42. Coatesville, Pennsylvania

The Old Fiddlers’ picnic has been going on for 87 years, very unbeknownst to me. But when my friends Chris and Marisa–Pennsylvania natives who are wayyy more plugged into the fiddle festival scene than I am–texted me about it, we headed north to meet up with them and see what it was all about.

Overview:
We only saw a small sliver of Coatesville–the part that contains Hibernia County Park and its Fiddlers’ Field, home of the festival. It’s a perfect setting for a music festival, with plenty of space to set up in front of the stage, and plenty of shade in the nearby woods for when the sun gets too hot.

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How I got there:
Drove what we thought was going to be 1.5 hours from DC–it was 2.5, causing us to miss most of the actual program. But there was still plenty to do. See below…

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What I did:
After scanning the wares of the craft vendors, we put our picnic blankets down in front of the main stage and listened there for about an hour. Programming there ended at 4:00–a fact we hadn’t realized–so at that point, we moved over to the woods, where people were doing some more informal jamming. We stayed there until the sun started to set, and it was magical.

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My own fiddle, sadly, didn’t see much action, but I’ll definitely be back.

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Where I ate:
The pizza stand. There was also a kid selling really awesome artisanal popsicles, which we purchased, obviously. Oh, and Jake had a token cheese steak. When (almost) in Rome.

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What I missed:
Aside from most of the show? They also offered tours of Hibernia Mansion during the day.

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