Winter ‘Blue’ Grass Festival

Mabel Tainter pulls in some of Midwest’s best bluegrass

Mark Koenig |

Liberate yourself from the seasonal mix of cabin fever and slush-socks via the inaugural Winter “Blue” Grass Festival at Menomonie’s Mabel Tainter Theater. The event will showcase the finest Midwestern bluegrass performers including Fish Heads, Tangled Roots, Chris Silver Band, and Becky Schlegel. In addition to the on-stage acts, there will be “jamming” rooms available, which allow musicians and audience members the space to jam between sets – ingredients for quite the melodious intermission soundtrack, I must say. But, if you left your tambourine or guitar picks next to your space heater back home, you can always meander amongst the merch tables, grab a snack in the Public Room, or visit with the fine folks from the Minnesota Bluegrass & Old Time Music Association.  “No one else does an indoor bluegrass festival in the winter,” Mabel Theater Center for the Arts Director Gary Schuster said. “Since there are plenty of bluegrass festivals in the summer and fall, we wanted to give bluegrass fans a winter dose of their favorite music.”  And we should all hope this year’s dose is the first of many winter blues eradicators that injects the Chippewa Valley with the brilliance of bluegrass. “[We want] to promote a family-friendly atmosphere while celebrating the spirit of bluegrass music and providing a new venue for bluegrass performers to showcase their craft,” Schuster said.

    Winter “Blue” Grass Festival • Saturday, Jan. 17 • Mabel Tainter Theater, 205 Main St., Menomonie • noon to 8 pm • $24 • 235-0001 •