Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival

The California Bluegrass Association presents its 44th Annual Fathers’ Day Festival June 14-17 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley.

As in years past, this year’s event features a lineup of top touring bluegrass bands and five of California’s best bluegrass and old-time music groups. The festival offers four days of entertainment on three stages plus nonstop jam sessions by music-playing fans on the camping areas.


The major bands appearing include Sister Sadie, Joe Mullins and The Radio Ramblers, Po’ Ramblin’ Boys, The Lonely Heartstring Band, Dave Parmley & Cardinal Tradition, Tommy and the Rozumatics, Volume Five, The Evie Ladin Band, and FY5, plus emerging artist Caroline Blue.  Five West Coast bands will appear on the main stage this year as the California Showcase: Phil Salazar and The Kin Folk, The Coyote Brothers, The High Water Line, Old Pals. And The Central Valley Boys.

In addition to the main stage, there are two other stages (The Pioneer Stage and Verne’s Stage) that will feature even more bluegrass!


Fathers Day Bluegrass Festival

Photo submitted by California Bluegrass Association

Each year the fairgrounds at Grass Valley begins filling up with tents and RVs on the Sunday before the festival begins. Many are there for a three-day music instructional camp that runs through Wednesday, but most arrive early to play music, hang out with old friends and meet new ones.

On Wednesday, the festival’s vendors arrive, setting up booths in the food area to offer coffee, sausages, Asian food, vegetarian fare, Mexican food, crepes, snow cones and ice cream. There are also vendors of hats, apparel, jewelry, crafts and musical instruments.


Browse through the many vendors selling bluegrass-related wares. Photo courtesy of The Union.

Inside of the fairground buildings is a luthiers’ pavilion, where they display beautiful handmade guitars, banjos, mandolins, fiddles, and basses. They also offer instrument setup and repair services. Lots of folks just hand out there to “talk shop”!


Check out one of the many Kids on Bluegrass performances.

Don’t forget: The California Bluegrass Association Father’s Day Festival is a family-friendly event. For children learning to play an instrument, the “Kids on Bluegrass” program works up songs beginning on Thursday and performs on the main stage Friday and Saturday – a big thrill for the kids and the audience.

For more information or tickets, click HERE.

Content and photos submitted by Bruce Campbell