The Montana Rockies Bluegrass Association is hosting its yearly bluegrass festival and fundraiser at Lone Rock School Saturday.

Mike Conroy, president of the Montana Rockies Bluegrass Association, said the festival will be loaded with music.

“We have 18 bands that volunteer so we can have lots of fun and raise money for the year,” Conroy said. “For some of the bands, this will be their first time on stage and others are seasoned professionals that play for a living. There will be lots of music and lots of jamming.”

The festival begins at noon with the band, “Kids in Bluegrass.”

“Any kids from around the northwest get up, perform and take turns playing to show the shape of bluegrass these days,” Conroy said. “I give lessons and there will be a bunch of my students playing banjo, fiddle and mandolin.”

Each band plays for 25 minutes for a day filled with music that lasts until 8:30 p.m.

Bands on the schedule include: noon – Kids in Bluegrass, 12:30 p.m. – Holtzens and Bluegrass 101, 1 p.m. – Windy Ridge, 1:30 p.m. Darby Sireens, 2 p.m. – Pinegrass, 2:30 p.m. Skookumchuck Bear Claws,

3 p.m. – Accousticals, 3:30 p.m. Mike & Tari Conroy Band, 4 p.m. – Lockwood, 4:30 p.m. Fred and Emily Frank, 5 p.m. – Spring Thaw, 5:30 p.m. Flatgrass, 6 p.m. Salmon Valley String Band, 6:30 p.m. – Silver Gravelys, 7 p.m. – Montana Ramblers, 7:30 p.m. – The Loose String Band and 8 p.m. – River City Ramblers.

Fundraising is important to the association of about 350 members.

“Support for our association has been wonderful,” Conroy said. “We sponsor jams in the winter, a camp out in the summer, this bluegrass festival and hootenannies. Our mission statement sums up the association – we are a nonprofit association dedicated to promoting, preserving and sharing our love of bluegrass music in a spirit of family and friendship.”

Conroy said the Montana Rockies Bluegrass Festival started in Victor and then moved to Stevensville.

“Then we settled in the Lone Rock School, which really is a perfect fit,” Conroy said. “It’s old-timey and they really welcome us with open arms. They let us practice and jam and get ready in extra rooms.”

The performances will be given indoors with food available for purchase and plenty of seating.

“Our nearly famous home cooked turkey sandwich will be featured with many other items,” Conroy said. “Maybe bring a pad for your seat. Only the diehards can sit through 18 bands. Our plan was to have an old time bluegrass festival geared for family. It costs $5 for the whole day for non-members, $3 for members kids under age 12 are free.”

Lone Rock School is located at 1112 Three Mile Creek. To get there, drive 5.5 miles northeast of Stevensville on Eastside Highway, then three miles up Three Mile Creek. There will be signs to follow. For more information visit online mtbluegrass.com, hardtimesbluegrass.com or call (406)821-3777.

Reach reporter Michelle McConnaha at 363-3300 or michelle.mcconnaha@ravallirepublic.com.

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Reporter at The Ravalli Republic