Skiing and Strings: WinterWonderGrass

Think blueglass solely belongs to summer? Here's a different and delightful viewpoint.

FIDDLES AND FINE WEATHER: How exactly would you define the notion of "fine weather"? Are there dandelions popping up on the hillsides, and bluebirds in the trees, and are flowers flowering and creeks burbling and are your shoulders and knees showing, the better to take in some sunshine? And would you be listening to bluegrass, outside, which people frequently do during the warmer months? Yep, you're not alone: Many people would go to that definition, choosing a high of about 78 degrees and some al fresco tuneage and more sunshine than cloud cover. But a fine day, for a fan of frosty living, isn't necessarily about heat and sun. It often involves snow, and skiing, and bundling up, and a spot by a fireplace. As for the summer-style tunes, like bluegrass, a form that rules July and August at outdoor amphitheaters around the country? Well, those can happen on occasion, too, most notably at Squaw Valley over the first weekend in spring. True, WinterWonderGrass isn't in the chilliest heart of winter, but there is skiing to be done, and the donning of snowshoes if that's your thing, in addition to catching some really excellent, old-timey masters of the twang. Those twang purveyors will converge, bows and fiddles in hand, at the Lake Tahoe-close destination from March 20 through 22 for another big, joyful round of WinterWonderGrass.

HEATED BEER TENTS: The beer tent is a symbol of a summertime show, and that's still around, despite the chillier clime and time. But this one is heated, and there's actually two of 'em. So sip your craft beer and take in the likes of The Infamous Stringdusters and Elephant Revival, The California Honey Drops, and other bands. As for the bluegrassy tickets? You can buy standalones for the show or you can combine them with a ski package. Really, how often is skiing combined with that summer stalwart of bluegrass good-time-having? Not nearly enough. Be happy that WinterWonderGrass is making a stand in the snowy mountains for the not-too-controversial notion that bluegrass is to be enjoyed year-round, not just when knees are showing and bluebirds are singing in the trees.

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