Hotels In Pinetop Gearing Up For White Mountain Bluegrass Music Festival

Things are really starting to heat up in the northern town of Pinetop, Arizona in preparation for the 20th Annual White Mountain Bluegrass Music Festival. Music lovers from all over the country will be staying at hotels in Pinetop AZ to check out this year's exciting event August 14 and 15th at the Hon-Dah Resort & Casino.

As usual, this year's festival features a Dutch Oven Cook-off. To be part of this competition, entrants must be members of the International Dutch Oven Society, cook over a charcoal fire up off the ground and use ingredients prepared from scratch on site including cutting of meat, vegetable, other ingredients and marinating. This is an exciting and time-honored part of the festival and each category is judged by professional, qualified judges.

The White Mountain Bluegrass Festival features bands and other groups from the Southwest. Ben Sandoval is a featured performer who has been involved in folk music, old time fiddling and bluegrass and old-time country music since the 70s. Ben has been very active organizing other shows including the Wickenburg Bluegrass Festival in 1979, the Gisela Bluegrass Festival in 1981 and the Prescott Bluegrass Festival in 1982, the Morman Lake Festival and Payson's White Mountain Bluegrass Festival.

This year's festival will also feature Mark Phillips and Third Generation Bluegrass Band. Mark started playing bluegrass at the age of 14 with his father, Wayne Phillips, who formed the band. Mark's first instrument was the banjo. He currently plays guitar for the band as well as the mandolin and the bass and sings most of the leads. The band also features Roger Starnes, a Fort Worth Texas native who plays banjo, guitar, mandolin and dobro. Kendall Murphy is also in the band as well as Michael Morrison and

Jake Gathright - the newest member of IIIrd Generation who plays mandolin.

The White Mountains Bluegrass Festival is conveniently located near many Pinetop Arizona hotels and also features the music of The Bost Family, a six piece, hard-driving, bluegrass band from Cochise County, Arizona. The festival also includes gospel music on Sunday, jam sessions, family entertainment, food and some arts & crafts.

By: Asha Patel