ANDERSON -- Pete Dudley was hanging out with his guitar in the basement at Gene and Eva Carpenter’s house. Gene was on the banjo. Eva played bass fiddle. The year was 1989.
“It was deep in a bad winter like this one and we were having our usual Tuesday practice. We were all complaining about the weather and missing the festivals and I said we ought to have one in the winter,” recollected Dudley. “The whole idea was to have some fun in the winter.”
That winter jam session was the spark for the Snowflake Bluegrass Festival. This year marks the 25th time the festival celebrates the sounds of down-home, acoustic bluegrass music in the middle of a central Indiana winter. The festival is set from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at the Rangeline Community Center, 1405 N. Rangeline Road.
Look for no less than seven bands, an ongoing drop-in jam session, as well as food and beverages at the popular event organized by the White River Folk and Bluegrass Club.
Expect a mix of bluegrass styles, from gospel to progressive. Some of the performers have picked up awards at the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America’s annual competition in Nashville.
Each hour throughout the afternoon of the festival, a different band takes center stage. This year Cumberland Gap, Common Ground, Lifeboat Quartet, Blue Mafia, Abl Gry, Jeremy Morris Harvest Road Band and Mountain Laurel will be strumming, picking and singing to brighten up the deep part of winter.
Dara Wray from Blue Mafia said, “We’ve played all over the country, but find such joy in returning to Anderson for the Snowflake Festival. It’s home for us. There are so many friends and family gathered for this festival, it feels almost like a reunion.”