Last chance to jam at Wakarusa Bluegrass Festival

Friday night kicks off the 11th annual Wakarusa Bluegrass Festival. After over a decade of bringing bluegrass music to Elkhart County this is the last year for the party.

Founders Ed and Ellie Tom say they have been running this event happily over the years, but as they are getting older it's a lot for them to manage. They say they would love for someone to step up and take the torch so the tradition will continue.

“Blue grass is just good American roots music, bluegrass originated in this country and people love it," says Carl Miller of Niles.  "It's just something we have a lot of fun with and something you can feel good about."

Miller has been playing bluegrass music for decades.  Founder Ed Tom brought acts like Miller to Elkhart County. 

“We had been having the little bluegrass jams once a month and she said dad why don't you do a festival,” says Ed Tom. 

Tom's family inspired him to start the festival back in 2005 giving local musicians and music lovers a chance to bond over acoustic sounds.

“Most of us that are playing we all know each other and we meet up at different jams and enjoy the music,” says Miller.   

Summer 2015 will be the last time the Wakarusa Bluegrass Festival brings up to 800 people to State Road 19.

“There are just something that we take care of ourselves and it's beginning to overload us. We have approached the town of Wakarusa and at this point in time no one has stepped forward,” says Tom. 

In the meantime, Miller says if you are in the mood for some good ole American music he would love to share it with you one last time. 

“I think we did good. I think it was a good time and we contributed something to the community while we were here,” says Miller. 

The Wakarusa Bluegrass festival will be Friday through Sunday. Saturday is the only day with an admission and will offer a line up of Regional Bluegrass bands. For more information on the event and how you can get involved if you want to see this tradition continue click here
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