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Stowhouse Sets Stage for Boot-Stompin’ Old-Time Fiddlers’ Convention and Festival

The Old-Time Fiddlers’ Convention and Festival celbrates American musical heritage. Click to view larger
The Old-Time Fiddlers’ Convention and Festival celbrates American musical heritage. (Rob Hoffman / Rob Hoffman photo)

The 44th Annual Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention and Festival, a celebration of traditional American music, will take place Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015. 

The family-friendly festival, held in the beautiful gardens of Rancho La Patera & Stow House, features all day entertainment, one of the premier old-time music contests on the West Coast, free workshops taught by some of the best teachers in the industry, opportunities to jam with other musicians and much more.

This year’s performance stage lineup includes Grammy-winner Kathy Kallick Band and Bay area group Front Country, who recently garnered rave reviews by the International Bluegrass Music Association. 

Additionally, guests will enjoy the old-time sound of the Joe Sands Fontenot Creole Cajun Band and local Bluegrass favorites Ventucky String Band, as well as the Salt Martians.

The ambition of the festival is to share and preserve American heritage music, an important part of our country’s rich cultural history, and to encourage a new generation of performers. 

Musicians of all skill levels are encouraged to participate in the old-time competition, which is free to enter with admission. Categories of entry include old-time fiddling, traditional banjo, traditional singing, flat-pick guitar, band performance, traditional mandolin and other folk instrument (dulcimer, autoharp, jaw harp, etc.).

The festival is well-loved by the community of musicians who bond with impromptu jam sessions and instrument-specific workshops taught by industry leaders such as Annie Staninec, who was recently named Instrumentalist of the Year at the International Bluegrass Music Association Awards. 

Other talented instructors will teach a variety of workshops including clogging, swing fiddle and old-time fiddle.

Local vendors and crafts will be available for purchase along with delicious barbecue from Georgia’s Smokehouse, ice cream from Sugar & Salt Creamery, wine by Windrun and beer from Telegraph Brewing Company.

The evening before the festival, the Goodland Hotel is hosting a casual kick-off in The Good Bar with the Ventucky String Band from 6–8 p.m. The community is invited to begin the celebration of music with the no-host happy hour celebration.

The festival has a long history from its beginnings at UCSB by founder Peter Feldmann.  

The festival is now produced by Goleta Valley Historical Society, stewards of Rancho La Patera & Stow House, with support from previous organizers, the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara Sunrise. 

Rancho La Patera, a popular location for festivals and concerts, has become the focal point of Goleta Valley’s rich and ethnically diverse history for the thousands of visitors that tour annually. 

The treasured landmark offers a rare opportunity to experience ranch life during the early twentieth century. Rancho La Patera is located at 304 North Los Carneros Road in Goleta. 

Tickets to the festival are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors, $5 for students and free for children and members of Goleta Valley Historical Society.  

For more information contact or 805.681.7216.

— Dacia Harwood represents the 44th Annual Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention and Festival.

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