I spent the weekend at the Sertoma Youth Ranch in Brookesville at the 10th annual Riverhawk Bluegrass Festival. It was amazing!
My good friend, Loren, invited me to go and camp with her family & friends and do a little hooping. We had a blast. Loren’s mom, Debbie, is learning the fiddle & her boyfriend, Joe, plays a mean banjo. In between the bands on stage we were lucky enough to enjoy their ‘pickin’. There are few things in life that feel better than sitting around a fire while people make music together. I have been to lots of festivals before, but this one was different. I loved how small it was. Everyone was super friendly and there were lots of good neighborly vibes.
We brought hoops out and had fun playing with people of all ages. One little girl, named Sadie, hardly came past my knee but was hooping her little heart. I loved it! The funniest thing was probably watching the grown men try. I give everybody an A for effort and a gold star for sharing the laughter with us. A couple of determined dudes were even vortexing before the weekend was over. It was a ton of fun. My heart almost jumped out of my chest when one guy wanted his picture taken with “the best hula hooper in the world”. Somewhere out there is a very sweaty picture of me with a thumbs up. lol I can’t wait to see what pictures and videos pop up in the next couple of days.
The music at this festival was so much fun. My favorites were a group out of Orlando, Jubal’s Kin, and a trio of sisters from Ontario called Searson. I never knew how much I love the fiddle until I watched the vocalist of Jubal’s Kin and one of the searson sisters ROCKING OUT. Searson also did some “step dancing” together. It wasn’t like the step dancing I had seen, which is more of a hip hop style. This was like a drum solo with tap shoes. They’d be together in unison, and then one would pop forward for a solo, and then they’d be back in perfect time. Those girls were incredible. It was also great to see a band out of Austin, Carolyn Wonderland, I felt closer to home during their blues set.
Loren and I shared the coziest and COOLEST place I’ve ever had the pleasure of snoozing in, camping style – the bed of Joe’s 1949 Ford Pick up truck. He built an awesome wooden topper on it, and it became the perfect place to pass out after a long day of pickin’ and hoopin’. Hopefully I can find some pictures of it to share soon.
I met some really cool people and did a little networking. I’m looking forward to spending more time with new friends, and exchanging ideas with other folks in the hoop community. Next year, I plan on staying for the whole week, and possibly trying to arrange a hoop booth or a daily group hoop.
I am so grateful to Loren, Debbie, Joe, and Joe’s family for being so incredibly hospitable and introducing me to a new favorite festival. I’m starting off the week with a Riverhawk buzz.