Things To Do
Shoppes at MerleFest
The Shoppes at MerleFest is a centrally located shopping village of commercial vendors, official MerleFest memorabilia, and services such as first aid, lost and found, overnight storage, and internet access. Festival guests can peruse vendor booths, check email and pick up an official MerleFest t-shirt all in one spot!
Little Pickers Family Area
The Little Pickers Family Area offers lots of fun and games for children as well as some fine storytelling, songwriting and music! Our youth are becoming increasingly interested in the music of our region, and as an educational institution, one of our goals is to preserve and promote the heritage of our area.
The Pickin’ Place is more than a stage; it’s an entire venue devoted to pickin’ and grinnin’! Included in The Pickin’ Place are the Traditional Jammin’ Tent, Bluegrass Jammin’ Tent, Anything Goes Jammin’ Tent and Hands-On Tent.
Acoustic Kids Showcases
These are showcases, not contests! Young pickers and singers of any skill level (through age 16) have opportunities to perform on the festival stage in a supportive environment.
The MerleFest Bluegrass Jam Camp is a unique combination of classroom and small group jamming coached by experienced and popular teachers led by Pete Wernick, Mon. – Thurs. of MerleFest week. Beginners and closet pickers are welcome to the Basic Level Jam Camp and will spend a lot of time jamming on bluegrass classics, played slow and easy. The Intermediate/Advanced Camp is for experienced jammers wanting to improve musicianship band skills. Openings for fiddle, banjo, bass only in the Inter/Adv camp.
The ultimate fan experience! These small 15 person tours begin at the Merle Watson Garden of the Senses and continue into the MerleFest museum. Our tour guides have first-hand knowledge of MerleFest and can answer all of your questions about our festival. After visiting the museum, the group heads to the Doc Watson Dressing Room that is backstage of the Watson stage.
Come out and join local naturalist Ken Crouse of Peaceful Valley Gardens for an easy hike through the gardens and forest of the WCC Campus. Take a look at the wildflowers, trees, mushrooms and ferns that make the local ecology so unique. Learn about the folklore,plus the edible and medicinal uses of many of our local native plants and fungi.