For those new to the world of dulcimers and the festivals that celebrate them around the country, a little bit of explanation is in order. The word dulcimer literally means “sweet music.” For those enamored of this stringed instrument, the name couldn’t be apter. Many people have a life-long love affair with its dulcet tones, often getting hooked after attending one of these festivals for the very first time.
Sport some awesome dulcimer shirts to prepare!
January 3-5, 2020
Bardstown Middle School
410 N 5th St, Bardstown, KY 40004
This 3 day Kentucky dulcimer festival features over 9 hours of instruction on the dulcimer and ukulele. The Ramada offers 2 hot breakfast buffets with a lunch and supper buffet on Saturday and a lunch buffet on Sunday.
February 7-8, 2020
The First Baptist Church of Mount Dora
1000 East First Ave. Mt. Dora, Florida 32757
The Mt. Dora Dulcimer Festivals sports nationally known instructors for their workshop and a jam-packed schedule full of workshops, vendors, and socials.
April 26-27, 2019
83 S. Courtland St., East Stroudsburg, PA
Held with separate workshops on the mountain and hammered dulcimer and a final concert on Saturday night. Lunch can be purchased at the venue, with dinner on your own. There are 3 hotels in East Stroudsburg fairly close to the venue.
March 13-15, 2020
Radisson Hotel Louisville North (Clarksville, IN)
There are is plenty of time to socialize and jam through the Fiddle Walk (bring your tiara, feather boas, beads, gloves, the works)! 40 plus vendors will be selling handmade music instruments and related items all weekend. Be sure to talk to the builders, listen to the sounds, try out, and buy new instruments, and ask for help from the luthiers with any dulcimers (or other instruments)! It’s one of the most popping Kentucky dulcimer festivals!
February 7-8, 2020
3601 West Belleview Ave., Littleton, CO
This dulcimer festival provides an opportunity for players of both the hammered and mountain dulcimers to learn, listen, and share a magical musical experience in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Discounted rates available at Comfort Suites in Lakewood, CO. An evening concert rounds out both days of the festival.
February 21-22, 2020
1123 Hwy 42, Petal, MS
This is a 2-day festival held all day on a Friday and Saturday with an open mic performance on Friday night. Workshops on both the ukelele and the dulcimer are offered. Lunch and dinner available both days.
March 7, 2020
1800 East Marion Street
Shelby, NC 28150
The 21st Annual Mid-Winter Dulcimer Festival is a one-day mountain dulcimer festival with workshops for every level of player. It features 24 workshops from which participants can choose 4. There are two great concerts and lunch as well!
April 13, 2019
691 Princess Anne Rd., Virginia Beach, VA
Tentative light dinner and house concert with a jam on Friday night, April 7. Saturday has workshop classes all day with breaks and lunch at 12:30 pm. The day ends with a concert at 3:30 pm.
April 20-23, 2020
38711 East Historic Columbia River Highway, Corbett, OR
If you can’t make it for the full 3 days, consider just coming for Saturday, a one-day “Dulcimersion” day designed for beginners new to playing the instrument. Breakfast, lunch and dinner available Thursday-Saturday. Overnight housing is included in admission for the full festival.
May 6, 2017 (date not released since 2017)
230 E. Skyline Pkwy, Duluth, MN.
A one day festival with all day workshops and an evening concert at 7 pm.
May 23-26, 2019
Ferrum College, Ferrum VA
This is a 3 day festival jam-packed with workshops, mini-concerts and jams. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is available on Friday and Saturday, with breakfast only on Sunday. Festival goers are housed in Dyer Hall and Clark Hall, Ferrum College’s residence facilities. Each room has its own bathroom. Rooms are double occupancy, private rooms are available.
June 13-14, 2020
Goold Park, Morris, IL
Concerts, workshops, vendors, jamming and old-time dancing are the order of the day in Morris, just 65 miles from Chicago. Concerts and workshops, held both days, with breakfast and lunch available.
June 14-16, 2019 (not held for 2020)
Central Ohio Technical College: Montgomery Hall
200 N. Whitewoman St., Coshocton, OH 43812
This is the 44th consecutive year that a dulcimer festival is held in Coshocton, Ohio. The mission of this festival is to preserve a part of our Appalachian heritage by focusing on its music. The main components are the workshops, headliners’ concert, Mid-East Regional Championships, mini-concerts, and jam sessions.
