continued “Joel was looking to sponsor an annual event for the community that would showcase the North Creek area while making enough income to support local individuals and organizations, through donations,” Burch said “Rusty Leigh had long traveled the bluegrass circuit, developing many connections and contacts with the entertainers and fans, dreaming that one day a bluegrass festival might find a home in his community.”
Thus the Upper Hudson Bluegrass Festival was born. First they needed a location: the Ski Bowl Park. Then they needed a stage, so they hurried up and built one.
“Some might remember that the stage for the fledgling first festival wasn’t quite complete,” Burch said. “A newly formed band, named Acoustic Blue, was performing that first evening when it started to rain. While the band performed, Joel and Rusty created a plastic shelter over the stage, saving the day.”
Burch says much has changed in the past 10 years. The group — Upper Hudson Festivals, Inc. — is now a 501-c-3 not-for-profit organization and gives back to the community and school. Organizers have continued to improve the stage, which normally lives at Riverfront Park and is used during other events throughout the year. The festival now has its own branding, with a logo, hats and T-shirts. And the board works with town leaders and state health officials to improve the Ski Bowl facilities.
The festival include a selection of vendors for souvenirs and food. Sound will be provided by Green Mountain Music, Pete and Cora Bolster. Don Sprague will be returning as the emcee. The media sponsor is NCPR.
And, best of all, people don’t have to camp in order to enjoy the festival. Day tickets are available: $25pp Friday, $30 Saturday and $15 Sunday. Also, it’s only $15pp each evening after 5 p.m. Kids 15 and under are free with a parent.
Three-day tickets, purchased in advance, are $50pp before Aug. 9 or $60pp at the gate. Three-day tickets include camper parking, fresh water fill-up, and a “for extra fee” pump out Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. Please call for specific camper parking information.
To purchase advance tickets, send a check and an SASE to Upper Hudson Festivals, Inc., P. O. Box 276, North Creek, NY, 12853. For complete information, visit online at www.upperhudsonbluegrassfestival or call (518)-251-3141.