MADRID Banjos, guitars and upright basses reigned supreme at the 22nd annual Madrid Bluegrass Festival, which ran Friday through Sunday.
Campers came from all around to hear 10 bluegrass groups play over three days in the park along the Grasse River. Everything has been going really smooth, event organizer Tammy M. Hawkins said.
Attendees could take part in a whole slew of activities and events, such as a childrens fishing tournament, chain saw wood carving or the fireworks that closed Saturdays performances.
More than 220 people participated in the 16th annual Bluegrass Ramble on Saturday, where they could choose to walk or run anywhere from a 5K to a half marathon.
But despite all the extras, the real highlight was, as always, the music.
Brian G. Jiguere has been playing bluegrass for 60 years. He is part of the group Spare Change, regular performers at the festival. Bluegrass, he said, is special because of the community it creates.
Its the camaraderie and the people, he said. Everybody is everybodys friend.
Spare Change is one of many bands that keep returning year after year, but organizer Leslie E. Haas said he usually tries to book one or two new bands every year. Amy Gallatin and the Stillwaters, out of Connecticut, was one such new group. They headlined the festival.
Mr. Haas likes bluegrass, he said, because of its special tone.
I like its sound, its upbeat tempo. Its relaxing to me, he said.
The sunny weather drew many attendees from the local area, although Mr. Haas said attendance numbers have been down for the past few years.
Its a beautiful day to come out and relax, and listen to music, said Donna M. Jones, Norwood.
Others came from farther away. We had a super weekend, said Jacques R. Lauzon, who came down from Ontario for the festival, as he does every year.
There is one thing that keeps him coming back time after time.
Its the music, he said, the wonderful music.