June 13, 2016
Homer cultivates bluegrass tradition
HOMER — This year the Bluegrass on the Green music festival reached a pivotal moment in its history as an event, 25 years.
“It’s (the festival) a music tradition and things like this don’t last 25 years,” said Steve Lundberg, co-founder and director of the festival.
The festival began June 12, 1991, exactly 25 years from Saturday’s event.
“One day Ray and I wereriding in the elevator up to the studio. We had been talking about ways to bring bluegrassto the community when we looked out the window ontothe Village Green and we both had the same idea,” Lundberg said.
His partner and co-founder, Ray Delaney, was also a founding member of Delaney Brothers Bluegrass. The two also worked together at WXHC and hosted over 600 of their radio show Hometown Bluegrass. In April 2014 Delaney died, but Lundberg kept the spirit of the festival going on.
Each year the festival is held in conjunction with the Homer Firemen’s Field Days, Lundberg said. The festival ran fromnoon to 6 p.m. and after the parade for the field days begins, Lundberg said.
The festival this year featured four bands: Diamond Someday, The Atkinson Family, Otisco Valley Breakdown, and Delaney Brothers Bluegrass. Each band performed a set that ran for around 50 minutes, Lundberg said.
“It’s (the festival) just tradition,” said Scott Corbett, guitarist for Delaney Brothers Bluegrass. “It’s the perfect Americana setting, people come to enjoy and bring their families.”
This is the 23rd year that the band has been performing at the festival.
The festival has been scaled down over the years, Lundberg said. “We (the festival) used to have a large stage and large crowds.”
Other than the size of the stage and crowd, Lundberg said he believes the festival has been successful because it never changes.
“We’re happy to see it’s still here,” Lundberg said.
“It’s not my first year here but I haven’t been in a few years,” said Francis Cain, of Homer, who came to listento the bands. “Traditional bluegrass music is entertaining.”
For the past 25 years the event has been sponsored by WXHC radio, said Bruce Eves, co-owner of WXHC. “The festival gives a unique Americana you can only find on the green,” Eves said.
Around 50 people could be found in the crowd gathered to watch the music.
“It’s been a pleasure bringing traditional bluegrass to the village,” Lundberg said. “Things like this don’t happen a lot anymore. I think they would happen if more places were like Homer.”
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