After getting our chairs situated on the grass near the main stage, we walked around a bit. The first band we checked out was on one of the small side stages - "The Belleville Outfit". They were a young group from Austin, TX. We really enjoyed them. Kind of a New Orleans style jazz with a Texan twist.
Then we stopped by the all important Food Tent to say hey to Brandon's brother, Derek and his wife, Jana. They were working at their church's food station. They do it every year, and put in some major hours over the whole weekend, but it is a great fundraiser for the church. I just wish others would step up to the plate so that Derek and Jana wouldn't have to work as many hours and could actually enjoy the festival some too. But as usual with any group, the same people volunteer each year. I am learning that more and more in our own church :).
Anyway, after seeing a few acts by the main stage and grabbing a "snack", we headed to see a band Brandon had heard on the radio and really wanted to see - "The Steeldrivers". They were really good too. And the bonus with them is that they were playing inside! So, we got to cool down for an hour, which was awesome! And by the time we got out of there, the sun was already starting to go down and it was really nice out.
We checked out some of the vendor tents on the way back to the main stage. I got a big floppy hat - perfect for the beach!, and Brandon got a Merlefest t-shirt. Then we grabbed some dinner, and pretty much camped out in our chairs the rest of the evening. Doc Watson was on the main stage doing a tribute to his son, Merle, the reason Merlefest exists. It was amazing to watch him play, since he is blind. Then Emmylou Harris came on. A lot of people loved her, but I wasn't that impressed. She was older, and I guess you could say I am more into the younger more upbeat artists. Sam Bush closed out the show, and that was awesome! Just watching his fingers go on that mandolin is amazing!!
We headed out a little after midnight - Derek and Jana were closing out at the food station as well. We got to the in-laws house, said goodnight, took showers and crashed for the night. I haven't slept that good in a long time! Brandon even let me slept until 9:45am. It meant I had to rush around and get ready for church, but it was worth it.
So, I think Merlefest will probably see me again :)