Bluegrass pickin’ starts at county fairgrounds

An outstanding line-up of national, regional and local musicians will take to the stages at the Hood River County Fairgrounds Aug. 16-18 during the Mt. Hood Bluegrass Festival, a brand-new summer bluegrass event.

The goal of the new event is to create an annual “old favorite” event for the Pacific Northwest. The fairgrounds was chosen for its location and background as a venue for major concert events, and it offers on-site camping — popular with devotees of bluegrass.

Among the performers slated to appear at the event are artists well-known to bluegrass and acoustic fans, including Frontline, Bluegrass Etc., Jackstraw, The Knott Brothers, Jacob Henry and Bill Jolliff, Lonesome Ridge, Great Northern Planes, Roundhouse, and Wild River.

In addition, special events and opportunities are planned for the festival’s two stages, including “open microphone times,” a “Bluegrass Kids Camp” which will give kids an opportunity to learn and perform, and Sunday morning gospel singing. There will also be a wine and beer garden, food vendors, and more. Local fire department personnel will serve up a hamburger and hot dog barbecue both Friday and Saturday evenings, and the local Special Olympics organization will offer breakfast beginning at 7:30 a.m. Sunday.

On Friday, Budweiser welcomes you to Family Night. The music begins at 3 p.m. and continues until 11, with a Bonfire Pickin’ Party planned (if fire conditions allow). On Saturday, scheduled events begin at 10 a.m. and go to 11 p.m., with a break for dinner. On Sunday, scheduled events begin at 10 a.m. and continue until early afternoon.

Tickets for the Mt. Hood Bluegrass Festival are available in advance (they will be held on-call) or at the gate. A pass for the entire weekend is $35. A ticket for Friday only is $10.

Saturday day passes (good from opening until the dinner break) are $20, and a pass for concerts from the dinner break until the 11 p.m. closing is also $20.

Children 12 and under are admitted free.

There is no admission charge on Sunday. Parking at the event is free.

Family passes are also available. Predicated on two adults and two children, a weekend family pass is $75; a family pass for Saturday evening is $50.

The fairgrounds offers both R.V. and tent camping for holders of weekend event passes just steps from the concert stages, yet in a picturesque rural environment. Lots of R.V. spaces with water and electricity are available for $15 (with purchase of a weekend festival pass). A free dump station is also offered. Tent campers (with a weekend festival pass) pay $10.

Leashed pets are allowed in the camping area, but not at the concert site.

Advance tickets are available with Visa or Mastercard payment by calling the Hood River County Fairgrounds office at 541-354-2865.

For up-dated information on the schedule and attractions at the Mt. Hood Bluegrass Festival, check the Web site at www.mthoodbluegrassfestival.com.

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