HARPERSFIELD TOWNSHIP — The choices of music genre were wide this weekend as Music Along the River took over the Harpersfield Metropark for a jam fest that lasted for more than two days.
“It is a social art,” Mike Koval said while jamming Bluegrass music with several friends along the Grand River.
“We meet a lot of people (and) we go a lot of places,” said Jack Stanton of Newbury Township.
Koval said he ran into a family he hadn’t seen in 25 years on Saturday during the music event. He said there are a lot of musical events to chose from. “If you want to, you could get to one every weekend,” he said.
Rick Campbell, of Geneva, said he has been playing his guitar for 50 years and has his own band. He said he enjoys playing with others in relaxed setting.
Laura Fidel, chairwoman of the committee that organizes the event, said the committee tries to keep it “simple.”
“We solicit some people for our main stage and open stage but we really like it when people just come and jam,” she said.
A wide variety of music is performed during the weekend including Old Time Appalachia Band, Scandanavian music, light rock and folk and even Swing was represented, she said.
“We had a Celtic jam last year,” she said.
Fidel said the event is free and costs are met by donations of those who attend. She said the North Coast Voice assists the event and the Ashtabula County Metroparks allow them to use the park.
Jerry Grusel, of Idaho, times his two-month trips to Ohio around the event. “I grew up in Northeastern Ohio and I come back every summer,” he said.
“I love this festival because it is extremely laid back and traditional,” Grusel said. He said internet reception is sparse and there aren’t any high level sound systems.
“People have to be quiet and listen to the music,” he said.
Deb Muzik, of Perry, also helps organize the event and loves the relaxed atmosphere.
“I like that it is small and intimate,” she said.