Bluegrass growing in Hotchkiss |

Bluegrass growing in Hotchkiss

Jenny Cooney

HOTCHKISS – We all notice and appreciate the change in seasons. Spring is finally here and we see the signs everywhere in the new spring growth. In Hotchkiss, something is growing that you may not be aware of, but come June you’ll hear the sounds of what is right now in the making. Bluegrass music is growing in Hotchkiss and will be in full blossom at the North Fork Valley Bluegrass Festival June 10-12. This year will be the second growing season for the North Fork Valley Bluegrass Festival, and the many hands that play a part are excited.

“This community has rolled out the red carpet for this event,” said Jody Andrews, one of the festival organizers. “We can’t say ‘thanks’ enough for all the support and cooperation we have received.” Some of those helping hands include: The North Fork Merchant Herald, Scenic Mesa Ranch, Town of Hotchkiss, Chamber of Commerce, Delta County Tourism Cabinet, KVNF, 1st State Bank of Hotchkiss, Mountain West Communications, Comcast Spotlight and the Delta County Fairgrounds. Music and community go so well. They both require more than one player to make harmony. Last year was a success for the festival. The Delta County Fairgrounds provided lots of shade, and Heritage Hall hosted all the night performances.

“The setting is ideal for a family weekend. Plop down a blanket or some lawn chairs, let the kids play, and take in the tunes. This is part of what makes rural life a joy. No pyrotechnic displays or overly sensational hype. Just good music played by real people. Simple as that,” said Andrews. Les Linman and the fairgrounds maintenance crew have cleared the undergrowth at the camping area on the fairgrounds. Festival-goers who love to camp out can stay and play. The campground pickin’ and jams are part of the festival experience.Vendors bring their wares, be it crafts, clothing, jewelry or food. KVNF will have the beer tent handy and stocked with cold beer and local wines. There are as many as 12 to 15 vendors signed on for this year, and spaces are filling quickly. If you are interested in having a vendor booth at the festival, contact Nancy at

George Gertz has been busy throughout the year booking bands. The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) holds convention each fall in Nashville. It is the hub for up-and-coming bands, and it’s one place Gertz scouts out great music. This year the festival in Hotchkiss will host five bands that have appeared in IBMA showcases.Vail, Colorado

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