By Jake Heronemus
Staff reporter

It is that time again; the time of year when Cowley County hosts visitors from all over the world for Walnut Valley Festival.

If you are a returning student to Southwestern, or a faculty member, you undoubtedly know about the Walnut Valley Festival. For the uninitiated freshmen and transfers, Walnut Valley Festival is a week-long,  40 year old Bluegrass Championship Festival that happens every year. This festival houses national and international championships for instruments that range from the mandolin to acoustic guitar and spans genres from acoustic rock to Celtic.

People come from all over the world to listen to these championships and see their once-a-year friends. Some even play music for themselves in the campgrounds and the small stages scattered around the Cowley County Fairgrounds. Campers start lining up Aug. 29 to get the best campground spots and have a good old time until the Festival Sept. 18.

This summer, however, the Winfield area got quite a lot of rainfall in July and Aug. which forced the WVF committee to push the line-up date back from Aug. 22 so they could let the grounds dry.

“We had so much rain, and it caused so many mud puddles, we decided to keep the early line-up date where we pushed it back to,” said Walnut Valley Festival speaker Rex Flottman “We’ve had people out there in the campgrounds get hit by a lot of rain in the past and then had to bring tractors in to get their RVs out of the mud.”

New line-up date aside, the festival is going to continue as planned, Sept. 18-22.Performers for 2013 Walnut Valley Festival include Bill Barwick, Tom Chapin & Friends, The Haunted Windchimes, Andy May, MilkDrive, Mischievous Swing, Scenic Roots, The Steel Wheels, and the Winfield City Band, and over 20 other bands performing across four main stages

Tickets to the Walnut Valley Festival are going for early sale until 5 p.m. Sept. 17. Advanced and gate prices are listed here:

  • Full Festival (5-day) $90.00
    • At gate $95.00
  • Friday/Saturday $65.00
    • At gate $75.00
  • Saturday/Sunday $55.00
    • At gate $65.00
  • Thursday (gate only) $40.00
  • Friday $35.00
    • At gate $45.00
  • Saturday $35.00
    • At gate $50.00
  • Sunday $15.00

For more information, including contest information, full ticket prices, and more you can visit

Jake Heronemus is a junior majoring in Communications. You can email him at