Seminole Wind Bluegrass Festival, located on the Seminole Indian Reservation outside Okeechobee,
FL, had its second run this weekend with much improved attendance, good enthusiasm, and excellent music. The festival is kocated in the Fred Smith Rodeo Arena, capable of providing more than adequate seating for several thousand bluegrass fans without being stretched and surrounded by palm trees and additional shade provided by traditional chickee huts. The vast fields of well-tended grass surround the area provide room for almost unlimited rough camping along with roughly twenty-five full hookup sites and a few water and electric sites. There's a snack bar operated by the tribe (try the grilled all-beef Hebrew National hot dogs) as well as booths and other spaces for both food and craft vendors. It's a wonderful site for a bluegrass festival and also used for Indian rodeos, a field day weekend, concerts, and so on. The tribe provides friendly hospitality for a fine weekend.
Seminole tribal officials make sure to provide opportunities for visitors to experience and understand the Seminole tribe and life on the reservation. Pedro Zapeda was building a dugout canoe under a traditional chickee hut behind the Fred Smith Arena. He took time to explain to an interested group of early arrivals to the festival his work on the reservation, the process of building the canoe, and other elements of reservation life and history.
Established only a few years ago, Highway 41 South has worked hard and established itself as one of the foremost bands playing traditional bluegrass and classic country in Florida. They play a busy schedule which has led to their becoming increasingly tight musically and to extending their repertoire. They have been opening for major national bands when they appear in the region and appearing at bluegrass festivals and other venues across the state.
More Bluegrass Babes
Sue Schellhass, Irene Lehmann, Dottie Joyce
Nonie Hale, LaRon Rogers, Keith Bass
Keith Bass & the Florida Bluegrass Express
The Little Roy & Lizzy Show
Little Roy & Lizzy