Volunteers are hard at work putting the finishing touches on the 17th Annual Country Bluegrass Jamboree slated for April 17 – 20 at the Seniors’ Centre. Before the last note was played at last year’s jamboree, bands were committing to this year’s event and Jamboree president Ken Knoke says the lineup is once again great. With more the 18 bands from Williams Lake to Peace River, attendees can dance the weekend away to the music of some of the finest musicians around. Included in the line up are Cariboo Thunder, New Journey, Country n’ Stuff, Ellaine and Friends, JJ’s Classic Country, Old Time Fiddlers and many more.
Jamboree volunteer and musician Ellaine Simpson said one of the most challenging parts of preparing the event is securing the advertising for the program and collecting items for the silent auction. However, each year she and her volunteers manage to get the job done.
“We are so grateful for all the community support,” she said.
Ken said he can’t wait for the doors to open on Thursday, April 17 at 12:30 p.m. The music starts at 1:15 p.m. with the Williams Lake band New Journey. He said it makes all the hard work leading up to the jamboree worth it.
With parking at a premium, priority in the immediate vicinity of the Seniors’ Centre for RVs is given to out-of-towners, musicians and those with health issues. There is also accommodation available within walking distance of the jamboree, but it’s recommended you book as early as possible as its a busy weekend in town.
Food for the jamboree will be available all day beginning with pancake breakfasts Friday, Saturday and Sunday and an evening meal Thursday, Friday and Saturday provided by Jean’s Side Door Catering.
One of the most popular activities during the jamboree is the band scramble on Friday night.
Musicians wishing to participate, throw their names in a hat and band makeup is decided by luck of the draw.
“You never know who you’ll be playing with,” Ken said with a laugh.
It’s also an opportunity for some good-natured high jinks.
The weekend is punctuated with impromptu jam sessions, sharing of friendship and musicianship, reacquainting with old friends and making new friends, but the bottom line for all participants is a love of the music and a desire for camaraderie. You just never know who you’ll meet at Quesnel’s premier country bluegrass jamboree.
“Whether you are local or from out of town, enjoy country bluegrass music, as well as dancing and if you have never attended any of our previous 16 successful jamborees, this is your lucky year to attend and enjoy what you have missed out on in the past. For those who have attended in the past, we welcome you back,” Ken said.
Tickets are $30/individual weekend pass in advance at Circle S Western Wear or by calling Ken 250-992-5696 until April 16. Tickets at the door are $35/weekend pass per person or $10/day.
For information call Ken 250-992-5696 or visit www.quesnelcountrybluegrass.org.