It is never too early to plan for the 4th of July, and in San Luis Obispo County, there is so much to choose from. Finding the right fit was crucial for the Atascadero 4th of July Bluegrass Freedom Festival.
In planning the inaugural event, the committee did not want to compete with the Templeton Fourth of July parade, or with fireworks at night, so a mid-afternoon start was just the ticket.
Living up to its name, the event will be free and open to the public again in 2019. Don’t mind the fencing … that is just a barrier for the alcohol. While Atascadero has no open container law, it is against state law to bring alcohol in or out of event fencing.
Don’t worry, there will be plenty to eat and drink inside while some of the best bluegrass in California play on an idyllic afternoon at Atascadero Lake Park.
The large shady oaks provide just the right cover from the hot July sun, and the cool grass around the Kiwanis Bandstand make for the perfect festival seating area.
The lineup will again be topped by Snap Jackson & The Knock On Wood Players, returning for the third year in a row. Coming back from a great show last year, The Blue “Js” will perform. They are a young group with a lot of fun energy. AJ Lee and Blue Summit will bring a strong voice and energetic sound to the stage beginning at 3 p.m. Opening the show, Toro Creek Ramblers will kick things off and BanjerDan will emcee.
This year, the festival will move an hour earlier to allow for a great afternoon with time to get to wherever you will enjoy fireworks. The day will start at 2 p.m.
There are no fireworks allowed in Atascadero, so enjoy the great festival atmosphere and celebration of Independence Day before heading off for the evening.
There will be multiple bounce houses, Americana games and contests, barbecue chicken plates, hotdogs, and other food vendors. Atascadero Printery will once again serve the beer and wine, raising funds and awareness for the Printery Foundation mission.
The whole event is a fundraiser for Atascadero Colony Days, a nonprofit that produces the annual parade and Historic Tent City Festival downtown in October.
Vendor spaces are going fast, so if you want to host a booth, go to the website to register.
Festival seating good for low-back chairs, no blankets in front of the bandstand. Lots of seating, but get there early to claim your space.
Discount Meal Deal tickets now available online.
For more information or tickets go to atascaderofourthofjuly.com or colonydays.org.

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