When I go to a Bones Fest, magic happens because talented people attend, and Bones Fest XIV was no exception. The Lyceum, steeped in its own history in historic Old Towne Alexandria, VA, was the perfect venue for the fest. Across the Potomac River was our nation’s Capitol and the home of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band with hosts Kenny Wolin, a member of that band, and Teri Davies, who as you will see, was moving from Buffalo to Virginia.


The fest officially began Friday at 11:30 AM with a reception of food and drink, jamming, the Bones Marketplace, and people renewing old and making new friendships. Can there be a bones fest without a rib bones dinner? The rest of the evening was fun with informal performances by most everyone.


Friday and Saturday afternoons were filled with varied workshops: Steve Brown’s playing to Irish music; Tim Reilly’s playing drum rudiments on rhythm bones and one on scrimshawing; Spike Bones’ art of dance; and Kenny Wolin’s 2-handed independence.


One of the grand highlights was holding the largest pass-off in history, and tried to get it sanctioned by the Guinness Book of Records; to no avail. According to the hosts, the highlight of the weekend happened Sunday morning. At 9 AM sharp, attendees gathered in the lobby of the hotel and waited for Gunnery Sgt. Kenneth Scott Wolin, in full dress uniform, to walk down the stairs and lead everyone to Trans-Potomac Canal Central. Music was provided by Jonathan Danforth on violin and Mary Audette on flute, playing Teri’s favorite waltz, “Give Me Your Hand.” The crowd hushed as Teri Davies walked down the stairs, passing through the raised bones of the Rhythm Bones Honor Guard. It was a beautiful culmination of Kenny’s proposal to Teri on stage at Bones Fest XIII (to the surprise of Teri and all the attendees). Then it was back to the hotel for a champagne breakfast and farewells.


A goal of every fest is to introduce the bones to novices. The 10-15 folk who had never been to a fest were enthusiastic and charmed by the event. The goal was accomplished.