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Big names highlight lineup for Saturday’s Olalla Bluegrass and Beyond Festival

Denver-based bluegrass band Trout Steak Revival, winners of the Telluride Bluegrass band competition, will headline the 25th Olalla Bluegrass & Beyond Festival on Saturday (Aug. 20).
Denver-based bluegrass band Trout Steak Revival, winners of the Telluride Bluegrass band competition, will headline the 25th Olalla Bluegrass & Beyond Festival on Saturday (Aug. 20). Courtesy

Organizers have pulled out all the stops with the lineup for the 25th annual Olalla Bluegrass & Beyond Festival on Saturday (Aug. 20).

For starters, Trout Steak Revival will fly in from Denver with its special style of bluegrass music.

“They won Best Band at Telluride and were a smash hit at Wintergrass this past February,” festival founder Charlee Glock-Jackson said in a release. “The audience loved them, so we figured we should bring them back to the Northwest and introduce them to our Olalla audience.”

Another Wintergrass favorite, Rabbit Wilde, from Bellingham, is also in the lineup.

“They have wonderful, youthful energy, and they’re all stellar musicians,” Glock-Jackson added.

Also from Bellingham, Hot Damn Scandal will make an encore appearance after wowing the audience at last year’s festival.

Other performers include Danny Barnes from Port Townsend, winner of this year’s Steve Martin banjo prize; Slocan Ramblers from British Columbia; FarmStrong Country – Sequim; Rural Delivery, the “hometown band” from Port Orchard, Bremerton and Silverdale and the Eclectic Cloggers, a troupe of dancers who have been “Kicking the City off their Shoes” at the Olalla festival since Year One.

While the focus of the day is clearly on music, there are also old-time crafts demonstrations, food and craft vendors and many kids activities, including a parade around the ball field.

Added attractions this year are a display of skulls of local wildlife, courtesy of Harbor WildWatch, and guided nature walks along nearby Olalla Creek led by Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife staff.

In addition to all the fun and music is Olalla’s famous berry pie — and plenty of it.

“‘Olalla’ means ‘place with many berries,’ so every year we have a berry pie contest and lots of homemade pie for sale,” said JoAnn Smith, who coordinates the pie contest. “People come from far and near for a slice or two of our pies. Well that, and the music of course.”

The festival takes place at the South Kitsap Southern Little League complex. Proceeds go to local good-works organizations including the PTA, Little League, food banks and music programs at several schools. The primary beneficiary is the Olalla Community Club, which maintains the 116-year old community hall.

“We’re especially grateful to this year’s sponsors for their support of our festival,” Gig Harbor resident and long-time volunteer Ed Johnson said. “Our huge thanks to the Tides Tavern, Peninsula Light Company, Kitsap County, attorney Tim Williams, Olalla Vineyard & Winery, Olalla Grange and individual contributors.”

This year’s festival is dedicated to the memory of Rob Folsom, the founder of Wintergrass, who provided sound for the Olalla Bluegrass & Beyond Festival for 23 years.

Gates open at 10 a.m.; music starts at 11 a.m. and continues until dusk.

Tickets start at $20 for adults and parking is $3. Advance tickets can be purchased at brownpapertickets.com. For more info and a complete concert lineup, visit olallabluegrass.com or call 253-857-5604.

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