Last weekend Adams County was able to, yet again, host a unique event–the 8th annual SkinnyFest. 

The event is a bluegrass festival started by a group of friends and music-lovers, with the goal of promoting bluegrass music in a festival environment at no cost to the public.  This year was clearly a high point for the festival. Upon arrival to Elmo Valley Campground, the sense of an official setup and atmosphere of a bluegrass festival was undeniable.  Anyone who has been to a “big-box” bluegrass festival would have had to agree.

In the early years, the music involved only jam sessions; but with help from generous sponsors and donors, the lineup has grown to encompass various local acts and several professional bands.  In addition to host band The Kepp Road Boys, the following provided the stellar entertainment for the weekend: Slippery Creek, The Edgar Loudermilk Bank, Poplar Ridge, Gary Strong and Hard Times, The Bluegrass Mafia, SideTrak, Lacy Creek, 7Mile Bluegrass, NightFlyer, ClayBank, The Longtime Drifters, Master’s Bouquet, The Clay Hess Band, and Turning Ground.  Not only was the music top-notch, but with Kelly’s Kitchen in charge of edibles, the food was given rave reviews.

Many people volunteered their time and effort to help serve in various capacities so that every part of the festival could function smoothly and efficiently. Instead of dealing with the usual two or more days of rain, the crowd gladly welcomed the forecast of unseasonably warm temperatures and sunshine. 

Although there is much more to mention, the story of the weekend was the record turnout. Upon entry, door prize tickets were distributed to most, but not all, who attended. The ticket counts were: Thursday – 181, Friday – 514, and Saturday – 794. It was estimated that around 200 people per day were not given tickets. This included campers already in the gate, staff members who arrived early, and people who passed by without claiming a ticket.  With that said, Saturday’s count was at nearly, or maybe over, 1,000. Grammy award-winning guitarist Clay Hess (jokingly) proclaimed from the stage: “This must be the number one industry in Adams County.”

With spurting growth the last several years, the committee has decided that a new site is completely necessary. Please stay tuned for an announcement of the date and location for next year’s event. As Skinny might say, “It’s gonna be a good one!”

Submitted by David Vogler


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