Youngsters are masters at the art of “parade.” Photo by Mari Erin Roth

Thousands flock to Quincy for music festival

Quincy youngster Sterling Daniel, 3, and his sister MaKenna Tolen, 4, celebrated summer at the 2018 High Sierra Music Festival at the county fairgrounds July 8 with cold fudge pops, colorful clothes and the remains of their sparkling face-painted art. Photo by Roni Java

The numbers are not yet in, but the 2018 High Sierra Music Festival kicked it up a notch in presenting more family-friendly activities. A wide range of musical styles and genres kept people dancing all afternoon with little ones on their shoulders or twirling in circles with upturned faces smiling into the Sierra sun.

An abundance of headphones and neon earplugs safeguarded children’s ears.

Collapsible wagons with shade canopies packed little ones, lots of water, sunscreen and plenty of snacks. The extensive festival layout enveloped the entire Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds and whimsically decorated wagons wheeled children from performance to performance.

“People were genuinely relaxed and so many people had come from very far away to enjoy the mountains and music,” said local Roni Java. “Laughter rang out all day and the evening vibe was a cool combination of joyous expression, freeform dancing and good summer fun with highly talented artists from many musical backgrounds.”

Many guests return year after year, before having children, and then after. “This is the best festival,” said Toni Tone at the parade barn. Tone makes it her job to inspire festival guests to participate in the daily parades. The “barn” houses costumes, kites and even stilts of varying heights. The parade grows in size each day, as more people are enticed to partake in the fantastical fun.

Food and beverage booths were plentiful as were colorful booths with crystals, clothing musical instruments and props.

Inside the festival this year, the atmosphere was very relaxed. Some attendees thought numbers were down, others were certain they were up. Festival organizer Marshall Lamm said, “Thousands of people descended on Quincy for this year’s High Sierra Music Festival.” Agreed.

A full house of smiling “festies” pack into the shade at the Vaudeville Tent to listen to John Craigie. Photo by Mari Erin Roth