Coombs Bluegrass Festival has connected to some wonderful characters over the years....

November 22nd 2013, Today we lost Ethel Whibley, Terry's  mom, the best supporter of bluegrass ever, I don't think she ever missed a bluegrass event.  We'll miss you

Today, May 8 2012 we lost another original bluegrasser from Coombs, Ed Hodgeson, who played mandolin for the original Coombs Bluegrass
band, the BackRoom Boys, RIP, Eddy

Worris Key
The original soundman at the Coombs Bluegrass Festival when it all started, but he was a lot more than that.  Back in those days, he had thousands of tapes of  festivals and Coombs Country Opera tapes of just about everyone who could play an instrument on that stage.  He spent countless hours setting up &  taking down the equipment, and monitoring the music. Worris could be found at every Coombs event and was always willing to give a hand.   His spirit lives on at the festival he helped start at Coombs.

Gerry Patch memories
Photos by C. Anne Goulding, of England, taken while in New Zealand.

"The pictures posted about Gerry Patch are very special, but Gerry was a very special kind of   a guy. He gave me a  bluegrass education, bigtime.  He was not only a friend but an incredible musician, who played every bluegrass instrument well.  He would instruct us on the correct way to play the tune, just like Bill would have played it, he would say.

Gerry was one of the people who started the bluegrass festival here in Coombs.  He had the connections to help make it happen and it did.

Gerry's dream was to play at the Grand Ol' Opry in Nashville and in the early eighties he fulfilled that dream with his band Border Ride. 

He left our world at the age of 40, far too young,  but left a legacy of bluegrass memories at Coombs" 
Linda Thorburn

 james      Gerry Patch    Howard     l-r Jim Mitchell Gerry Patch Ed Hodgeson
                                                         Clyde McCoy

1978  Turner Meadows, site of the first Coombs Bluegrass Festival

Gerry Patch,   Joe Bochek,   Riel Aubischon

John Jansen
Johnny  Jansen was a  carpenter  and helped build the Rodeo Grounds structures.   When he wasn't doing that he could be heard talking with that Dutch accent and laughing.  John loved bluegrass and loved to dance to it.  It was never an uncommon sight to see John and Bev dancing up a storm close up to the stage.