Annual Bluegrass Festival returns to Niles

Published 6:00 am Saturday, July 9, 2022

NILES — The sounds of guitars and fiddles filled the air around the amphitheater at Riverfront Park as day two of the 20th annual Niles Bluegrass festival got underway Friday afternoon.

Organized by the Riverfront Optimist Club, the festival, which began Thursday, July 7 and ends Sunday, July 10, features several popular bluegrass and Americana acts as well as food and beverage vendors.

ROC president Josh Sitarz was happy to see the event return to the park.

“I’m passionate about it, I love all the members and everyone involved in this festival loves what we do,” he said. “They love just coming here; each and every year we have the same volunteers that show up because they like helping us out. They like putting this on for the community because you can really tell that it makes a difference in the community. Kids come down here, families come down. People come to listen to bluegrass music. It’s just, it’s something that they look forward to each and every year.”

This year’s festival serves as a return to normalcy for many festival goers, who last saw a Bluegrass Festival without restrictions back in 2019. The festival was canceled in 2020 and returned in a limited format last year.

“In 2019, the turn out here was amazing,” Sitarz said. “The crowd was probably shoulder to shoulder. (In 2021) we came back with Riverfest and the Bluegrass festival with a different look; it wasn’t fully what we wanted. But I think we found dates that work this year and a good mix of stuff in between both festivals.”

Below is the remaining festival lineup:

Saturday, July 9th

12:00 pm – Open Mic with The Redbuds

1:00 pm – Phil Anderson

2:00 pm – Backwater Revival

3:00 pm – Deadwood

4:00 pm – Water Street Wranglers

5:00 pm – P.Scott and The Prairie Dogs

6:30 pm – Jesse Manns and the Bluegrass Band 

7:30 pm – Deadwood

8:15 pm – Jesse Manns and the Bluegrass Band 

9:15 pm – Water Street Wranglers

Stage closes at 10:15 pm

Sunday, July 10th

11:00 am – The Speros House Christian Service

12:30 pm – St. Joe Jack

2:00 pm – P. Scott & The Prairie dogs

4:00 pm – Stage closes

The Niles Summer Concert Series has its weekly concerts at 6 p.m. Sunday.