Olalla Bluegrass Festival returns for its 18th encore

Live music, food, arts and crafts and lots of down-home fun await visitors to this weekend’s Olalla Bluegrass Festival.  - File photo
Live music, food, arts and crafts and lots of down-home fun await visitors to this weekend’s Olalla Bluegrass Festival.
— image credit: File photo

The musicians will be picking and the audience will be grinning tomorrow as the Olalla Bluegrass Festival returns for its 19th year.

Not that it’s all about music, though.

The event, held at the South Kitsap Little League Field on Olalla Valley Road from noon to 8 p.m., also features crafts, fun family events and food — in particular the berry pie auction.

“The word ‘olalla’ means ‘place with many berries,’” explained festival manager Marty Kellogg. “We think homemade berry pies are a tasty way to honor that heritage. We get entries from all around the area, and the winning pie gets auctioned off to the lucky bidder in the audience.”

As for the music, this year’s lineup includes several brand new Puget Sound area bands, plus bands from Oregon, the Columbia Gorge area and Vancouver, B.C.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for kids and seniors. A family pass is $35.

There’s a $2 charge for parking, collected by the Little League.

Limited camping space is available at the festival site for $10 a night — no hookups.

The festival began in 1991 as a fundraiser for the Olalla Community Hall, the historic building that has served as the heart of the community for more than a century.

“A group of us were brainstorming about how to raise money to bring it back to life,” Kellogg explained. “Someone said, ‘Let’s have a bluegrass festival...’ and it just grew from there.”

Funds from the festival have since provided a new well, a new kitchen and even a new roof for the hall.

“We also support the PTA, scouts, food bank and other local organizations,” Kellogg said.

The festival is sponsored by the non-profit Olalla Community Club and Olalla Grange No. 1125.

For information, call (253) 857-5604 or (253) 857-5950.

2009 Olalla Bluegrass

Festival Lineup

Noon: Eclectic Cloggers – ( Kicking the City Off Their Shoes for their 18th year at the festival.

1 p.m.: The Wiretappers – (Seattle) ( Traditional bluegrass with a touch of folk.

2 p.m.: Berry Pie auction.

2:30 p.m.: Urban Monroes – (Portland) ( Back for an encore performance. Great harmonies and picking on (mostly) original tunes.

3:30 p.m.: Scotts Landing (Seattle) Down-home bluegrass played from the heart.

4:30 p.m.: Whiskey Puppy – (Portland) ( – Boot-stomping, mule-slapping bluegrass and old-timey tunes.

5:30 p.m.: Moe Dixon – (White Salmon) ( Dixon) A total-immersion, joyful noise musical celebration. And one of the best guitar players on the planet.

7 p.m.: The Clumsy Lovers (Vancouver, B.C.) ( Back by popular demand. Raging bluegrass and Celtic rock.

If you go:

• What: Olalla Bluegrass (& beyond) Festival

• When: August 15, noon to 8 p.m.

• Where: South Kitsap Little League Field on Olalla Valley Road

• Cost: $12 to $8; $35 family pass. Parking $2. Camping $10 (no hookups).

• Contact: (253) 857-5650, or

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