Bluegrass fest draws biggest crowd ever

MONTROSE – A crowd of about 100 people enjoyed live acoustic music – despite intermittent rain showers – during the fourth annual Allegheny Highlands Trail Bluegrass Festival Saturday in Montrose.

“It poured, it just dumped rain just before 10 a.m.,” organizer Karen Carper said during the event at Montrose Community Park. “We’ve had a good crowd despite the weather. This is the biggest crowd we’ve ever had. It grows every year. Some people come back every year and we have newcomers as well. We’re glad to have them all.”

Montrose resident and award-winning bluegrass banjoist Joe Gainer was the emcee for the event and his band, Flatt Wound, closed the festival with a Saturday evening performance.

“It’s been a nice event despite the weather,”” said volunteer Dan Williams of Elkins. “It’s gone off without a hitch, just like clockwork. These musicians are fabulous. And these are the friendliest bunch of people here, they’re all community.”

Also performing were four-time state fiddle champion Johnny Cochran and the Johnny Cochran Trio, the band Blue Steel and the duo Jesse Milnes and Nate Druckenmiller.

Carper said the musicians came onstage throughout the day to play together and “jam.”

“It makes it more fun for the crowd, too,” she said.

Those attending the event could enjoy a lunch of a barbecue sandwich, baked beans and corn on the cob prepared by volunteers including Theresa Lycliter, Eric Sandeno and Terry Hackney. A former resident of the Elkins area, Hackney came back for the weekend just to volunteer for the event.

All proceeds of the Allegheny Highlands Trail Bluegrass Festival will benefit the Highlands Trail Foundation. HTF has worked since 1995 to develop and promote the Allegheny Highlands Trail in Randolph and Tucker counties. Find Highlands Trail Foundation on Facebook or email for more information and festival directions.

The Allegheny Highlands Trail Bluegrass Festival was made possible by support from B&J Music, the City of Parsons, ComforTech, Davis Trust Company, Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad, Elkins Physical Therapy & Sports Injury Clinic, F.L.Y. Market, First Energy Foundation, Joey’s Bike Shop, Papa John’s Pizza, Stonewall Resort, Talbott Frameshop, The Inter-Mountain and West Virginia Radio Corporation.