All types of bluegrass music and an Old West encampment are taking over the Ramona Outdoor Community Center this weekend. Music, daytime and nighttime jam sessions, fireside storytelling, camping, food, and music workshops are among features.
The fourth annual event May 4 and 5 has three stages — two dedicated to the music and one reserved for the Old West portion of the festival.
More than a dozen leading bluegrass bands will perform, with major headliners including Hot Club of Cowtown,
Head for the Hills, Chris Stuart and Janet Beasley, Next Generation, Lonesome Otis, Gone Tomorrow, Chris Clarke and Plow, Lacemakers, Shirthouse Band, Judy Taylor, Orchard Thieves, Prairie Sky, Taildraggers, Captain Cooper, Leatherman and many more.
A Saturday night dance invites everyone to close the day with Hot Club of Cowtown and their Texas Swing style music.
The Old West Encampment coordinated by Ramona’s Jim “Captain” Cooper features Mountain Men, Civil War Era soldiers and cowboys.
“Guests will be able to visit the camps, meet the re-enactors and learn about how life was lived in the past,“ said Rob Lewallen, the festival’s co-chair.
“The public will have an unparalleled learning opportunity,” Cooper said.
Most of what will be at the encampment “is authentic to the time period and has been carefully collected over many, many years,” said Cooper. “You will be able to talk to the enactors, to have your questions answered with full explanations and view some items rarely seen outside of museums.”
And the third stage is dedicated to old ballads, trail songs, and cowboy music and poets. Members of the band lineup and other musicians will lead the music workshops. “It’s a great way for kids and adults to bring their instruments and play along,” Lewallen said.
Among workshops planned are fiddle, mandolin, guitar, banjo and harmony.
For the younger set, there will be face painting, a petting zoo and a game area.
A variety of food, including what Lewallen calls “real” barbecue, and vendor booths offering unique items will be part of the festival.
The bluegrass is the grand finale of “Ramona Music Days & Nights” that started with the Ramona Music Fest last weekend.
Ramona Bluegrass and Old West Fest hours are from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Ramona Outdoor Community Center is at 421 Aqua Lane.
For ticket prices and schedule of events, visit: Ramonabluegrassfest.com or call 760-789-6173.