Thomas Point Beach Bluegrass festival begins today. We arrived on Monday and have enjoyed swimming in the ocean, sitting on the beach, reconnecting with old friends and picking far into the night. Thomas Point is famous among bluegrassers for its excellent camping and parking lot picking.
Mike Mulligan, the festival promoter has been busy holding true to his mom’s (founder Pati Crooker) ideas on how to hold a successful festival. Keep up the Good work, Mike, and thanks from all of us bluegrassers.
About two hours after setting up camp we were enjoying a cold brew, and with instruments in hand, set out to find some hot pickin’. Our friends from right here in Maine, Joe and Nellie Kennedy and most of their old band Evergreen, were the first folks we ran into. Mike Burns soon joined us with his guitar and it was off to the races.
Day two, and who should we meet but our old friend Richard Heepe. This time, not wearing his Volunteer T-shirt, he is here for some well earned R&R.We hope to see him again soon with an instrument in his hand.
The line up this year includes an excellent group of traditional bluegrass bands, including The Earls of Leicester, Larry Sparks, The Gibson Brothers, Balsam Range, Sierra Hull and many others. Today seven bands will compete in the Showcase Contest. Last year’s winner, Bluegrass Unit, will close out the first day of music.
You might remember we mentioned the Ye Old English Fish and Chips concession in our story about the Jenny Brook festival, held earlier this year. Well imagine our exitement to see them setting up here. The Loose Caboose, the late night place to be for midnight jams and late night snacks were also gearing up for the festival. Cool Beans, TPB Ice Cream shoppe, and Papa’s Roadhouse round out the food vendors. Shari Elder, one of the festival’s original coordinators, says that turning the Main Lodge’s public room into a living room last year was a huge hit and will be open again this year. Over the course of a day, visitors to the living room will be found charging phones, knitting, catching up with friends, quietly reading and new this year, attending workshops. We suspect that the living room will be full. Standing room only.
Now it is to time for us to head over to the main stage to see and hear what’s cooking at the band competition. We suspect we will see some new talent to add to the already deep roots of the world of bluegrass. Stay tuned as we will have more to say soon.