By Greg Ritchie
EAST TEXAS – The 46th Annual Labor Day Bluegrass Festival will be held at Salmon Park from Sept. 1-Sept. 4. Again this year there will be plenty of bluegrass music, with both local and national artists.
The festival was started by Floyd and Fannie Salmon who ran the festival for many years.
Julie Tucker is a long-time bluegrass musician and Salmon Lake fan. She is the promoter of the event – in charge of the festival since 2020. Tucker was asked to help with the job after she became well-known for her bluegrass show on radio.
“I had a lot of contacts with people who play bluegrass music,” Tucker said. “My husband plays in a bluegrass band and we have been at the Salmon bluegrass festival for probably 25 years. I want to bring groups to Grapeland that either haven’t been there before, or bring back some of the legends that people at the newer festivals forget about.”
“We, of course, have a lot of Texas talents, but I have bands coming from Kentucky, Georgia, Tennessee, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma,” Tucker explained.
Music lovers can also be tempted by the five food trucks on site with everything from hamburgers to breakfast foods and all the typical festival munchies too.
Grapeland Chamber of Commerce will give out free coffee and donuts to attendees Friday, Sept. 2 starting at 8 a.m. The Cowboy Church of Houston County will offer prayers and bottled water to all comers.
Along with door prizes each night, you can also buy a chance to win a Mossman Guitar made especially for the festival.
A weekend pass will cost $70 and individual tickets cost $25 each day. Children under 15 with parents are allowed in for free. Sunday will kick off with a morning worship at 10:30 a.m. before the music starts. Sunday is free for everyone.
Those with a weekend pass can enjoy pre-festival activities starting Monday, Aug. 28 including crafts and music lessons.
It is still recommended that you bring your own lawn chair, but Tucker has also purchased a small number of seats for those who do not bring them. In a new twist, rain may play a factor – imagine that after the summer we’ve had! The festival has made plans to suspend the music or move it completely indoors in case of rain.
Tucker expects from 1,000-1,500 people to attend this year. Tickets will be for sale at the door. Salmon Lake Park is located at 247 Salmon Lake Road in Grapeland.
Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]