IROQUOIS – The countdown is on: this weekend, Bluegrass musicians and Bluegrass music lovers will be converging at the Point in Iroquois to take part in the Galop Canal Bluegrass Festival. It’s going to be an exciting two days.
“Actually, 2020 was going to be our 10th anniversary celebration,” said Barb Rabideau, president of the Bluegrass Festival organization,” but everything crashed with the COVID shutdowns. So we’ve decided to treat this, our 2022 Festival, as the 10th anniversary. We are all very excited to see this great event return.”
Board members Barb, Mary Lussier, Nathalie Siriois, Cassandra Barry, with Sandra Day, band hostess, have worked for some months to put together an outstanding celebration by the Locks, and to invite top flight bands to perform.
“This year we are going to be Canada Proud,” said Rabideau and Sandra Day. “The bands coming are all from New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec. We’ve even added one more group, Concession 23. That’s ten bands to celebrate ten years. Next year we will look forward to the return of American bands, but this is going to be a terrific Canadian event. Our special, featured band is ‘Highway Train,’ from the Maritimes. The three bands from New Brunswick know each other, so there’s no question that the jamming sessions over the weekend will be phenomenal. This is going to be some of the best Bluegrass music around, just a real variety of music, and we know audiences are definitely going to enjoy it all.”
‘Hit Pickers’ from Toronto will also be on the stage Thursday night, for two shows only, with their unique brand of ‘country grass.’
Also new at the 2022 Bluegrass Festival will be Thursday and Friday open mic sessions with the Tri-County Music Association, featuring local musicians. The artists will have to be on the grounds and ticket holders.
On Saturday, June 18, the Iroquois-Matilda Lions will be serving up a chicken barbecue (tickets are available), and Andy Shaver of Iroquois Pizza and Barbecue will also be offering smoked foods.
Returning as MC for the event will be Rick Leben. “He is very popular with our audiences,” Rabideau said, “just a great MC, and he keeps things moving well. We also have a fantastic sound crew on site for the Festival too. Sometimes,” she laughed, “ships passing through the Locks may even provide some ‘encores’ with their horns.”
This weekend, June 16-18, the Galop Canal Bluegrass Festival in Iroquois is definitely the place for music lovers to gather. As Barb Rabideau and Sandra Day put it: “People love our location, they love our sound, they love our bands. And we’ll love having the crowds back to enjoy live music at the Point again.” Day passes are available at the gate.