Fans cheer the return of Bluegrass Festival

Highway Train, just before delivering one of their exciting sets at the 2022 Galop Canal Bluegrass Festival. (The Leader – Gibb photo)

IROQUOIS – The weather was grey, and there was a cool wind on the Point for most of the weekend, but the nearly 650 music lovers who came out to enjoy the 10th anniversary of the Galop Canal Bluegrass Festival really didn’t care. They were there for the music: and the 10 Canada Proud bands who performed in the bandshell certainly delivered.

“We are so glad the crowds are back,” said Barb Rabideau, president of the Bluegrass Festival organizers. “There were 158 rough campers up here all weekend, and the bands were just fantastic. It’s been great to see the Festival return after two years. We have had lots of eager volunteers helping us out. It’s been like a family reunion for the Festival.”

Rabideau and her committee are very grateful for the efforts of those volunteers, and also for the generosity of the sponsors of the 2022 Bluegrass Festival. “We just can’t thank them enough.” Incidentally, the Festival sold all 110 Iroquois-Matilda Lions club barbecue chicken dinners available.

With the genial Ron Leben returning as MC for the weekend, and a fantastic technical crew on site, the music sounded great all weekend long.

Headliner band Highway Train, from New Brunswick, was a crowd pleaser, with songs ranging from the original and comic ‘Me and Mommy,’ to a classic delivery of ‘Country Road, Take Me Home.’ A little bluegrass, a little country, a little roots and even a little ‘outlaw,’ the audience loved the band’s sound and their ease on stage as they shared stories and anecdotes.

There were touching moments in the Festival, too. Northern Sons performed a salute to Canada’s Wounded Warriors with a beautiful song, ‘Freedom.’ There were also impromptu dancing, jam sessions, and even a few ships’ horns joining in the music as one talented band after another took to the stage.

People are already looking forward to the 2023 Galop Canal Bluegrass Festival – with good reason.

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