The 8th annual Bluegrass Festival will return on Thursday. In addition, the 3rd annual Northwest Ohio Trader Days will begin on Friday. (DHI Media/File Photo)
The 8th annual Bluegrass Festival will return on Thursday. In addition, the 3rd annual Northwest Ohio Trader Days will begin on Friday. (DHI Media/File Photo)
VAN WERT – Van Wert will have plenty to do this week and into the weekend as the 8th annual Bluegrass Festival and the 3rd annual Northwest Ohio Trader Days hit the Van Wert County Fairgrounds.

The Bluegrass Festival kicks off on Thursday and runs through Saturday. Admission for all three days is $35 or $10 on Thursday, $15 on Friday, and $20 on Saturday.

Bluegrass Festival founder Steve Scott’s love for bluegrass is what keeps him motivated to put on the festival. Scott and his two sons perform together as Steve Scott and The Scott Brothers.

“I’ve been into bluegrass music ever since I’ve been 18 years old; I’ve been around this music for 50 years,” said Scott. “Bluegrass is 100 percent American music. It came out of the south. Bluegrass is old mountain music, and I love it. Everything we do is acoustic.”

While Scott is from Oakwood, he says that Van Wert is the perfect place for such an event thanks to nearby motels and large highways like US 30.

This year, Thursday will be dedicated to southern gospel bands. Thursday’s line up includes Bluegrass Gospel-Aires, New Outlook, Over Jordan, and Living Water. Music starts at 6 p.m. and runs until around 10 p.m.

On Friday, Gun Creek, Ottawa County Bluegrass, Blue Holler Band, Charity Moore and Big Ugly Boys, and Brian Holbrooks and Poor Bottom Grass will perform. Friday’s events start at 6 p.m. and run until 11 p.m.

Saturday’s event begins at noon and runs until 11 p.m. Bands performing on Saturday include Steve Scott and The Scott Brothers, Fox-Tail Grass, Gun Creek, Open Highway, and New Outlook.

The Bluegrass Festival will take place rain or shine in the dairy barn. There is free camping available with paid admission for all three days.

Pets are permitted on a leash, and there will be food and concessions. People will need to bring their own lawn chairs.

“We just like to provide music,” said Scott. “We want to have a real nice musical event that is clean and family-friendly.”

In addition to the Bluegrass Festival, Northwest Ohio Trader Days will take place Friday through Sunday. Admission to get into Trader Days is $3 per day or $7 for all three days. Those who bought the $28 membership to the Van Wert County Fair will get in for free with their pass.

Around 70 vendors are expected to be in attendance selling everything from crafts, collectibles, antiques, clothing, guns, tools, and more, and the event will be located in the center of the grounds from the east to west side. Food vendors will also be expected at the event.

New this year will be water dog racing, which will take place in the pond area near the grandstand. Water dog racing consists of an animal pelt being shot across the water which entices the dogs to jump into the water and race toward the pelt. The event will take place all three days.

Camping is available for the event. Golf cart rentals are also available.

Trader Days will take place Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.