BIBLE HILL - Bob Sharples was clearly right at home on Sunday afternoon as he tapped his toes and clapped his hands loudly.
The Stewiacke resident was thrilled to attend the Downeast Bluegrass and Oldtime Music Society's 41st annual bluegrass festival from Friday to Sunday at the Agridome in Bible Hill.
"I've been coming to the bluegrass festival since 1982," said Sharples as he listened to American singers, Newtown, perform some gospel tunes Sunday afternoon.
"I like the music and the people. It's a really good atmosphere and everyone gets along."
Sharples' description of the atmosphere was indeed accurate. An estimated 1,100 people attended the weekend's festivities, including a few hundred on Sunday afternoon.
All weekend, toes were tapping, hands were clapping, shouts of approval were voiced, couples got up to dance in front of the stage and event-goers eagerly sung along to their favourite bluegrass tunes.
Although Sharples was thrilled with the event, there is one addition he'd like to see next year.
"I'd like to see local bands (perform). There are some fine local bands from here but it's always nice to bring in American bands to see something a little different too."
Newtown, from Lexington, Kentucky was the American band featured at this year's bluegrass festival in Bible Hill. Fiddler and vocalist Kati Penn was impressed with the local festival and enthusiastic crowd.
"We have travelled throughout the States and this is our first time performing here in Canada. It's very welcoming here and when I look out at the crowd, a lot of people are smiling," said Penn.
Some people, including Helen and Gerald Toomey from North Sydney, were compelled to jump out of their seats for a dance or two.
"We've been attending all 41 years," said Helen. "We love it ... the music, the people and the singing is sometimes like hearing God's voice."
Charles MacKenie, a Crowes Mills resident and an organizer of the bluegrass festival, was pleased with the event.
"It's a good crowd, everyone seems happy and we had good weather," said MacKenzie, adding the event will return next summer.