The 34th annual Northern Rockies Folk Festival has plenty of entertainment and goodwill to present to the Wood River Valley this year. The festival will take place Friday, Aug. 5, and Saturday, Aug. 6, at Hop Porter Park in Hailey. Tickets are $32 for two days or $16 for Friday and $21 for Saturday. Shows start at 5 p.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. on Saturday.
Headliners include James McMurtry and the Gourds. In addition, the festival will include Quailfish, Roses Pawn Shop, The Sloans, Justin Wells, Carly Gibson, Intersection, Slow Children Playing, Up A Creek and Bill Coffey. Other valley talent will include Ken Martin, Tim East, Fletcher Brock and Jim Paisley.
"The history is supporting and promoting as well as fostering local talent," said Pete Kramer, executive director. "Twenty years ago Muzzy and Joanne Braun had Micky and Cody in cowboy hats and bandanas on stage. At that time Cody could play a harmonica and yodel."
Finn Riggins, Olin in the Moon and several other valley kids have graced the stage of the folk festival. This year The Sloans, Nick and Steph, bring their musical talents back to Hailey, where they grew up, to perform for their friends and family.
"It's all about the kids," he said. "We have an obligation to get local kids up on stage and showcase talent. We also have the best technology to do it."
Kramer said headliner act James McMurtry is important but so is helping kids. This year the festival will have Wood River Valley music students helping to sell raffle tickets for White Otter Outdoor Adventures river trips. All of the proceeds of the raffle benefit the festival, which is a nonprofit organization. In addition, there is a friendship quilt for raffle.
"Supporting the future artists of the Wood River Valley is important," he said. "It does come back around."
This year the festival will offer overnight camping and RV parking across the street at Lion's Park on the Big Wood River. Reservations are available at the Hailey Chamber of Commerce. For details, call 788-2700.
On Sunday, Aug. 7, a "Picking Party" will take place at Lion's Park for all string instrument pickers who want to come together and play informally. Chapter One Bookstore in Ketchum, Shelley's Deli in Hailey and the Hailey Chamber of Commerce will sell service-fee-free tickets. Tickets will also be available at the gate, while they last. For details, visit www.northernrockiesfolkfestival.com.
Sabina Dana Plasse: email@example.com