Jenny Brook Family Bluegrass Festival got its start at the Weston Playhouse Concert Series put on by Fernan Parker in Weston, Vermont. He was changing bands the year before his 20th Anniversary and one of the sponsors asked Fernan's granddaughter, Candi Sawyer, why he never did an outside festival. She explained that he tried back in the 70's but the town turned him down. He asked her if she was interested in doing it because he was willing to finance it.
Many meetings took place with the town etc. and when they agreed, the planning began. Fans often ask how the name "Jenny Brook" was chosen. When surveying the original festival site, Candi recalled a story her grandmother told her about a teacher who lived in the area many years ago. There is a one room school house near the site that is still there today. Jenny Coolidge, a descendant of President Calvin Coolidge, was on her way to teach school when her horse stumbled and fell into the brook and she was killed. This empties into the Greendale Brook that ran through the original Weston site. Everyone agreed "Jenny Brook" made the perfect name for a bluegrass festival. It's actually a song waiting to be written!
Weston was a great home for the festival for the first eight years. It outgrew the original site and moved to the much larger Tunbridge Fairgrounds in 2009. It is set in a valley surrounded by the Green Mountains with the 1st Branch of the White River running along one side. This picturesque spot not only helps fans relax, put their problems aside for a while but makes for great sunsets and includes some of the best bluegrass music you can hear anywhere. Fans have called it the Postcard Festival because it's so beautiful.
Jenny Brook took the Tradition to Tunbridge. The new site is a lot bigger but the event still has that small festival feel. The original stage was cut into pieces and taken all the way to Tunbridge where it was re-assembled. Since then, Seth has redesigned the stage so it can be more visible from the sides and further back. It came out great!
The term Family Festival is often over used. That's certainly not the case with Jenny Brook. Not only are there planned activities for all family members but the promoters, volunteer staff and performers have worked to create a culture where attendees are made to feel at home with friends and a part of a something larger than themselves, the Jenny Brook Family.