June 21 – 27, 2020
1070 Bloomfield Road
Bardstown, KY 40004
Kentucky Music Week offers a full five days of instruction in a wide variety of traditional arts including all levels of fretted dulcimer and hammered dulcimer, classes in ukulele, guitar, banjo, fiddle, autoharp, penny whistle, vocal classes, old-time craft classes, and much, much more! Over 150 class choices are offered this year with something for everyone at this Kentucky dulcimer festival!
June 30 – July 6, 2019
Wallowa Lake, OR
Focused on the mountain dulcimer, Dulcimer Week offers morning classes and electives from beginner to advanced, plus evening jams, open mic, staff concert, and July 4th fireworks at the lake. Students have time off each day to rest, practice, or explore the area.
July 18-20, 2019
Mountain View, AR
Workshops, jams, and many other events will be held in the Court Square. This is the first year for this festival. Info at [email protected]
July 18-20, 2019
Osceola County Fairgrounds, Evart, MI
The ODPC Funfest is billed as the largest gathering of hammered dulcimer players in the world. In addition to the dulcimer, all acoustic instruments are welcome at the festival. This is a camping event. Bring your tent. Food and drink are available from vendors.
August 30-31, 2019
The 6th annual Kentucky dulcimer festival features a variety of classes.
September 27-28, 2019
University of Kentucky’s 4-H Center in Jabez, KY
The Great American Dulcimer Convention has become an annual showcase of old, new, traditional, and cutting edge music for lap and hammered dulcimers at this Kentucky dulcimer festival. Many audience members return every year, so it’s like a family reunion for dulcifolk, as well!
October 4-5, 2019
34 Daffodil Lane, Cos Cob Ct.
A Friday-Saturday dulcimer festival with workshops on both days followed by an evening concert. Takeout food can be ordered both days on campus. For those coming from out of town, special Nutmeg rates can be had at the Hampton Inn in nearby Milford, less than a mile away.
October 18-19, 2019
Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church, 4101 Paseo Del Norte, NW
Albuquerque, NM 87114
Fifty workshops focusing on mountain and hammered dulcimers, but other instruments as well, offered by local musicians and nationally recognized artists. The festival includes jams, open mics, on-site lunches, dulcimer rentals, on-site music/instrument vendors, attendee instrument sales and public concerts (7pm each night). Dulcimer instructors include Tina Gugeler, Dave Hass, Ken Kolodner, Ilace Mears, Mark Nelson, Irma Reeder and more. Festival sponsored by New Mexico Dulcimer Association, Apple Mountain Music, the City of Albuquerque Urban Enhancement Trust Fund and the Music Guild of New Mexico.
November 2-3, 2018 (date not released for 2019)
First Christian Church, 1811 N. Miles St
Elizabethtown, KY 42701
A fun Kentucky dulcimer festival including a wide range of guest artists and instructors with opportunities to meet and greet. There are also workshops, lunch and dinner options, and instrument rentals.
November 8-9, 2019
Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park
11016 Lillian Saunders Drive
White Springs, FL 32096
A weekend of fun and fellowship along with workshops, jam sessions and evening concerts. The Stephen Foster State Park Dulcimer Retreat will be hosted by dulcimer master, David Beede. The retreat will offer in-depth instruction and techniques on the mountain dulcimer and hammered dulcimer instruments. Traditional music is celebrated with workshops offered for beginning, intermediate and advanced students, taught by nationally recognized instructors.
November 21-24, 2019 (date not released for 2020)
Lodge of the Unicoi State Park resort in Helen, GA
Workshops will be taught for both mountain and hammered dulcimer. Ukulele ones will be added for extra fun because Hawaiian dulcimer instructor Ehukai Teves will be there as well as his wife, the very well known Lois Hornbostel. The other instructors are Joe Collins, Matthew Dickerson, Nancy Galambush, Judy and Rick House, Anne Lough, Jim Miller, Michael Shull, Rick Thum, and Mary Lynn van Deventer. In addition, there will be faculty concerts Thursday and Friday nights; a student/faculty band playing for a contra dance Saturday night; jamming all over the place day and night; vendor, luthier, and swap tables; and a Sunday morning gathering. You can eat and stay at the Lodge or at the many motels/hotels and restaurants in nearby Alpine Helen. Cabins and camping sites are available in addition to the lodge rooms.