds began arriving, soon the place was buzzing with activity. Vendors began setting up their booths, tents and RV’s began to appear. The volunteer staff put forth an amazing effort to convert acres of green lawn into a festival site. The stage appeared, a trailer stocked with the festival gear arrived and was soon unloaded. The huge shade cloth was erected, awnings, EZ-Ups and the like were positioned for a stage, hospitality area, CD and T-shirt sales, etc. Paul Knight arrived and began setting up the sound equipment. Penny once again provided beautiful fresh flowers to adorn the front of the main stage. By Friday at 11am all was done and the festivities began not ending until Sunday. There was never a dull moment. One could attend concerts continually or hang at camp with friends or jam until your fingers hurt.

The musical performances started at 11am Friday on the “First Stage”, a small un-amplified venue in the tent only area where four non acts entertained the crowd. The sound was on and the music began at the main stage at 3pm Friday. Band after band played until Sunday at 5pm, 25 acts in all. The “Tweener” stage hosted musicians from the campground, where they had an opportunity to show their stuff. A couple of “Tweener” acts stick in my mind; Pan’s explanation of how to play the spoons and a very young lady named Emily, singing “You Are My Sunshine”.

The Kids on Stage performance really excited the crowd. Eighteen kids performed a set on Sunday. Thanks to Regina Bartlett, her helpers and the kids for putting smiles on our faces. You were fantastic and deserved every bit of the applause received and more.

By Monday morning the park was returning to normal. Tents and RV’s were almost gone. The trash was being hauled. There was no music in the air. Farewell until next year.

But wait, there’s more. I marked my calendar last year for this one.

The Northern Nevada Bluegrass Association is hosting the 27th annual Bowers Mansion Bluegrass Festival, August 17-19 in Washoe Valley, Nevada.

Free camping is available at the nearby Davis Creek Campground. The Southwestern Pilgrimage band will present a free concert at 7pm-9pm, Friday evening, at the campground amphitheater. Jamming begins shortly after.

The main festival will be at the Bowers Mansion on Saturday, starting at 9:30am. There will be food and craft vendors as well as an instrument “Petting Zoo”. Several workshops are scheduled. Tickets are $15.00 kids under 12 are free. On Saturday evening the campground will once again come alive with non stop jamming.

On Sunday morning there will be a free gospel radio show featuring The Gaberdine Sisters, also at the amphitheater. Come and enjoy this fantastic small festival. The setting is lovely, with plenty of shade, great bluegrass music and cordial hospitality. Hope to see you there.

Don’t forget the CBA Golden Old Time Campout, Bluegrass in the Foothills, The King’s River Bluegrass Festival and The CBA Fall Campout are coming up soon.

“The Newbie” aka Randy Shelton

Posted:  8/16/2012

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