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Photo by Gary Mortensen
Whether it’s the three-finger picking style of the banjo or the highly distinctive vocal harmonies, bluegrass and old-time stringband music is lively and timeless, with lyrics reminiscent of home, family, and a simpler life. People of all ages appreciate the acoustic sounds of the banjo, mandolin, guitar, fiddle, bass, and the resophonic guitar.
Jed Malischke, executive director of the Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Association, encourages people to experience the essence of the music at the Winter Bluegrass Weekend: A Festival of Bluegrass and Old-Time Music & Dance from March 6-8, 2009 at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center in Plymouth, and again during the 30th Anniversary of the Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Festival, held near St. Cloud from Aug. 6-9, 2009. “The summer festival draws around 5,000 people, the winter festival draws about 3,000,” Malischke says. “It’s a lot of fun. Guests can expect good music, good food, and other friendly people.”
These family friendly events feature main stage entertainment, special talent showcases, hands-on workshops, children’s activities, dances, and informal jam sessions. Camping is available during the summer festival, and rooms are available at the winter event.
In addition to the two large festivals, the Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Association presents two smaller festivals, numerous concerts, and other special events throughout the year and throughout the state. Visit
for more information.