WHYS Bluegrass Festival

annual fundraiser pushes local twang levels into stratosphere

Martha Galep

 
Ivory Bridge

Bluegrass fans in the Valley still have a chance to hear some great music this summer at the 3rd Annual WHYS Bluegrass Festival at Lake Altoona County Park. The festival features six great bands plus a fiddle contest, so there will be plenty of music for everyone who enjoys that “high lonesome sound.” The festival is a fundraiser for WHYS 96.3 FM, Eau Claire’s community radio station, and the lineup this year features some of the best pickers and grinners in the area, plus an encore performance from Ivory Bridge, who made the trek from Minnesota last year and “had a great time and ate the best beans and rice ever!” Ivory Bridge highlights the award-winning guitar prowess of Bill Liners (Minnesota State Fair Flatpicking Champion) and his acclaimed songwriting wife, Kathe, whose singing stands out as one of the best voices in the Midwest. In addition to Ivory Bridge, the lineup includes East Hill Bluegrass Band (real crowd pleasers at Grass on the Chippewa), The Seeger Boys, the venerable River City Ramblers, the WHYSGuys (the station’s own band!), and the non-stop energy of EverGreen Grass Band. Lake Altoona County Park provides a great setting with an outdoor stage, pavilion, and plenty of food and beverage vendors to make this festival a success and to keep the hootin’ and hollerin’ happening all day. Tickets are available at various local outlets as well as the gate – the WHYS website has full information and directions so round up grandma, the kids, and the neighbors and plan to sing along to The Old Home Place one more time!

WHYS  Bluegrass Festival • Saturday, Aug. 21 • Lake Altoona County Park, Beach Road, Altoona • noon-7pm • $10 per person or $15 a family in advance, $15-$18 at gate • all ages • 831-9497 • www.whysradio.org

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