More than 30 years ago, a band calling themselves the Raggle-Taggle Hippies wanted to put on a family-type musical jamboree in the middle of the scenic central Idaho mountains. What may have started out as a flower-child pipe dream has transformed into an annual three-day festival near Donnelly at the historic Roseberry town site, which during the early 20th century claimed to have the largest creamery in Long Valley. Produced by the McCall Folklore Society, the Summer Music Festival continues to have a laissez-faire attitude toward celebration. Even they have lost count of how many festivals there have been--this year's is either the 32nd or 33rd.
The festival gets under way Thursday, July 15, with Local Night, featuring performances by Graham Pinard's Jazz Band, The Lemon Sisters, Blaze and Kelly, Jeff Crosby and The Goatheads. Singer-songwriter Martha Scanlan opens up Friday's String Night, which includes a performance by The Infamous Stringdusters, who have previously collaborated with Dolly Parton. Saturday is Dance Night, featuring Jayme Stone and Friends and Steve Kimock's latest project Crazy Engine with Melvin Seals.
Although there is no overnight camping allowed at the historic town site, there's plenty of camping near Donnelly and McCall where you can gather around a campfire with some newfound friends, jam on a tambourine and share a bottle of Roseberry label wine from the Roseberry General Store.
Thursday-Saturday, July 15-17, gates at 6 p.m., $13-$50, Roseberry Historic Town Site, 2598 E. Roseberry Road, thesummermusicfestival.com.