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A Wonderful World of Bluegrass Music Found High in the Rockies

Established in 1900 by pioneer and land developer James Harvey Crawford, Steamboat Springs has grown into a destination perfect for adventure seekers and outdoor enthusiasts. Also known as Ski Town USA, the city features more than 3,000 skiable acres at Steamboat Resort and the largest ski jumping complex in America at Howelsen Ski Area. No trip to this winter wonderland would be complete without taking a dip in the hot springs at Old Town Hot Springs.


WinterWonderGrass has established itself as one of the top bluegrass music events in the region over the past six years, and it will take place February 23-25 in Steamboat Springs, CO, and April 6-8 in Squaw Valley, CA. This year’s Steamboat edition will include more than 25 performing acts playing live on four stages including headliner performances by Greensky Bluegrass, Elephant Revival, and Yonder Mountain String Band. The event also features a craft beer festival showcasing more than 20 regional craft breweries and cider houses. Beverages will be available in three heated tents, each with a stage where performers will play 30-minute sets. Hungry concert-goers will find a variety of local food trucks serving something for everyone. Those attending with the entire family should stop by the kid's tent that has arts, crafts, games, activities, and more. A portion of the event's proceeds will go to local nonprofits such as the Routt County United Way, local environmental programs, The Shane McConkey Foundation, and more. We interviewed Event Representative, Jennifer Brazill, to learn more about this one-of-a-kind concert experience.


RAL: How long has the event been running?

JB: WinterWonderGrass started in Edwards, Colorado in 2013, and is celebrating its 6th year in its new home, Steamboat Springs. We are also celebrating our 4th year at Squaw Valley in North Lake Tahoe.


RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?

JB: We always have a sold-out crowd. We'll see about 18,000 attendees overall (6,000 per day).


RAL: What demographic does your event attract? Children? Families? Couples?

JB: The event attracts fans of all ages! Children 12 and under are free with a parent or guardian, and families are encouraged to come and celebrate together. We also offer free tickets to seniors over 75. We often see couples on weekend getaways as well as groups of friends from all over the country. It's family friendly and fun for all ages!


RAL: What makes this event unique?

JB: WinterWonderGrass is a three-day music and craft beer festival that's outdoors in the winter. The festival takes place at the base of two of the most acclaimed ski resorts in the country at Steamboat Resorts and Squaw Valley. Each festival features local craft breweries from both California and Colorado. Our attendees can come straight from a day on the mountain and wear their snow gear while dancing into the night. It's the ultimate apres-ski event!


RAL: Take me through a day at the event. What can I expect as an attendee?

JB: The doors open and music begins at 2:00 pm each day. There are four stages featuring bluegrass artists from 2:00-10:00 pm each day, a kids tent with arts and crafts, corn row, a VIP tent, and more.


RAL: What dining options will attendees encounter?

JB: We have food trucks with meal options varying from vegan to BBQ and everything in between.


RAL: Are there any lodging specials that are set up for the event?

JB: You can seek lodging deals here. The best options at both festivals are condos so fans can share the experience and the cost.


RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?

JB: The festival brings over 6,000 people to town, and fans visit the local restaurants, bars, hotels, stores, etc.


RAL: Does the event support a particular cause in the community?

JB: WinterWonderGrass supports many nonprofits at both festivals. In Colorado, they support the Routt County United Way, Partners of Routt County, and local environmental programs. In North Lake Tahoe, the event supports the Shane McConkey Foundation, Arts for The Schools, and Tahoe Fund. Follow the link to find out more.


RAL: Does lodging hit max occupancy during the event?

JB: Lodging does hit capacity at both resorts and is sold out each year!


RAL: Why should people come to your event?

JB: WinterWonderGrass Festival is so unique, that you'll find nothing like it! Three days of music, skiing, craft beers, libations, winter nights and bluegrass tunes.  Friends come year after year for the memories.  We have sold out every year since the festival began and have already sold out Steamboat for 2018!


For more information about WinterWonderGrass, please visit the event website.