Members and followers of the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America are probably aware of the fact that SPBGMA founder Chuck Stearman has been in declining health, and that the activities of the organization have been circumscribed this past year.
Fortunately, other associations and clubs are picking up the slack so that midwestern bluegrass fans won’t see a decline in their festival offerings.
This year The Bluegrass Music Association of Iowa will assume management of a pair of formerly SPBGMA-run events. These include the Central City Festival in Central City, IA in late August, and the Thanksgiving Weekend Festival which had been previously held in Newton.
Lori King, Executive Director of the BMAI says that they needed to move the Thanksgiving event to Marshalltown owing to the availability of suitable hotel facilities.
And she is understandably proud of what their organization is doing.
We are now having 5 weekend festivals a year, we have hosted Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers in April and have Doyle Lawson appearing in July, plus we have 5 single day concerts and events. In addition we are hosting a monthly jam in the Des Moines area 6 months of the year, and will be adding another location in the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area this fall.”
Iowegans interested in learning more about BMAI, or anyone interested in their many bluegrass events, is encouraged to visit them online.