Coombs fest one of the best

The 34th annual Coombs Bluegrass Festival that was held over the B.C. Day long weekend.

The Chris Stevens Family Band played at the Coombs Bluegrass Festival last weekend.

The Chris Stevens Family Band played at the Coombs Bluegrass Festival last weekend.

Nostalgic, strong positive vibe and tons of parking lot pickin’, that’s how organizer Linda Thorburn described the 34th annual Coombs Bluegrass Festival that was held over the B.C. Day long weekend.

“I would say it was one of the best ones I’ve ever been to,” she said.

One of the neat things at this year’s festival was a reunion, she said, when a member of the group Rural Delivery, from Port Orchard, Washington got together with old bandmates from the Backroom Boys, one of the original bands that played at the first Coombs festival. They played originals from back in the day and Thorburn said it brought tears to the eyes of many who were around in those days.

“It was a trip down memory lane for a few of us who are left, to see that was really something else.”

Thorburn said final numbers have yet to come in but she estimates there was a bigger day-crowd this year and roughly the same number of campers (1,100).

Pete Wernick’s (aka Dr. Banjo) mini jam classes were a big hit, Thorburn said, and brought more people to the festival, from as far away as Edmonton.

“People recognized him as a bluegrass icon and came specifically to come to his classes, and also to come to our festival.”

Wernick and his wife Joan will be returning next year.

There was plenty of old friends at the festival, which led to a whole lot of parking lot picking and Thorburn said many people commented on what a lot of fun this festival is. There were a great new crop of volunteers this year, she said, who really helped things run smoothly.

As for next year, Thorburn already has something up her sleeve, so music-lovers, stay tuned.

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