Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Adirondack Family Activities:
Bluegrass, Classical Music Fests

There are always plenty of festivals to choose from around the Adirondack Park. This weekend two very different musical venues will be attracting people from all over. For the second year, the Lake George Music Festival is filling a professional classical music need in the Lake George area while the Upper Hudson Bluegrass Festival is bringing a range of talent to the North Creek Ski Bowl for its ninth year.

 According to Lake George Music Festival Executive Director Alexander Lombard, Lake George is a natural fit for their festival. The week long schedule of events takes place as four different venues, St. James Episcopal Church, Caldwell Presbyterian Church, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, and Shepard Park.

“All the events are free,” says Lombard. “People are also encouraged to attend the rehearsals around the area as well. Myself and the other directors feel that Lake George is the perfect place to hold this festival. We have been able to connect with musicians from all over the world. Lake George is beautiful; the park and churches are beautiful and intimate. It was a natural fit. We hope to fill Lake George with classic music.”

Lombard explains that the inaugural event lasted only three days with a full house each night. This year the event has extended for a full week, August 17-23, with the plan to keep the event the third week in August.

The 9th annual Upper Hudson Bluegrass Festival is a three-day event jam-packed with bluegrass and country talent ranging from old favorites to new comers on this festival circuit.

Media Director Lloyd Burch says, “We have campers on sight, motor homes and pop-ups plus day people coming to this event. Everything kicks off on Friday at noon and runs nonstop in 45-minute sets ending at 12:45 am.  On Saturday it all begins again at 9:00 am with a variety of bluegrass and country. People can get a three-day pass or just a day pass. You can’t come to by this level of entertainment and get this many national bluegrass acts for a $30 ticket.”

The Upper Hudson Bluegrass Festival is from August 17-19 at the North Creek Ski Bowl Park off of Route 28. According to Burch, there are food and craft vendors available throughout the event though bringing your own food is acceptable. He warns that no glass containers or dogs are allowed on the festival site. A day pass for Friday is $25, Saturday is $30 and Sunday is $15. Anyone entering after 5:00 pm is given entrance for $10.

Burch says, “One thing to keep in mind is that all children 15 and under are free with a parent. We encourage families to come. On Sunday the morning is dedicated to gospel. The musicians play in ½ hour sets until 12:30 pm and then it is back to bluegrass.”

My family are fans of all sorts of music and would rather have too many options to choose from rather than none at all. Though I can’t always fit everything I want to do on the schedule, I am grateful for all the opportunities. Enjoy!

photo of the Lake George Music Festival used with permission

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Diane Chase

Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time. She writes about ways to foster imaginative play through fun-filled events and activities in the Adirondack region.

From her home in Saranac Lake, Diane also writes a weekly family-oriented newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and keeps her own blog Adirondack Family Time. Her writing and photography has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, marketing companies and advertising agencies.

She even finds time to assist her husband with Adirondack Expeditions guiding families and young adults in the High Peaks.

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