Bluegrass Christmas Memories

This post is a contribution from Stephanie Dilling. Stephanie is the daughter of IIIrd Tyme Out banjoist Steve Dilling. She writes a monthly column for Bluegrass Now magazine. Check out Stephanie’s website at

I was asked to write about a few of my favorite bluegrass memories of Christmas. I always knew that Christmas was around the corner when we made our annual trip to Myrtle Beach, SC for the bluegrass festival at the convention center. My dad was always performing there, and Myrtle Beach being so close, it was a chance for the family to go with my dad. While at the festival, we always had a chance to visit with friends and talk about the holidays and what our Christmas plans were. In between sets of music, there would always be a group that gathered some of the biggest stars of bluegrass music that were friends of my dad”s, that went out to eat with us. At the time, I didn”t know who half of these people were, but looking back, I am glad I had a chance to be a part of this.

In October of 2000, we moved into a new house. In early December, my parents decided to have a Christmas Party Open House! We had tons of people at the party. Most of them were my dad”s pickin” friends. Friends from Carolina Road band, Doug Driskell, (bus driver for IIIrd Tyme Out) and the Wells Family came to celebrate with us. There was lots of jamming, and good food! Mom had the house all decorated for Christmas and it looked so beautiful! On that same Christmas, I got a guitar as a present. I hope to learn to play it someday.