Flooding devastates Salmon Lake Park – festival to go on in September

Salmon Lake Park in Grapeland, TX, site of the popular Salmon Lake Park Bluegrass Festival, was severely damaged yesterday when the Salmon Lake dam burst following a period of high rain on Monday night. The National Weather Service has estimated that as much as 11 inches of rain fell overnight, Monday into Tuesday, causing flash flooding over many parts of Houston County in east Texas.

Fortunately, municipal authorities have reported no loss of life following the flooding, but the park and the campground where the festival is held will require a good bit of restoration in order to be ready for their 2021 event, the 45th annual running of the Salmon Lake Park Bluegrass Festival in September. The new owners of the park, David and Leah Powers, had just successfully completed the 24th annual Bluegrass Gospel Festival over the Labor Day weekend, so both they, and the festival’s attendees, dodged a big one by only a day. Imagine the chaos if the dam broke at 5:00 a.m. while the park was filled with people!

Regular readers may recall when such a scenario occurred in Kentucky back in 2017 when RudyFest had to be evacuated because of floodwaters in the park. Not a pretty sight.

The Park is determined to be ready for the festival this coming Labor Day, but is asking for some assistance from the community. A GoFundMe campaign has been established to help the Powers raise $15,000 to restore the facility over the summer. The stage seems to have been spared any damage from high water, though engineers will be brought out to make a full assessment before it is used again for shows. A good bit of earthmoving will be required on site, however, before the public can be welcomed again into Salmon Lake Park.

If you have enjoyed time at the Park, or attended either of their yearly bluegrass festivals, please consider making even a small donation through their GoFundMe page, where contributions can be securely sent using major credit cards or PayPal. 

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.