Hay There, Olalla Bluegrass Festival Happening After All

Additional volunteers are needed for set-up and other tasks.
By Chris Henry
In November, it seemed the popular Olalla Bluegrass Festival would be silenced for 2010. Exhaustion on the part of the core group that had kept it going for nearly two decades was the cause.
Since then, new folks have stepped forward to fill the void, and the festival is back on the calendar, set for Aug. 21.
The event, which began in 1991, draws hundreds each year to the South Kitsap Southern Little League field for a day of bluegrass music, vendors and berry pie eating. Planning begins eight months in advance.
Marty Kellogg, who wore many hats as festival director for a number of years, announced this fall he was stepping down. The new director, according to Secretary George Willock, is Larry Davis. Michael Reardon is second-in command. Marcia Doran is treasurer. Other key positions — including Willock’s — have been filled as well.
Willock, a Southworth resident, has been a regular festival attendee for years. He has helped with small tasks, but felt moved to do more.
“I’m happy that it’s going to happen,” said Willock, “It’s just a quality event. I really enjoy the bands. I enjoy the atmosphere. It’s small enough, it’s kind of warm and friendly. It has the feel of a party. I like the fact that it attracts a wide variety of people, rich people, poor people, families, whatever.”
Kellogg and festival founder Charlee Glock-Johnson will remain involved, Willock said, but the committee’s new goal will be to minimize burn-out by distributing the labor.
To recruit new volunteers, Glock-Jackson wrote job descriptions of each task involved in putting on the festival. The Web site has been updated and now includes an online volunteer registration form. As of the central committee’s most recent meeting, the former handful of weary volunteers had swelled to a group 18-strong, and most of the tasks, large and small, had been spoken for.
The committee still is lacking volunteers for three important positions: volunteer coordinator, vendor coordinator and program editor.
Proceeds from the Olalla Bluegrass Festival support upkeep of the Olalla Community Club. The festival committee also donates to local organizations, such as scout groups, school groups and other South Kitsap community needs.
To find out more about the festival or to volunteer, log on to http://www.olallabluegrass.com.

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