DelFest is Allegany County, the Mountain Side of Maryland’s premier bluegrass festival, celebrating the rich legacy of Del McCoury, with world-class musical collaborations from some of the best-known names in bluegrass music, all within a family-friendly and distinctly unique atmosphere. Taking place Memorial Day Weekend, May 25-28, 2023, and hosted by Del McCoury and family, the 15th annual DelFest lineup welcomes to the stage the Del McCoury Band, the Travelin’ McCourys, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Trampled by Turtles, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Sam Bush, The Infamous Stringdusters, The California Honeydrops, Sierra Farrell, Molly Tuttle and Golden Highway, and so many more musical acts playing around the clock for nearly four days.
(Photo by Shelly Swanger)
The iconic Knobley Mountain cliffside paints the festival backdrop and the Potomac River runs alongside the festival grounds, providing a cool relief when the weather gets hot, making the setting of the festival a taste of Allegany County, the Mountain Side of Maryland, in miniature. When you’re here for DelFest, you’re family, and the people and the vibe reflect true Appalachian mountain spirit and hospitality.
But don’t stop the experience with music! There are so many ways to get the whole experience of Mountain Maryland while you’re here for DelFest. From an abundance of incredible outdoor recreational activities to amazing historic sites, dining, and entertainment venues - no matter your interest, passion, sport, or idea of fun, you’ll find a trail for just about any type of adventure here in Mountain Maryland.
PLAY IN THE OUTDOORS
Allegany County offers over 70,000 acres of public land and over 150 miles of developed trails to explore while you’re here. If it’s water you seek, then water we deliver. The Potomac River which runs along the festival grounds features public access points near the festival grounds for put-in and take-out and is suited for kayaks, canoes, and inner tube floats. The river’s current carries floaters on a lazy ride, with minimal paddling, making for a rejuvenating and scenic trip on the Potomac while you absorb the sounds of the music echoing off the mountain backdrop.
Or, hop on one of Allegany County’s two internationally recognized bike trails, the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP Trail) and C&O Canal Towpath, which both connect in downtown Cumberland, MD, to create 333 miles of uninterrupted bike trails from Washington, DC, to Pittsburgh, PA.There’s endless hiking and mountain biking in our four state parks and state forest. Between Rocky Gap State Park and Green Ridge State Forest, you will find over 70 miles of developed trail systems through alpine-forested leading to stunning overlooks. Or check out the newly developed mountain biking trails at Dans Mountain State Park. Local outfitters are available to provide shuttles and equipment for a hassle-free adventure.
FIND A FOOD OR BEVERAGE TRAIL
Our mountains have the fuel you need to hit the outdoors or cruise along our open roads. From a morning jolt of coffee, to sweet treats, or that evening seasonal brew, check out our fabulous food and beverage trails. The Donut and Go - Donut and Coffee Trail provides ten locations for Mountain Maryland’s best coffee and donuts that give you the perfect combo of sugar rush and sustained buzz to keep you adventuring in the mountainside. The Allegany County Ice Cream Trail offers a sweet retreat highlighting nine of Mountain Maryland’s favorite ice cream stops. And when you’re ready for that lift in spirit, the Tap and Pour Tour takes you to Mountain Maryland’s six wineries, breweries and distilleries for that perfect cap to a day of exploration.
LET HISTORY MOVE YOU
Traveling with the family? Hop aboard the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, a three-hour round trip heritage train excursion departing from Cumberland, MD, to ascend the mountain destination of Frostburg, MD, and back. Book a trip with the 1309 steam engine, the largest operating steam locomotive of its kind in the world. On the same rail line, you can also book the Tracks and Yaks excursion, Maryland’s only rail biking experience that provides a leisurely, pedal-powered trip along the rail line to iconic points of interest including Helmstetter’s Curve and the Brush Tunnel. Looking for something to do on a rainy day? Explore a Scenic Byway to learn more about how our unique regions helped to fuel the industrial development of America or the George Washington Trail to dive deeper into our rich history with America’s first president.
As you can see, there is no shortage of ways to explore Allegany County, the Mountain Side of Maryland. Whether you come early, stay late, or play while you're here for DelFest, we are certain that you will fall in love with Allegany County’s mountain charm, scenic beauty, and one unbelievable festival to kick off summer. The trail starts here.