The Jig is up

Local festival draws record crowd

By Tom Benton

Staff Writer

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EAST FAIRFIELD — A quarter-century in, the Jig in the Valley — once just a local band playing out the back of a flatbed truck — drew its largest-ever crowd.

Nance Shaw, one of the festival’s organizers, said the 25th annual Jig in the Valley drew around 450-475 people. That’s a record. Prior Jigs have drawn 300-400 attendees.

Joe Moore

Joe Moore performs at the Jig in the Valley.

But Sunday’s Jig had a lot going for it. The sunny weather was warm but not hot; a soft breeze occasionally shook the trees on the East Fairfield village green, beneath which the less tanning-inclined attendees took shelter.

And the performances were diverse. Brian Curry’s gentle, passionate mostly acoustic set segued into the swaying bluegrass of West Virginia’s Rush Run Philharmonic just before the Nobby Reed Project performed pounding, funky rhythm and blues.

Patience Getty

Patience Getty sings “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” at the Jig in the Valley.

Those are just three of the dozen-or-so performers who brought the stage to life for nearly eight hours. Not all seasoned vets, either — like young Patience Getty, who won the Peoples Trust Rick Manahan Scholarship Award during this year’s Vermont Maple Festival, and applied recent vocal lessons to a performance of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” at Sunday’s Jig.

For more on this weekend’s event, pick up a copy of Monday’s Messenger or subscribe to our digital edition.