Holiday Tradition

SHERMAN – Which performer will make it big after this year’s Great Blue Heron Music Festival?

Attendees can see all of the acts and choose for themselves as the 23rd annual festival takes place Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Tickets are available at the gate for $90 for the weekend, or $40 for Friday, $40 for Saturday and $30 for Sunday. There will be no charge for children under 12.

According to David Tidquist, festival entertainment director, a number of bands who played the event in previous years have gone national, including Rusted Root, The Avett Brothers and last year’s festival headliners, Lake Street Dive.

“We have bands that have never been (largely recognized), and hope to continue the tradition of capturing them before they go big,” Tidquist said. “One band we’re excited about is The Ragbirds.”

Tidquist felt that although The Ragbirds have been around for a while, they have a sound that “could click.”

This year, crowd favorites Donna the Buffalo, The Town Pants, The Horse Flies and Jimkata will be performing, among many others.Spanned across more than 400 acres, the festival features a variety of musical performances on three stages, campsites, a spring-fed pond for swimming and miles of forested trails. The festival will also include instrument workshops, square dancing and zydeco dancing lessons, activities for children and teens and vendors offering clothing, jewelry, musical instruments and unique gifts, as well as a wide variety of fresh-cooked food.

“We try to expand all areas of the festival every year, to always give people more than they’re used to,” Tidquist said. “This year, we’ve expanded programs for kids and teens and have more instructors for teaching instrument workshops.”

Roughly 5,000 paying attendees are expected, and over 800 volunteers are working to make the festival happen.

“We have been doing the festival for so long that people who were kids when we started now bring their own kids,” Tidquist said. “We’ve established a nice community up there and we continue to grow and improve it.”

The festival’s address is 2361 Waits Corners Road in Sherman.

Camping and parking passes can be purchased at the gate.

For a complete schedule and additional pricing, visit www.greatblueheron.com.