‘Dr. Banjo’ coming to Rock Ledge
Wernick’s band tops bill for ‘Fiddles’ Aug. 25

       Pete Wernick, who's played with the likes of Earl Scruggs, Hot Rize and comedian/banjo player Steve Martin, will head up the lead band for Rock Ledge Ranch's third annual Fiddles, Vittles & Vino Saturday, Aug. 25.
       The special event will once again feature several bluegrass-style bands, chef demonstrations and a plethora of samples from area restaurants and wineries.
       The event will be from noon to 9 p.m. Ticket prices are $40 for adults and $10 for ages 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased at Rock Ledge during regular hours (10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday) or on line at fiddlesvittlesandvino.com.
       Music will be offered - sometimes simultaneously - at three ranch locations from 3 to 9 p.m.
       Wernick, known as “Dr. Banjo,” will be performing with Flexigrass - one of four bands he plays with - on the main stage west of the Orchard House at 5:40 and 8:30 p.m., and also as a duo with his wife Joan on the Orchard House's east stage at 3:50 p.m.
       Other bands will be Billy Pilgrims, Sweet Sunny South and Palmer Divide.
       The total number of bands is fewer than in past years, “but I really believe this is the best line-up so far,” said Mark Gardner, a local musician and historian who has helped organized the Fiddles bands each year.
       “What's neat about Flexigrass is they're doing a fusion of bluegrass and jazz,” Gardner said. “They combine a clarinet and a banjo. They're really good.”
       Billy Pilgrims includes fiddle player/singer Caleb Roberts from Open Road, last year's featured band; while Sweet Sunny South is a band that is gaining national renown, and Palmer Divide is a popular band from the region, Gardner said.
       In addition, Rex Rideout, a fiddle player who has been on stage with Gardner at the previous two Fiddles events, will be a “roaming musician,” performing around the ranch. Gardner himself will be the musical emcee.
       Food samples will be provided by 27 area restaurants, including the Westside's Front Range Barbeque, Jake and Telly's, Jun Japanese Restaurant and Paravacini's Italian Bistro.
       A list of the participating wineries was not available at press time, but last year's event offered about two dozen from the region.
       Chef demonstrations will be offered from 12:15 to 3 p.m.
       “The event is the only one in Colorado Springs like this,” said Cheryl Catalano, lead interpreter for Rock Ledge. “The setting is so wonderful, and I think people get their money's worth, food-wise, entertainment-wise and all around.”
       Rock Ledge Ranch is a city-owned 230-acre working ranch in the style of the 1880s, located in the Garden of the Gods, southwest of Gateway Road and 30th Street.
       For more information, call 578-6777.

Westside Pioneer article