Annual Bluegrass Festival returns to Niles – Leader Publications

NILES — The sounds of guitars and fiddles filled the air around the Riverfront Park Amphitheater as day two of the 20th annual Niles Bluegrass Festival began Friday afternoon.

Hosted by the Riverfront Optimist Club, the festival, which kicked off Thursday, July 7 and ends Sunday, July 10, features several popular bluegrass and Americana acts as well as food and beverage vendors.

ROC President Josh Sitarz was happy to see the event return to the park.

“I’m passionate about it, I love all the members and everyone who attends this festival loves what we do,” he said. “They love coming here; every year we have the same volunteers who show up because they like to help us. They love putting this on for the community because you can really tell it makes a difference in the community. Children come here, families come. People come to listen to bluegrass music. It’s just, it’s something they look forward to every year.

This year’s festival serves as a return to normal for many festival-goers, who last saw an unrestricted Bluegrass festival in 2019. The festival was canceled in 2020 and returned in a limited format last year.

“In 2019, the turnout here has been amazing,” Sitarz said. “The crowd was probably neck and neck. (In 2021) we came back with Riverfest and the Bluegrass Festival with a different look; it wasn’t quite what we wanted. But I think we’ve found dates that work this year and a good mix of things between the two festivals.

Below is the remaining lineup of the festival:

Saturday July 9

12:00 p.m. – Open Mic with The Redbuds

1:00 p.m. – Phil Anderson

2:00 p.m. – Wake up from Backwater

3:00 p.m. – Deadwood

4:00 p.m. – Water Street Wranglers

5:00 p.m. – P. Scott and the prairie dogs

6:30 p.m. – Jesse Manns and the Bluegrass Band

7:30 p.m. – Deadwood

8:15 p.m. – Jesse Manns and the Bluegrass Band

9:15 p.m. – Water Street Wranglers

Stage closing at 10:15 p.m.

Sunday July 10

11:00 a.m. – Speros House Christian Service

12:30 p.m. – St. Joe Jack

2:00 p.m. – P. Scott and the Prairie Dogs

4:00 p.m. – Closing of stage

The Niles Summer Concert Series has its weekly concerts at 6 p.m. on Sundays.

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