Clarion River Bluegrass Jam Festival set for March 15-16

The Casual Hobos warmed up in the courtyard before taking the stage at the 2018 Clarion River Bluegrass Jam Festival. The band hails from Pittsburgh nowadays but claim some country roots. From left are Steve Ludwig, Dr. Jonathan Finder and Trish Imbrogno, who grew up in Kane and knows where Vowinckel is.

Clarion River Bluegrass Jam Festival March 15-16

CLARION NEWS file photo.

The Casual Hobos warmed up in the courtyard before taking the stage at the 2018 Clarion River Bluegrass Jam Festival. The band hails from Pittsburgh nowadays but claim some country roots. From left are Steve Ludwig, Dr. Jonathan Finder and Trish Imbrogno, who grew up in Kane and knows where Vowinckel is.

CLARION On the weekend of March 15 and 16, the 10th annual Clarion River Jam Bluegrass Festival will be held at the Ramada by Wyndham (formerly the Park Inn) in Clarion.

Performances begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 15 and noon on Saturday, March 16.

The bands follow each other at half-hour intervals, with the last band taking the stage at 10 p.m. both evenings.

The festival is a celebration of traditional bluegrass with a bit of Irish, Americana, new grass, gospel and folk that brings together hundreds of local and regional musicians. People come to listen from all over Pennsylvania, as well as from Ohio, New York, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.

Over the course of the weekend, the members of the audience will hear seasoned professionals, state and national champions, as well as newcomers to the genre. They will see 8-year-olds and 80-year-olds on stage together, sharing the music they love.

Clarion River Jam is free to attend, though donations will be accepted. It is family-friendly and open to the public. The venue's ballroom will host the concerts.

Guests will find vendors and small games of chance in the lobby and pre-event space. There will be a table of cookies and official Clarion River Jam Bluegrass Festival T-shirts will be available.

Impromptu jam sessions will fill every nook and cranny of the Ramada's atrium, meeting rooms and hallways and will offer guests the chance of an intimate look at the talented musicians practicing their craft.

The organizers "encourage everyone to bring their guitar, fiddle, banjo, mandolin, bass and join the pickin'."

Friday's performance will open with Clarion natives, Cluricaun offering a traditional Irish set. The last band, set to take the stage at 10 p.m., is expected to play long into the night.

Pony Farm Road from Forest County will start Saturday's concerts and Matt Efaw and Rural Free Delivery will close the concert, taking the stage at 10 p.m.

This year, a special memorial Fiddlers' Roll Call will take place Saturday at 8 p.m., honoring the life and music of local fiddle legend, George Servey.

Guests looking for over-night accommodations to enjoy the entire festival should visit PA Great Outdoors for a complete listing of lodging options.

Clarion River Jam is made possible thanks to grants from Clarion County Tourism Bureau and the PA Council on the Arts as well as local business sponsors.

All proceeds benefit Unite Way of Clarion County.

To learn more, call (814) 226-8760, visit uwclarionco.org or find Clarion River Jam on Facebook.