Bluegrass and dad |

Bluegrass and dad

Small groups of people from all walks of life huddled together to play banjos, fiddles and acoustic guitars from the shelter of a tent city mushrooming up from the forest floor at the county fairgrounds.

Fathers from across the west were there, too, many with their children to attend the 33rd Annual Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival.

This was the 16th year amateur banjo player Robert Cornelius and his family from the Santa Cruz mountains have made a special trip to Grass Valley to attend the music festival.

“This is a great time to spend with children. We’re away from the television and we just come out, play music and enjoy each other’s company,” Cornelius said, who has five children.

This was the first year his grown daughter, 24, came to the festival with her new husband.

Another father, Morgan Cowin of San Rafael, was found playing the saw with a group of musicians in a sunny tent, with no offspring in sight. This is his sixth year visiting the bluegrass festival in Nevada County.

“I am doing something for myself. This is one of my favorite therapies,” Cowin said.

Ron Sager and his wife, Stacy, and three children Soloman, Emmalia and Gabe traveled from the town of Buckeye, Arizona, to sit on the grass and hear the band Blue Highway perform.

Sager reflected on parenthood as his blond moppy haired two-year-old boy squirmed in his lap. What has it taught him?

“How to deal with poopy diapers while the dog is barfing and another kid is writing with a sharpie on the floor,” he mused.

Sager plans to spend Father’s Day with breakfast in the camper they rented for the blues fest.

The festival continues through Sunday afternoon. Admission is $40 on Saturday and $30 on Sunday. For more information, visit online at or call (916) 989- 0993.

To contact Staff Writer Laura Brown, e-mail or call 477-4231.


Remembering a father’s matter-of-fact kindness and easy generosity. A5

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User