Monday, April 27, 2009

Hats on Heads--Merlefest 2009

Yee-ha! I just spent a wonderful weekend attending the annual Merlefest Americana music festival in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. Merlefest is a 4 day music event honoring Eddie Merle Watson, son of Doc Watson. They were folk/rockabilly/mountain/swing musicians back in the1960's. Doc is still alive and kickin' it in his 80's. Merle tragically died many years ago and the festival is, as I said, a tribute to him.

While most of the music at the festival is, at least, bluegrass inspired, there are lots of genres represented there. And there are over 6 stages all going at the same time, plus lots of pickers in smaller venues around the campus of Wilkesboro Comminity College. This year's headliner was Emmylou Harris, and Linda Ronstadt was there as well. Lots of big name bluegrass folks, like Sam Bush, John Cowan, Peter Rowan, Tony Rice, The Waybacks, The Grascals, The Duhks, Donna the Buffalo, and on and on, are also there.

That's me (above) with my muchly needed sun-hat. At the time this picture was made I had been baking in 80 degree temperatures for about 6 hours! I was wringing wet but having a blast listenting to some of my favorite performers!

The hat was embellished with a stylish 'wad' of hand-dyed sinamay and a couple of waving peacock feathers. The great thing about this hat is that is has a rolled edge, filled with foam, that makes the brim edge just heavy enough that the wind doesn't blow it off your head. It is my favorite casual hat and I've had it for several years. Actually I have two that I rotate.

The next few pictures are a testament to folks finally getting the message that we all need protection from the sun, and wearing a hat is the best way to do that. And while Merlefest is NOT, I repeat NOT, a fashion show, I was pleasantly surprised to see almost everyone with some sort of hat on their head. Granted they are not garden party hats, and most were down-right cas-u-al, really casual, but they were: hats.on.heads....

Kinda like the new ribbon hats I'm seeing out there. Like the one above.

Yes, almost all these pictures are made from behind. Hey, that's because I was sitting with everyone else and we were all facing the stages and the performers.

Lots of cowboy hats! Every color, every shape!!

A sea of hats at the Hillside Stage.
So if you aren't wearing a hat while out in the sun, let this be your official invitation to start. It will save your skin, and maybe your life. No melanoma, ladies....

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