NewsIdaho Back Roads


The Yellow Pine Music and Harmonica Festival returns this week

Posted at 10:43 PM, Aug 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-11 17:06:04-04

YELLOW PINE, Idaho — Getting to Yellow Pine can be a challenge as this small town with about 20 full-time residents is located deep in the Idaho wilderness east of Cascade.

But every August the town is rocking when the Yellow Pine Music and Harmonica Festival comes to town along with around 2,000 people.

This free festival centers around the harmonica, but people can enjoy every kind of music at this free festival and it begins on Thursday.

"I believe it is 40 bands a total of 79 performers," said Deb Filler the director of the festival. "They come up on their own dime and you can hear music from all genres.”

Some of the bands include Moody Jews, Guess When and the Half Fast Hillbillies from Boise, and this festival gives them a unique venue to showcase their talents.

"We have had bands come up here for the first time and end up going on tour with other bands," said Filler. "Some of these bands that are coming back for 15 or 20 almost thirty years have been coming up performing songs, performing original music and it has made them bigger elsewhere."

People can learn how to play the harmonica in a workshop before the festival on Wednesday and Thursday, there is a harmonica contest on Friday and three professional harmonica players will be judging the contest.

The festival also features non-music events in the beauty of this valley near the banks of the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River including the great harmonic run on Saturday.

"We have a kids corner, we have a teen hangout, we have demos going on, a scavenger hunt, a live auction, a silent auction, community breakfast, a ballpark dinner at the Museum Schoolhouse there is just stuff everywhere.," said Filler.

If you are planning on attending this festival there is free camping and at this point, that is the only option as lodging gets booked by the end of May.

This festival is also perfect for aviators who can fly into Yellow Pine's remote runway, pilots can camp at the airstrip and there is a shuttle that takes people to town.

If you plan on attending make sure to be respectful of the town's residents and remember that stage one fire restrictions remain in place.