Time for bluegrass

Four-day festival coming to town

— The four-day format launched last year. In previous weekends, the organizers found that there would be dozens of campers ready to roll to their parking places Thursday, though music didn't start until Friday. So they figured, why not get the stage playing a little earlier, said Leigh.

Joel Beaudin, who first thought North Creek could put on a successful blugrass festival and has worked tirelessly to make it so has stepped back from his responsibilities this year, said Leigh, though he'll help park cars.

Main street sees a bump when the visitors are in town, said Leigh, and there will be shuttles from the Ski Bowl Park to Main Street.

There will also be a train promotion, where visitors can buy a ticket for the hour-and-a-half the train is in town for $10.

They also sell discounted all-day Saturday tickets to seniors at the meal site for $12.

We like to make a little money, said Leigh, because we give it all away. The not-for-profit show only retains enough money to run the next year, and the rest is donated to community organizations, schools, the Outreach Center and the North Country Ministry, which helps with home heating.

Leigh hires the bands, attending other festivals and approaching bands that seem like a good fit; he's already started looking for next year's bands.

Leigh said all the music's good, but they have a few bands that are especially noteworthy. The James King Band has been recognized several times by the International Bluegrass Association. Leigh's also excited about Goldwing Express of Missouri and Remington Ryde of Pennsylvania.

“I'm very fussy about the people I hire to play,” said Leigh.

Though he likes to stick to a traditional bluegrass format, Leigh's open to suggestion. A survey is distributed to attendees so they can suggest a band to bring to the festival, and he'll hire on bands he personally isn't too keen on if there's enough audience interest.

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