Bluegrass music in a natural setting – and summer has arrived!

June 25, 2015   ·   0 Comments

If there’s a song in your heart and a kick in your step, chances are you’re a bluegrass music fan.

The 32nd Annual Tottenham Bluegrass Festival took place last weekend (June 19–21) in the natural amphitheater setting of the Conservation Area.

Surrounded by water, trails, and green hills, this outdoor event is one of the most popular tourists attractions New Tecumseth has to offer – and this year, especially with Mother Nature’s cooperation, was no exception.

Known as ‘Ontario’s Top Family Festival’, this year’s Bluegrass lineup of performers hailed from the United States and across Canada and included: Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Ray Legere & Acoustic Horizon, The Little Roy & Lizzy Show, Rhyme N’ Reason, The Barn Katz Band, The Emory Lester & Jill Jones Band, Marc Roy, Bill White & White Pine, Duncharme Family Bluegrass, Acoustical Strings, Beeton Creek Rising, and Richard Dugal & Clean Sweep.

As a family-friendly event, Bluegrass also hosted its 13th Annual Children’s Musical Talent Contest – with prizes in four categories. Bluegrass committee members also took the time to speak with local school children leading up to the event – introducing them to bluegrass music, and making them aware of the Festival itself.

“We continue to build on (the success of this event) with an expanded children’s entertainment lineup and our ever popular youth talent contest. Other attractions including our Sunday gospel show, hands on workshops and food and craft vendors continue to add to your Bluegrass festival experience,” reads the website (

Leading up to Bluegrass, there were several events hosted in town by committee members, including a square dance at the 4-corners last Wednesday evening, a sponsor appreciation night at the Legion, and two bluegrass jam sessions at The Man of Yorke Scottish Pub.

During the Festival, St. John Ambulance was on site, as were the local Cadets to make sure everybody stayed safe and kept warm. New Tecumseth Taxi had a booth at the entrance to encourage guests to get into town safely and PARKER, the town’s Parks, Recreation & Tourism mascot made an appearance during the opening ceremonies, arriving by convertible, on Friday night. The Tottenham & District Lions Club Inc. worked the gate – with entrance and weekend camping fees going to the Bluegrass committee, courtesy of the Town of New Tecumseth – and several vendors took their places in ‘Vendor Alley’. The Beeton–Tottenham Business Improvement Association and South Simcoe Arts Council were also involved in the success of the weekend, but in all, it took several motivated sponsors, supporters, vendors, volunteers and talented bluegrass musicians to bring this weekend together. And what a job they did.

By Wendy Gabrek


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