by David Jackson
For Inland 360
Per his own admission, Keith Haley has bugged his niece, Nashville singer/songwriter Ashleigh Caudill, to play at the Paradise Ridge Challenge Course outside Moscow for five or six years.
When she finally said yes, he decided to turn it into a weekend. Thus, the first Paradise Ridge Music Festival was born.
The event runs Friday afternoon through Sunday outdoors at the site and will feature live music and food trucks. Admission is by donation with proceeds benefiting the nonprofit organization which is devoted to outdoor and environmental education.
Haley began putting the idea together in March after Caudill called and asked him where Cheney, Wash., was.
“I told her it wasn’t too far from me and so she told me maybe she could come down and do something on Paradise Ridge,” he said. “The opportunity fell in my lap.”
Caudill, an accomplished banjo player and songwriter with five albums in her catalogue, will perform at the Blue Waters Bluegrass Festival Friday and Saturday in Medical Lake, Wash. She will perform at Paradise Ridge Sunday.
Other festival performers include Ashleigh’s parents and Haley’s sister and brother-in-law, Marcus and Kara Caudill, as well as regional bands including the Range Benders, Sultry Swines, Jim Boland, Traffyk Jam, and others.
Scheduled food truck vendors include Mad Greek, One World Café Ice Cream, Love’s Kombucha and Buy the Dozen Donuts. Outside food and drinks are permitted. The challenge course will not be open during the event.
Although this is the inaugural music festival, special events aren’t new to the site. Besides course activities, the area is used for retreats and weddings. According to Haley, many people have suggested over the years that the site would be perfect for a music event.
“So we said OK, maybe we will someday. This is someday. What could it hurt to have some people sitting on the lawn listening to music? We have a venue, places to park and a campground. Let’s do it.”
Haley has relied on a strong supporting cast to put the event together. When asked how many people he expects will show up, he was brutally honest.
“Not a clue. We’ve got 130 to 140 families that send their kids to summer camp (at PRCC). Enough people know about us up there. We’ll see. I may lose my shirt on this. I’ll know a lot more about how to do this in September than I do now.”
The Paradise Ridge Challenge Course features numerous programs aimed at outdoor education, environmental education and team building activities.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Paradise Ridge Music Festival
5 to 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9
4 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10
2 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 11
COST: Suggested donation of $5 per person each day or $15 per family each day
WHERE: 1127 Paradise Ridge Road, Moscow
OF NOTE: A schedule of music can be found at paradiseridgechallenge.com. Attendees are advised to bring chairs, blankets, sun shades, refillable water bottles and bug spray. Alcohol will not be sold at the event but alcohol is permitted for those ages 21 and up. No glass is allowed. Gates will open an hour before the start of music each day. People are welcome to tour the site’s hiking trails. In case of severe weather music will be cancelled. Updates will be provided on the website.