Brass Band Festival

What's a festival without a parade? The Great American Brass Band Festival demands bands!

What's a festival without a parade? And the Great American Brass Band Festival demands bands!

courtesy the Great American Brass Band Festival

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The Great American Brass Band Festival, June 11 to 14 in Danville, Kentucky, has been named “this country’s most unique music festival.” It’s an old-time brass band concert in the park that recaptures the nostalgia of peaceful, turn-of-the-century America.

The celebration begins Thursday with an afternoon tea and traditional Chautauqua presentation. Festivities continue all day Friday, with free concerts to top off the evening. Concerts begin at 10 a.m. Saturday in two locations; then at 11 a.m., a New Orleans-style parade marches down historic Danville’s Main Street to the main stage at Centre College, where the music continues until the grand finale on Sunday evening. 

Bring a blanket or chair and listen to bands playing marches and melodies on authentic Civil War instruments, ragtime favorites, and the swingin’ beat of Bourbon Street. Swell with patriotic pride as the marches of John Philip Sousa fill the air. Marvel at the virtuosity of the world’s greatest professional brass ensembles. This festival is a musical experience that will never be forgotten. 

Other events include a conference on American Band history, a hot air balloon race and the Gallery Hop Stop (a premier arts event) on Friday; the Great American Picnic Saturday evening; and Sunday worship service on the lawn. Street food vendors add to a fun-filled weekend of outdoor band concerts.

The festival’s hours are 2 to 10:30 p.m. Thursday; 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday; 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday; and 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. For more information, visit the website.