Author: Campbell, Bruce

Observations from Grass Valley 2013

Every year we say this, it seems, but it does seem like the 2013 Father’s Day Festival was one of the best ever!

Let’s start with the weather, shall we? Nice warm days and nice cool nights – northern California summer at its finest. Good weather for the travel to and from the festival, and glorious weather for enjoying all the event’s charms: lounging in a seat watching and listening to bands on any of the stages, jamming any time of the day or night beneath the pines, or just strolling around.

I love how the pines frame the view of the sky, whether it’s filtering sunlight during the day, or complementing the stars at night!

I saw a lot of young people at the festival, and this is a trend that has become quite noticeable over the past 5 or so years. And this is the trend that will keep the CBA vital, and in turn, enable the organization to realize its charter, to preserve and promote bluegrass, old time and gospel music – I heard plenty of all three while traveling around the grounds. And the music (whether onstage or in the camps) was being played by people of all ages, and that’s a wonderful thing!

Like all years, I missed seeing some people I KNOW were there. It never fails.

“Hey, man, were you at Grass Valley?”

“Yeah, I was picking all night in the A Lot – where were you?”

“Oh, we had a hot jam going in the C Lot – you shoulda been there!”

It looked to my unscientific eyes that attendance was very good. Just about right, I think. It was crowded enough that you knew you were at an important event, but not so crowded you couldn’t find a place to camp or pick.

I discovered the perfect breakfast food: The McLarry sandwich: Egg, sausage, cheese and hashbrowns on a burger bun – yum!

All in all, it never fails to amaze me that such a magnificent festival can be planned and executed by volunteers. Such great people, giving so much over the years - and I had to think of John Duncan, who gave so much and cared so much. How poetic that he would pass away during the festival to which he gave so much for so many years.

It’s just remarkable that this temporary city springs up every year and provides so much joy for so many people. This was what – the 38th Father’s Day Festival? Amazing – may it continue at LEAST another 38 years!

Posted:  6/19/2013

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