The Bloomin’ Bluegrass Festival and Chili Cook-off in Farmers Branch, Texas was quite a shindig event! The festival is put on every year by the Farmers Branch Chamber of Commerce and the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation. This two day event brought 11 bluegrass bands from around the country to show their talent for strumming out folk songs and over 20 chili chefs vying for the title of best Bloomin’ chili.
Bluegrass music is a subgenre of country music that was inspired by ballads that were sung by the settlers from Ireland and the U.K who arrived in the Appalachia area of the United States in the 18th century. Bluegrass is traditionally played on acoustic stringed instruments such as the fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin with the addition of the harmonica or jaw harp. The stringed instruments are accompanied by a vocal harmony of baritones and tenors often with a modal sound in the highest voice.
In addition to live music and a wide assortment of chilies to taste there were also food vendors that sold funnel cakes dusted in powdered sugar, plates mounded high with freshly made potato chips, sweetly popped kettle corn, crawfish and meat pies, fried gator (yes, it really does taste like chicken!) and gumbo just to name a few dishes available to fill a belly while listening to live bluegrass music.
In between sets of bands playing music you can take tours of historical homes and structures, watch historic demonstrations or shop in the arts and crafts marketplace for homemade jewelry made from semi-precious stones, silver, natural gem stones, praline bars, abstract metal art, leather goods, or copper wind chimes.