Author: Faubel, Melinda

Welcome from the CBA membership booth!

I’m composing this on Thursday from the Grass Valley Father’s Day Festival - and if you at the Festival on Saturday, when this publishes, feel free to come by and say hi!

I’m actually assuming that you’all are too busy jamming and LIVING the festival to read a silly welcome column! So….I’ll keep it light-hearted and hopefully, if you AREN’T at the festival right now, you will be inspired to come visit us here next year. I arrived a few hours ago, found my mother (a real trial by the way….she texted random place locations like I actually KNEW that sections of the fair grounds had NAMES – I’ve been coming for 20 years without being privy to the location of “quaker hill”, thank you very much) and set up camp. We have a routine by now. We both have Walmart First ups and we set them side by side. The kitchens are set up underneath the canopies, with the tents nearby (but not under!) the canopies. The family group is small this year – just 3 or 4 tents and the setting is more intimate than usual. Mom suggests that we visit “vendor row” and we settle into the familiar Grass Valley festival routine.

A routine that is punctuated by vendors, sights, and people that have come to define the father’s day festival for me. Here are mine – I’m sure you have yours and I would invite you to come to the message board and share what defines the GV festival for you.

1. Frozen bananas from the Lazy Dog, every night while volunteering in the membership booth. Then possibly on Sunday, an ice cream bar or drumstick – although my mother and I are always in agreement that drumsticks are to be shared due to their enormous size.
2. Walking vendor row for the first time. Wandering through the booth, sampling the wares, and perusing the long line of food vendors for that future, special meal that will be purchased and savored. Nothing is purchased during the first visit, but future purchases are contemplated.
3. Buying one, and only ONE, funnel cake. May I suggest you buy it the first day when the oil is fresh and to plan on sharing with a special friend?
4. Light sticks being bourne by small children running the dark.
5. Friends that you see once a year and it’s like you saw them yesterday.
6. Jamming until your eyes don’t know whether they are open or closed. And no matter how late you go to bed, there’s still a jam out there that outlasted you.
7. Family, family, and more family. For many years, this festival has been our informal annual family reunion, and a time to celebrate the family members’ accomplishments that seem to occur during this time of year – graduations, birthdays, and new jobs/careers.
8. Midnight walks round and ‘round.
9. The excitement of seeing the new festival t-shirts, and browsing the historical festival t-shirt display.
10. A cold beer and a show on the Vern’s stage.

Posted:  6/30/2011

Copyright © 2002 California Bluegrass Association. All rights reserved.
Comments? Questions? Please email