Worth the Drive: Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Contest

By Christy Orgeta
|  Monday, Aug 9, 2010  |  Updated 12:11 PM PDT
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Worth the Drive: Great Day Trips and Nearby Getaways

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Your job: Decide to get out of town and fast. Our job: Help you find where you're headed. This week, Worth the Drive takes us to...

Bluegrass Beginnings: Hidden in California’s Santa Monica Mountains is Topanga Canyon, a home to writers, artists and musicians alike. Also in Topanga Canyon is the birthplace of the Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Contest. The festival began in 1961 and at the time attracted just 26 five-string banjo pickers, five fiddlers and four judges. 

50 Years Later: These days, the festival now resides in Paramount Ranch and welcomes more than just banjos and fiddles. Listen to over 150 instrumental and singing contestants, spend the day dancing away, listening to poetry, jamming out or strolling around.

Save the Date: Sunday, May 16 from 9:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m.

Pack a Lunch: Feel free to bring a cooler packed with goodies from home. For the less culinary inclined, food is available on site. We’re talking Trip-Tip, American and Spanish fare, as well as treats like kettle corn, shaved ice, cotton candy and ice cream.

B.Y.O.B: Bring your own beverages! While alcohol is not sold on site, beer and wine are allowed to be brought in small amounts. Remember, this is a family event-- drink responsibly.

Something to Bring Home: Support the local artists and peruse all the folk art and merchant booths. You can never go wrong with handmade wares.

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