The Olalla Bluegrass Festival celebrates its twentieth anniversary on Aug. 20 at the South Kitsap Southern Little League field on Olalla Valley Road. Gates open at 10 a.m. and the music starts at 11 a.m.
Known for its family-friendly atmosphere, variety of kids’ activities and the famous berry pie contest, the event also showcases some of the leading acoustic bands in the region. In addition to the usual suspects – food and crafts vendors, old time crafts demonstrations and the pie auction – this year’s festival will also have an ‘Empty Bowls’ feature. Members of the newly formed Gig Harbor Potters Guild will sell fresh strawberry shortcake in hand-made pottery bowls.
“The Empty Bowls idea has been around for many years,” said Gig Harbor artist Al Johnsen who is credited with founding the Guild and bringing the ‘Bowls’ concept to the area. “We make the bowls in our studios, then we take them to an event and fill them with some sort of tasty food. The purchaser gets to enjoy the food and keep the hand-crafted bowl. We donate all the money we make to the local food bank.”
Locally, the Empty Bowls project is sponsored by the Peninsula Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (PUUF), which meets monthly at the Burley Community Center.
“The money we make at the Bluegrass Festival will go to the South Kitsap HelpLine,” said PUFF organizer Denny Hobart.“It’s an artistic, unique way that lets us help feed our neighbors-in-need.”
Olalla Bluegrass Line-Up:
11 a.m.: Deadwood Revival – lively originals from Port Angeles.
Noon: Eclectic Cloggers – old-time clog dancing with a local twist.
12:45 p.m.: Blackberry Bushes – string band returns from Olympia.
1:35 p.m.: Berry pie auction.
2 p.m.: Northern Departure– hard-driving youthful energy from Sedro Wooly area.
3 p.m.: Bluegrass Regulators – From Gig Harbor and Tacoma, this band has captured the attention of bluegrass fans around the country.
4 p.m.: Coal Town – from Kentucky. The genuine bluegrass deal.
5 p.m.: Moe Dixon – long-time festival favorite guitar & ukulele virtuoso
6 p.m.: The kiddos on parade
7 p.m.: The Sugarbeets (pictured right)– psychedelic bluegrass from Eugene, Ore..
Tickets are $10-36 and available at Brown Paper Tickets (brownpapertickets.com). Same prices at the event. Parking is $2 per car, collected by the Little League.