BY JIM STEARNS
If you’re looking for an optimum summer weekend, consider Salmonfest, set for July 31 through Aug. 2, as a great opportunity. The Kenai Peninsula is one of Alaska’s favorite playgrounds, and when you combine family, friends, music and food you’ve got the perfect ingredients for something quite exceptional.
Taking place once again at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik, this year’s festival boasts one of the most incredible lineups ever assembled in Alaska. Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell and their band will be topping the list as they come into the 2015 festival season on the heels of yet another Grammy award for top Americana album, Old Yellow Moon. This is Harris’ 14th Grammy in a variety of genres over the past four decades and yet another one for Crowell as well.
Other headliners include Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe. Denson, just off the road from playing the sax with the Rolling Stones on its recent international tour, promises to close out the show with energy and style on Saturday night.
Friday night features The Motet from Colorado, a dynamic live Afrobeat and funk act with a growing reputation and following. The Motet is as excited about coming to Salmonfest as we are to have them.
Other national acts include the MarchFourth Marching Band who bring a passionate display of audio and visual creativity and energy that will leave people of all ages and musical tastes dancing and smiling. Another major national act is the super group The New Orleans Suspects, comprised of members from the James Brown Band, The Neville Brothers, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band and the Radiators. Other national acts include The California Honeydrops, Great American Taxi, The Dirty River Ramblers, Moonalice and more.
But local talent isn’t being left behind at Salmonfest. After all, the event is homegrown, Alaska style. Dozens of top Alaska acts are being added to the lineup and the large, talented and diverse lineup that will be gracing four stages over three days and nights promises to deliver something for everyone at most anytime.
Some of the most exquisite cuisine, art and Alaska crafted beers will be available throughout the festival grounds.
If, for some reason, you need a break from the endless music or the stream of smiling faces wandering from place to place, you can wander the beaches of the Kenai Peninsula, pull out a fishing pole and catch a salmon in Deep Creek or the Ninilchik River. Or just chill out at your campsite and go back and forth to the festival as you are so inclined. There are hundreds of campsites within walking distance of the festival, and hundreds more that are covered by our constant complimentary shuttle service that runs day and night.
Spend a weekend with friends, family and the extended festival family at the event of the summer. Watch the website for consistent updates on campgrounds, cabins, shuttle schedule and many other of the components that will make Salmonfest an unforgettable summer weekend where pragmatism and responsibility get put aside for a few days as we embrace some of the often neglected qualities of our shared humanity.
Join us for a weekend of song, dance, delight, a little craziness, spirit, love, fish, music, imagination, goofiness, family, friends and fun.
Don’t hesitate to reach out with questions, comments or suggestions as you plan your visit to Salmonfest in Ninilchik on the Kenai Peninsula for what we promise will be a memorable and magical summer weekend.
Much information is available and being consistently updated at salmonfestalaska.org and/or at Facebook at facebook.com/salmonfestalaska. Or call 907-435-7154.