Music in the mountains

DARRINGTON — The annual Darrington Bluegrass Festival has attracted musicians and audiences to this mountain town since the mid-1970s. In recent years, those attending have numbered around 7,000 during the three-day event. Many bring along their instruments for impromptu jam sessions on the festival grounds, located along Highway 530 west of Darrington.

In 1989, the “father” of bluegrass music Bill Monroe performed at the festival for audiences that packed the amphitheater, which is situated along the Stillaguamish River and boosts a beautiful view of Whitehorse Mountain.

The 37th annual festival features Virginia-based Ralph Stanley II, son of the great banjo player Ralph Stanley.

Ralph Stanley II plays tonight and tomorrow evening at the festival. Also from Virginia, Junior Sisk and Ramblers Choice are on stage today and tomorrow, as are Wayne Taylor and Appaloosa from North Carolina and The Chapmans from Missouri.

Among the regional bands in the lineup are Darrington’s own Combinations, Blueberry Hill from Stanwood, Northern Departure from Brier, Rural Delivery of Bremerton, Joyful Noise from Sedro-Woolley and High and Lonesome from Seattle.

Ticket prices vary. More information is available at 360-436-1006 or

— Herald staff

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