Bluegrass From the Forest
By Rachel Hansen | Photos via Explore Hood Canal
Wondering how to lift the post-4th of July excitement? How about heading to the woods for some great music and camping in the shadow of the Olympics. For nearly two decades Shelton has played host to nationally recognized bluegrass bands, fans, and their families at the Bluegrass from the Forest Festival.
Bluegrass from the Forest 2023 returns to the Olympic Peninsula July 7,8 & 9 for our 18th year. Camping, jamming, workshops, and great bands are hallmarks of this annual event. This will be our 3rd year at the beautiful outdoor location at South Mason Youth Soccer Park in Shelton.
Featuring food, bands on two stages, workshops, and space to set your claim – it’s no wonder music lovers of all ages converge on the little town immersing in great music and reveling in the natural beauty of the area.
Hosted and produced by Kristmas Town Kiwanis volunteers, Bluegrass from the Forest Festival is more than just great musicians coming together for a musical celebration. Along with raising funds for local projects, over the last eighteen years the festival also suppors a vital children's music program for ages 4-18 and hosts daily music familiarity workshops and contests for all ages.
The kids will enjoy the Chick Rose School of Bluegrass designed just for them. Otherwise known as “Chick’s Kids,” this is a music education program dedicated to sharing the fun of bluegrass with youth. Participants range in age from 4 to 18. This fun intensive workshop is hosted on Saturday. Kids are grouped by musical experience to receive coaching by advanced musicians culminating with a stage performance. There is no extra charge for this program.
A weekend filled with great entertainment begins with a Friday night dinner event, and food vendors will be available all weekend for breakfast, lunch and dinner. On Friday night, July 7, from 6-8 PM, guests can enjoy a dinner and a show. After you’ve set up camp, head over to the performance area where acclaimed chef, Xinh Dwelley, is serving an outdoor gourmet dinner. Friday’s menu includes her famous chicken curry, steamer clams, Tahini salad and fresh bread and dessert.
This year's event supports an exceptional line-up of local and national bands including Alan Bibey a multi-award winning and Grammy nominated artist known for his exceptional mandolin mastery and the Kathy Kallick Band. Local Bluegrass band Runaway Train hosts the performances and Saturday night enjoy a country dance followed by FREE "midnight hotdogs". Friday’s musical line-up includes Farmstrong at 7:00 PM, Runaway Train at 8:00 PM and headliner band, Alan Bibey and Grasstowne rounding up the set at 9:00 PM. Other performers include Terry Enyeart & The Steelhead Bluegrass Band, and the Rusty Hinges.
The 2023 Bluegrass from the Forest Festival will be held at the South Mason Soccer Park, July 7-9 with plenty of fields for music stages and workshop tents and camping areas to “stretch out.” Details and tickets available at www.bluegrassfromtheforest.com.