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Bluegrass fans enjoy the music despite the rain
DARRINGTON Three seagulls enjoyed bluegrass tunes along with a crowd of about 4,500 people at the Darrington Bluegrass Festival July 20 to 22.
The seagulls seemed to flap their wings to the rhythm of the banjo when launching, but slowed down to the sound of the mandolin when landing. The wet weather was right for the water birds that found their way 40 miles inland from Puget Sound for the 31st annual festival.
Even though it rained hard all Saturday afternoon and evening, the bluegrass fans stuck it out until the end, according to Mae Smith, a director of the Darrington Music Makers Association.
Its one of the soggiest Ive seen, Smith said.
Duane Smith, also a director, said the rain started during the second set Saturday and didnt stop all evening.
But they stayed with it to the end, peeking out of their rain coats and tarps, Duane Smith said.
Id say about 85 percent of our audience prefers this to last years 104 degrees, he added, during the final performance of the weekend, by Rhonda Vincent and the Rage.
Rhonda brought in 7,500 people two years ago.
The three-day music festival featured some good ol favorites and some new talent, with the local Darrington musicians such as Bertha Nations and her daughter, Diana Morgan, playing with The Combinations Friday evening and Saturday morning and the Skagit Valley group Queens Bluegrass, complimenting old favorites from farther away like the OHOP Valley Boys, from Kent, and the United States Navy Band, Country Current.
Perhaps the biggest claim to fame at the festival is the grandson of a member of Bill Monroes band, the Bluegrass Boys, David Davis who nurtures his roots with integrity, depth and prose, while playing with his band the Warrior River Boys.
Featured bands played a variety of secular and gospel music throughout the weekend with lyrics like, Ill go to my church and you go to yours, and Using the bottle for a road map, enhancing the classic bluegrass music of the mandolin, banjo, guitars and bass, with a definitive twang that goes with the music.
Along with main stage entertainment, the professional and amateur musicians spent hours jamming by the motor homes in the woods back stage as well.
The Bluegrass Festival is sponsored by several Darrington businesses, the Darrington IGA, Darrington Pharmacy, Darrington Auto Parts, Darrington Hardware, Darrington Motor Inn, J&V Dell & Shell, Sauk River Trading Post, Gold Nugget Loan & Jewelry, INC., Haldane Construction, Pine Tree Automotive, as well as some businesses down below such as Arlington Les Schwab, Big Foot Music and Hugo Helmer.
Raffle prizewinners included Matt Mellon, from Vancouver, Wash., who won a Martin guitar from Hugo Helmer; Terry Harvey won a Jasmine guitar from Big Foot Music and Steve West won a Gold Tone Banjo from Tricopolis.