'Grass on the Chippewa

first ever festival brings seven bands to Durand

Bailey Berg

East Hill Bluegrass Band

This is the first year for Grass on the Chippewa, an event that is looking to follow in the footsteps of the already well-known Blues on the Chippewa (which takes place in August). Seven area bluegrass bands will play roughly 50 minute sets, starting at 1pm in Durand’s Memorial Park, and going late into the evening, with more shows at Shari’s Chippewa Club and other nearby venues. The seven bands include the hugely popular New North String Band, Blue Wolf, Bag ‘O Dirt, Evergreen Grass Band, The Ditchlillies featuring Emily Huppert, the East Hill Bluegrass Band, and Forest Ridge. Many of the bands are based in Eau Claire and the surrounding areas, while a couple will make the trek from the Twin Cities. The entire event is free, though proceeds from vendors and donations will go to the Pepin County Senior Center, which recently lost its federal funding. Rob Edwards, owner of Shari’s as well as president of the Blues on the Chippewa, spearheaded this event in an effort to help elevate some of the senior center’s many expenses. “We’ve gotten a lot of positive response, and we’re very excited,” he said. Martha Galep, director of the Harvest Jam Festival in Minnesota (likewise a celebration of bluegrass), lent a helping hand with the event. “It’s very Mardi Gras style,” she said. “We encourage you to get out, go into the streets, and enjoy it.”

'Grass on the Chippewa • July 3 • Municipal Park, 2nd Ave., Durand • 1-8:30pm • FREE • all ages • 672-8785 • www.grassonthechippewa.org