“Bluegrass songs are the lonesomest in the world, or the happiest, or the silliest…the wonderful common denominator for thousands of kids and grandpas and moms and dads, pickers and camp followers drawn here to play it and listen to it…the music is honest and real.” [Dix Hollobaugh, Des Moines Register, June 24, 1973].
Those songs haven’t changed. They’re still around. They’ll never go away because they’re part of the American Soul.
The 36th Annual Kalona Bluegrass Festival will be a celebration of this music which reaches everyone, from children to grandparents. The festival involves the whole family—indeed many of the featured bands are made up of families including young and old, all singing, performing, and sharing the values that bind them together. Instead of smart phones, kids will be holding banjos, fiddles, guitars, mandolins…all types of acoustic instruments. Gospel music will be featured, along with songs of life, love, joy and sorrow.
In addition to the stage shows there’ll be lots of informal picking and singing around the campground. Put your worries aside and prepare yourself for a weekend of fun and music!
This popular event takes place at Windmill Ridge Campground (Highway One 2 miles south of Kalona, then 1 mile west). For RV and tent reservations call 319-656-4488 or go to email@example.com.
Showtimes will be Friday, July 22, 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, July 23, 1:00 and 6:30 p.m.; and Sunday, July 24, 10 a.m., to be followed by a hymn sing at 10:45.
Admission: $15 on Friday night, $20 on Saturday (after 5 p.m. $15) and $5 on Sunday. Weekend pass: $25. Children under 14 are free.
Delicious food, including homemade pies, great burgers, soft drinks, coffee and other outdoor delicacies will be on sale, once again provided by the Schwartz Family. A complete Saturday night supper—always a popular feature of the festival—will be available.
For further festival information, including a list of our generous sponsors who help make this possible, see the flyer in this issue of the Kalona Tourism Guide, or call Kristie Black at 319-330-2413 / 2462, Paul Roberts at 319-683-2222, or go to www.banjoy.com/kalonabluegrassfestival.
“We’ll see you there,” says Kristie Black. “Let’s keep bluegrass alive!”
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