Here are some clues that summer is upon us: Sultry nights, bare feet in the cool grass, the smell of barbeque and the sweet sounds of bluegrass music. In truly Oregonian tradition, our bluegrass festivals are kid-friendly, camping venues with locally and lovingly crafted product: In this case, music.

“It feels like a big family reunion,” said Gene Bach, promoter of the Clatskanie Bluegrass Festival, one of many upcoming bluegrass shows. This festival counts all music lovers as part of the family.

The Apple Jam Music Festival in Williams (near Grants Pass) gets the season started at the Provolt Store and Campground May 20-22.

Bend’s “High & Dry Bluegrass Jammin’ Retreat” May 27-29 is a weekend of “jammin’, and pickin,’” (their dropped g’s, not ours, but we’re diggin’ it.). Musicians of all levels are welcome and should think about returning Aug.19-21 for the “High & Dry Bluegrass Festival,” with a lineup of great professional performers.

The Historic Sunshine Mill Winery in The Dalles will hold its inaugural Bluegrass & Barbeque Festival on Saturday, June 18, from noon to 10 p.m. Blackstrap from Bend, the Shedshakers from Hood River, and other local talent will play in the mill’s basalt amphitheater.

July 21-24 will see the 10th annual Northwest String Summit at Horning’s Hideout near Portland with the ever-popular Yonder Mountain String Band, Railroad Earth, and Keller and the Keels, among others.

Another local favorite, the indie-roots festival Pickathon, is set for Aug. 5-7 in Happy Valley, and this year welcomes the legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Mavis Staples.

That same weekend, Bach’s festival will bring in eight bands, including the Urban Monroes and True North, to the little town near the mouth of the Columbia River. Bach said the festival, which is free and its 15th year, is a great place for the veteran picker and the newbie to join one of many jam circles under the stars.

About the Author: Eileen Garvin

Eileen Garvin is the editor of Travel Oregon’s Seasonal Features, enewsletters and annual visitor guide. When she’s not cooking up trip ideas, Oregon Dreamer profiles and outdoor adventures to write about, she’s out exploring Oregon.

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  1. Fred Wickman says…

    Hello Eileen,

    For a future Blog we would appreciate a mention about our Festival in September on Friday 9/23 with a Jamin’ on the Vernada of the historic hotel, Music starts Saturday at 10am thru Sunday 9/25. “Music in the Mountains” Two full days of Bluegrass, Country, Folk and Americana in Prospect, the closest town to Crater Lake National Park.

    Set during the last weekend of September; when the weather is predictably pleasant the Upper Rogue’s Premier Music Festival is continuing in the tradition of the 13 years of the Prospect Bluegrass Festival with loads of enhancements. Numerous bands provide a combination of Folk, Bluegrass, Americana and Country music each day for your enjoyment. Seated on the lawn of the majestic Prospect Hotel grounds, surrounded by hundreds of spectacular trees you will hear each genre performed by delightful, multi-talented musicians from the Pacific Northwest.

    Written on May 4th, 2011 / Flag this Comment
  2. mary bonaventure says…

    We are going to be in Oregon (starting and ending in Portland) from 7/3 through the 11th.

    Any suggestions for festivals, fairs, concerts, etc. during that time? We’re looking forward to seeing Mt. Hood & Crater Lake – but what else can we see and do?

    Thanks for your suggestions,

    Written on May 4th, 2011 / Flag this Comment
  3. carol trusty bonney says…

    Well, the summer is half over and your listing is from last year! 2012 please! Yeah for the real deal, Pickathon, in Happy Valley Aug 3 thru 5th.

    Written on July 19th, 2012 / Flag this Comment
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