By Will Johnson Messenger Reporter
GRAPELAND – As the grass starts to turn its late summer brown in the yards and pastures of the local community, the grass at Salmon Lake Park will turn a distinctive shade of blue beginning this coming Thursday.
The 40th Annual Bluegrass Festival is set to begin Sept. 1 at Salmon Lake Park with a host of new performers and returning regulars. The festivities actually start on Wednesday, Aug. 31 with a pot luck dinner held at the Salmon Lake Pavilion beginning at 6:00 p.m.
The official opening ceremonies are set to begin at 5:45 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 1. Once the opening ceremonies conclude, the musicians take center stage with The Texas HoneyBees kicking things off for a weekend chock full of music and merriment.
The Masters of Ceremonies for the event will be Mike Powell and Scott Armstrong. The musicians and bands tentatively scheduled to perform at the event are: The Texas HoneyBees; the Mike Stroup Trio; Southern Style; Little Roy and Lizzy Shaw; the Sabine River Bend Band; the Lonestar Bluegrass Band; The Farmhands; Goldwing Express; Lori King and Junction 63; The Marksmen; and Catahoula Drive.
A four day pass is $60 with daily of $15 for Thursday, $20 for Friday, $20 for Saturday and $10 for Sunday. Children under 15 are free when escorted by their parents.
There will also be an old time gospel Sunday morning worship service with The Marksmen providing the music and Mike Powell conducting the services.
Festival Manager and Promoter Collee Biller-Littlefield said because this is “… the 40th anniversary of the Bluegrass Festival, we have made sure everyone knows about that. There are some folks who have been coming out here for all 40 years, a few more for at least 35 and a lot more for well over 20. I asked everyone who been here quite a few times if they had a memento or a funny story, or pictures or something, rather than get Floyd and Fannie (Salmon) a gift, I think they would probably rather hear from them in a kind of ‘I remember when’ type of thing.”
“Or,” she continued with a laugh, “to hear, ‘My kids grew up here and now they’re doctors and lawyers.’ Just to let them know these are the things that shaped our children and now they have moved on and now they’re good citizens or in jail. I thought that Floyd and Fannie would probably enjoy that more than another plaque to dust.”
Biller-Littlefield added the Grapeland Chamber of Commerce would be at the festival on opening day and would be “giving away cobbler and ice cream.” There will also be commemorative T-shirts available.
“OH!” the festival manger exclaimed. “Floyd is going to sing a song, Connie (Salmon-Norsworthy) and her son are going to sing a song and hopefully they’re going to play a little bit. That will be around 8:45 on Saturday night where the Sabine River Bend Band is listed. They will back them up. We’re going to have Carolyn (Salmon-Kazmierczak) and Connie (Salmon-Norsworthy). Anita (Salmon-Lee) said she didn’t think she should get up there and would stay with her momma. It will be the Salmon Family Band. Things may fall through but we’re going to get Floyd up there and the Sabine River Bend Band will back him up. I’ll just tell him, we put it in the paper, so you better get up there!”
Below is the current lineup as of Aug. 26.
Thursday, Sept. 1
- 5:45 – Opening Ceremonies
- 6:30 – The Texas HoneyBees
- 7:15 – The Mike Stroup Trio
- 8:00 – Southern Style
- 8:45 – Little Roy and Lizzy Show
- 9:30 – Sabine River Bend Band
Friday, Sept. 2
- 1:00 – Mike Stroup Trio
- 1:45 – Lonestar Bluegrass Band
- 2:30 – Little Roy & Lizzy Show
- 3:15 – The Farm Hands
- 4:00 – Goldwing Express
- 4:45 – 6:30 p.m. – Supper Break
- 6:30 – Lonestar Bluegrass Band
- 7:15 – Little Roy and Lizzy Show
- 8:00 – Lori King and Junction 63
- 8:45 – Goldwing Express
- 9:30 – The Farm Hands
Saturday, Sept. 3
- 1:00 – Lori King & Junction 63
- 1:45 – Sabine River Bend Band
- 2:00 – Children’s Crafts held on the patio under the Crazy Horse Saloon
- 2:30 – The Marksmen
- 3:15 – Catahoula Drive
- 4:00 – Goldwing Express
- 4:45 – 6:30 p.m. – Supper Break and Open Stage
- 6:30 – Lori King and Junction 63
- 7:15 – The Farm Hands
- 8:00 – The Marksmen
- 8:45 – Sabine River Bend Band
- 9:30 – Catahoula Drive
Sunday, Sept. 4
- 11:00 a.m. – Devotional
- 1:00 – Southern Style
- 1:45 – Catahoula Drive
- 2:30 – Sabine River Bend Band
- 3:15 – The Marksmen
*Line-up subject to change
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com.