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Dayton Dulcimer Doin's - A New Favorite Festival

February 23, 2024
Good Morning, Y'all!
I think I've found one of my favorite "new" dulcimer festivals. Last weekend I attended the Dayton Dulcimer Doin's for the first time. Like nearly all dulcimer festivals, this one had a lot of positives. But I have to say that after 40 years of running this event, the crew at the DDD (Dayton Dulcimer Doin's) has it down pat. Flawless execution, great venue, plenty of space, and lots of cookies.
Yes, cookies.
I only had two (honest!), so it wasn't really about the cookies. It was how cookies represented (in a weird, specific way) the hospitality that this event provided. From the moment I arrived, there were smiling faces offering to help. There were snacks (cookies and healthier options) available throughout the day. Dulcimer players saw me anchored to the repair table, and offered to bring me lunch. And cookies! Towards the end of the day? "Here - take some cookies for your drive home." Seriously friendly people. 

folkcraft vending area at the 2024 dayton dulcimer doin's festival
With about 60 guests, this isn't a huge event. But it is currently one of my favorite events. Look them up next fall, and consider joining in the fun. But only do that if you like smiling a lot. And only attend if you like cookies.
Gone To Florida
I'm writing this shop blog on Monday, February 19. You won't be reading this until - at the earliest - Friday, February 23. Why write so early in the week? Because by the time you read this blog, I'll be in sunny Homosassa, FL, at one of my long-time favorite dulcimer events. This one is special because of the guests, the venue, and the staff. The 10th Annual Florida Gulf Coast Dulcimer Retreat has just four instructors - Bing Futch, Guy George, Sharrie George, and Richard Ash. 

I really can't imagine a friendlier group of host/instructors. Unless you add two of the most amazing spouses (not instructors, but also instrumental to the event): Jae Futch and Aly Ash. Then it becomes even more friendly!
This amazing event features some of the most varied instruction you'll find anywhere on the planet. And an awesome venue, with lots of classes held on the patio, or under the gazebo, or even down by the canal. (Don't put your feet in the water - alligators!!!) Oh yes, and lots of snacks. Probably some cookies, even!
I'll take lots of pictures this weekend, and give you a full report in next week's newsletter.
Until then, I expect you to spend lots of time having fun, making music. Thanks for reading, Y'all!
Richard Ash, luthier-who-also-goes-to-festivals-teaches-classes-and-eats-cookies