PALMER — The 11th annual Pickers Retreat is set to start Friday at the Spring Creek Farm, kicking off three days of music, fun, friends, and family.

“We love families. We really like the music. I, myself and a lot of the musicians all grew up going to events as kids so we really want to encourage people to feel comfortable to bring their kids and have them exposed to this music,” One of the event founders, Jason Overby, said.

This family friendly festival will feature 40 acoustic bands picking away with bluegrass, country, folk, “old-timey,” and even Cajun tunes. Attendees are encouraged to bring their camping gear and any musical instrument they please to spend the weekend jamming with faces both familiar and new.

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Each year, circles of musicians form around campfires and harmonize between sets. There will even be a few music workshops. Other workshops and activities include silks, yoga, and juggling, as well as group square and contra dances. Several vendors with food and merchandise will also be onsite.

On Saturday, there will be a kid’s square dance in the afternoon and big group square dance later in the evening where dozens of people all dance a jig together. This is one of Overby’s favorite events. Overby said that he looks forward to it every year.

“That’s definitely the highlight for me,” Overby said.

This event has always been a family affair, and growing ground for budding artists. Overby’s sister, Alyssa Marie Overby, has performed there many times over the years with family and friends.

Weekend passes are $40 and include camping. There are limited RV spots available as well. There are no dogs allowed at the event, since it takes place on a working farm. Kids 12 and under are admitted for free, and Sunday is free to anyone.

Gates open at noon. Tickets are available at the gate and online at:

Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at

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