by Dave Warner

The First Annual Bluegrass, Bikes & BBQ Festival co-sponsored by the City of Little Falls Tourism Committee and the YMCA thrilled an estimated 1,200 people with great music, food, workshops, and fun on Saturday and Sunday.

Bluegrass music originated in the 1940s with Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys and has withstood the test of time with an enthusiastic following of approximately 18.7 million fans. It’s typically played on acoustic stringed instruments and is a sub-genre of country music with roots in traditional English, Irish and Scottish ballads, and in traditional blues and jazz.

Saturday’s event showcased local as well as regional talent from 2 pm until 10 pm. “This was such a great event from every perspective! We had two days of incredible performances and stellar crowds from all over the area. To see Canal Place filled with happy people listening to music, attending workshops and enjoying a beautiful day in Little Falls…it doesn’t get any better than that,” stated Deborah A. Kaufman, Event Marketing Director.

Tony DeLuca, chairman of the Little Falls Tourism Committee said, “It was a great success and a wonderful venue. Bluegrass has found a home in Little Falls.”

“Even the torrential downpour and power outage near the end of the concert didn’t shut down the band or their enthusiastic audience. Using a flashlight held by Dave Warner, the Event Director, more than sixty people huddled under a tent and The Delaney Brothers continued to play. It was an incredible experience,” added Kaufman.

DeLuca said “The music was great, the performers were excellent, the crowd was better than anticipated, and the environment was friendly and family-oriented. It was a great day and a great boost for the City of Little Falls.”

“What a show last night! I enjoyed Appalachian Still when we got there and then what a wild ride the Delaney show was! Just a tremendous crowd of people with amazing energy… and then when the lights went out, it got even better! I go to most of the guys’ shows, but this was one to remember. I doubt anyone will forget it, anytime soon,” said Fran Piccininni, mother of Nick, who is the fiddler for The Delaney Brothers.

“In a time when so many festivals have closed down due to economics, it’s such a blessing to see others take up the mantle to keep Bluegrass alive. We really appreciate your efforts, and apparently there were quite a few other people that felt the same,” she said.

The festival continued on Sunday afternoon with a performance by Dan Weber inside of Canal Side Inn, which was followed by a buffet next door at the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts. Weber said “Thanks so much for such a wonderful event. I totally dug playing for y’all and being in Little Falls. You’ve got a real gem there…”

Festival organizers have already started planning for next year’s event. “More food, more music, and definitely more workshops are on tap,” said Kaufman. “The success of the festival can be largely attributed to the great support from local sponsors and volunteers. Without them, the festival would not have been possible.”

To keep up with what’s happening for next year’s festival, visit www.littlefallsbluegrassfestival.com.