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Bluegrass Festival worth repeating

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Any assessment of Vandalia’s first National Road Bluegrass Festival is, for the most part, subjective.

Some people say that the crowds weren’t that big, and there wasn’t a lot to see or do.

Others would say that the festival was a big success, and that it’s worth repeating.

In reality, it would probably fall somewhere between the two.

True, the crowds were nothing like the Grande Levée, the period celebration traditionally held on the same weekend. In fairness, the scope of the Bluegrass Festival was minor in comparison to the period celebration.

But festival organizers did put together something that many people found enjoyable.

The festival featured a number of quality musicians, a lot of good food and some quality artists and crafts people. The barbecue cook-off was popular attraction, both in terms of the number of cooks and the number of people present for the judging.

The weather certainly didn’t help the event. When it wasn’t pouring down rain, the heat and humidity made it somewhat uncomfortable.

Also, festivals being held in other, nearby communities also likely had an impact on the turnout.

Is the festival worth repeating? Our initial thought is, yes, it is.

Of course, one factor is state funding provided for the Vandalia Statehouse. If the funds aren’t there, the Grande Levée’s one-year hiatus could turn out to be more than that.

Yet, even if funds for our community’s period celebration are restored, the National Road Bluegrass Festival could still remain on the calendar, but on a different date. Something like this could be held in the spring or fall.

It’s at least worth taking a good, hard look at.

rb