Weekend-long festivities kick off Friday, Jan. 13, with a “Dancing in the Streets” party in the Morada Way Arts & Cultural District between mile markers (MMs) 81 and 82. Starting at 6 p.m., the free-admission evening features a square dance, food, drinks and family fun.
Saturday, Jan. 14, a Pickin’ Party and BBQ with performing musicians is scheduled at 6 p.m. at the Islamorada eatery oo-tray at MM 80.9. Five bands are expected to play and interested amateur and professional pickers can join impromptu jam sessions. Admission is free.
The festival’s main musical event is scheduled Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Founders Park, MM 87 bayside on Plantation Key. The impressive performance lineup features a robust mix of fan favorites and newcomers.
According to organizers with Islamorada Community Entertainment, the event’s producer, at least 14 musical groups are set to perform on two stages, including the ICE Amphitheater’s appealing outdoor stage backed by Florida Bay’s turquoise waters. All seating is outdoors.
Headlining Sunday is the popular full–throttle “outlaw bluegrass” of Grandpa’s Cough Medicine, back for the third consecutive year.
Making their debut at the festival is 10 String Symphony from Nashville, Tennessee. The group consists of two five-string fiddle players whose harmonies and acoustic-based roots music are earning them worldwide acclaim.
With a background in North Carolina, the Josh Daniel/Mark Schimick Project has been a fixture on the Americana stage for years. Audiences can anticipate a unique blend of bluegrass, soul, reggae and rock n’ roll.
Sunday’s festivities also include a Florida craft beer garden with tastings and special releases, artisan booths, food trucks, activities for kids, festival souvenir merchandise, cool drinks and more. Any interested musician can bring an instrument and join a pickup jam session on the beach.
Advance general and VIP admission tickets to Sunday’s all-day main event can be purchased online at www.baygrassbluegrass.com. General admission is $20 per adult age 18 and over and free for children age 17 and under. Price at the gate is $25 per person. Ticket holders have access to all musical performances that day.
Proceeds fund in-school programs as well as art, music and dance scholarships for Upper Keys high school students.
Although coolers are not permitted at the festival, attendees can bring lawn chairs and blankets. Parking is available on-site for a $5 donation to the Coral Shores Band Boosters.
Event information: www.baygrassbluegrass.com/
Islamorada visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/islamorada or 1-800-FAB-KEYS
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