Music was the order of the day in Midway over the weekend as the 5th Annual Midway Music Festival filled the arena with music and the park across Seventh Avenue with RVs.
It is billed as an Old Country-Western Bluegrass weekend and it doesn’t disappoint. Many very talented musicians and singers came across the stage to play short sets during the three-day event.
The festival was organized by Vic and Brenda Lepinski from Grand Forks and Dave and Birdie Lyle of Midway. The soundman was Hans Devos and Jim Young headed up security.
Vic and Brenda are members of the BC Old Time Fiddlers (www.bcfiddlers.com) Branch #9 based out of Castlegar. For the past 11 years the branch has presented a five-day fiddle, piano and guitar workshop at the Castlegar campus of Selkirk College in July. This year they had nine instructors and 79 students taking part. The workshop caters to a broad range of fiddling skill levels from the novice to the professional.
Breakfast was available on both weekend mornings and a Saturday evening dinner sold over 100 plates.
This year Midway doubled the rent for festival organizers from $500 to $1,000 after assessing what the costs were to the village. “We are a few rigs short this year so it’s pretty tight,” said Vic, but whatever money is left over after expenses we donate to local groups.”
“We get nothing for doing this,” echoed Brenda. “Just the pleasure of making people happy. We love music.”
“We wanted it in Midway because a lot of the bluegrass festivals wouldn’t let people play different instruments,” she added. “Here we allow them to play piano, organ, whatever they want to play as long as it is our kind of music. “
“We don’t have too many rules,” said Vic. “Our motto at Midway is ‘Respect other people’s property and have fun.”