File Photo Bluegrass Fever performs on stage at the 38th annual Coombs Bluegrass Festival. The festival is back, running Aug. 2-4.

Longest-running B.C. bluegrass festival celebrates 41 years in Coombs

Coombs Country Bluegrass Festival takes place Aug. 2-4

The Coombs Rodeo Grounds will once again play host to the Coombs Country Bluegrass Festival.

The festival traces its history back 41 years to 1978, and is the longest-running bluegrass festival in B.C.

Back when it started, it was also Western Canada’s first-ever bluegrass festival.

It’s been running at the Coombs Rodeo Grounds since its second year in 1979.

Jim Brown has been on board since Day 1, and along with the rest of the crew, he’s currently working hard to get things in order before the big weekend.

“It’s quite an undertaking to put on one like this; we usually get around 4000-5000 people over the weekend, which is pretty good,” said Brown.

Brown is also the emcee of the weekend’s festivities.

READ MORE: This bluegrass band is Top Secret

The fun starts on Friday at 5 p.m. and runs until 10:30 p.m.

On Saturday, music runs from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., and Sunday kicks off at 12 p.m. with gospel music, and ends early at 6 p.m.

There are also after-hours acoustic jams aplenty that go late into the night.

There will be a concession, 50/50 draw and vendors in addition to the entertainment.

“It’ll be a lot of fun, you betcha. Lot of good people come out,” said Brown.

Some of the acts coming out to play are Queens Bluegrass from Bellingham, The Weavils from Seattle, 5 on a String from Vancouver and Rough Cut from Kamloops. The Old Time Fiddlers from Coombs will also play a slot.

Brown says that the festival is fun for the whole family.

“It’s laid back, it’s not like wild rock and roll or anything like that, it’s all acoustic music,” said Brown.

There are also a variety of workshops taking place before the music officially kicks off, including a harmony workshop with Jenny Lester, a beginner and intermediate mandolin workshop with Chris Davidson of The Weavils, and a workshop in band formation by the Backspin Band.

If you can’t wait until Friday to get your bluegrass on, Thursday evening offers an open mike, followed by an open jam session hosted by the group Back Porch Banjo.

Weekend passes are available for $95, which grants you access to the grounds for all three days of music.

Camping is also available at $15 per night. RVs are welcome, but there are no hookups.

The event is put on by the Coombs Hilliers Recreation & Community Organization.

For more information and a complete list of performers and workshops, drop by https://sites.google.com/site/coombsbluegrassfestival/2015-festival .

emily.vance@pqbnews.com

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