DelFest: Come Early, Stay Late in the Mountain Side of Maryland

DelFest is Allegany County’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 23-26, and hosted by Del McCoury and family, DelFest 2019 welcomes to the stage the Del McCoury Band, the Travelin’ McCourys, the String Cheese Incident, Tyler Childers, Railroad Earth, Trampled By Turtles, and many more musical acts playing around the clock for nearly four days.

Photo Credit DelFest

The iconic Knobbly 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 at music! There are so many ways to get the whole experience of Mountain Maryland while you’re here for DelFest. Allegany County offers 60,000 acres of public land between the four state parks and forests, including Rocky Gap State Park and Green Ridge State Forest; access to the Potomac River and two internationally-recognized bike trails – the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Towpath; Rocky Gap Casino Resort; the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad; and two state-designated Main Street and Arts and Entertainment districts – Frostburg and Cumberland, MD.

Canoe on Lake Habeeb, Rocky Gap State Park, Allegany County, MD

New for 2019, festival attendees can pre-book guided kayak tours, cycling experiences on the Great Allegheny Passage and kid’s fishing packages available during DelFest!  Reservations can be made through or at, where festival tickets are also on sale. If you have a taste for adventure and the outdoors, be sure to expand your DelFest experience to include some of these must-do activities.

Hiking and Biking

Great Allegheny Passage, Big Savage Overlook

Allegany County features the two internationally-recognized bike trails, the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Towpath, which connect right here in Cumberland, MD, to create 333 miles of uninterrupted bike trails from Washington, DC, to Pittsburgh, PA. With the towpath following the old C&O Canal and the passage following the old Western Maryland Railway line, the trails feature awe-inspiring scenery with a touch of Allegany County’s historical past.

Play on the Water

We mentioned the Potomac River running alongside the festival grounds, and if it’s water you seek, then water we deliver. Both the Potomac River and Lake Habeeb at Rocky Gap State Park are popular attractions for kayaks, canoes and stand up paddle boards. The Potomac River features several public access points 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. Local outfitters are available to provide shuttles and equipment for a hassle-free adventure.


It doesn’t all have to be outdoors! Allegany County is home to Rocky Gap Casino Resort, where you can play slots, with over 600 machines, or try your luck at table games such as blackjack, roulette, Mississippi Stud, or Three Card Poker.

Western Maryland Scenic Railroad

Or hop aboard the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, a 3-hour round-trip heritage train excursion that departs from Cumberland, MD, and ascends the mountain to its destination in Frostburg, MD, and back.

Try the new Exit Strategy Escape Rooms in downtown Cumberland, MD, featuring a speakeasy room, the Untouchables, and an Alice in Wonderland-themed room, Through the Looking Glass. Gather your friends to look for clues, open locks, and decipher messages to solve the puzzle and escape before the clock runs out!

As you can see, there is no shortage in 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.

Maryland. Be open for it.

Places to Go, Things to See: