The streets of downtown Sierra Madre turn into one giant music scene Sunday as the town celebrates its oldest and most famous resident, the wistaria vine. For the better part of a century, locals and visitors from far and wide have gathered here for the annual Wistaria Festival, a day-long fun-fest featuring food, music and, of course, a visit to the vine.
Dozens of bands and performers will either stroll the streets or set up at locations around town. Most of the music is of the acoustic variety.
Groove to acoustic country/folk/rock with Blue Astroturf, local favorites who frequent the Old Towne Pub, Bean Town and Blvd. Grill (where they perform Sunday). Of course, no party would be complete without an appearance by local legend Snotty Scotty, appearing at Blvd. Grill in a stripped-down, unplugged version of Snotty Scotty and the Hankies known as Snotty Scotty and the Brooks Brothers. Also appearing at Blvd. Grill are bluegrass heroes Grass Backwards and the instrumental jazz group Red Hill.
At the Memorial Park Bandshell, Devin Thomas & The Extraordinary World Band perform their signature combination of new age and world music. Some others appearing at this venue are Vin Fiz Flyer (bluegrass) and ’60s psychedelia/classic rock with Aluminum Marshmallow.
Strolling around town, you’ll find multi-instrumentalist, tap dancer, jazz pianist and vocalist Gwen Girvin, with her accordion. Some others are Dulcimers of Dunlore (seven talented ladies playing instrumental folk), harpist Ron Longo (a festival regular), Barry Schwam on autoharp and theremin, harmonica master Ed Kramer (a 96-year-old local, who’s been playing for over 70 years) and many more.