Friday Woodbine Opry in Georgia (12/2/23) – photo © Bill Warren
We “discovered” the Friday Woodbine Opry a number of years ago. We have since managed to visit a least once a year during our trip to the Jekyll Island Bluegrass Festival.
The Opry started in in late 2000 as a bluegrass jam session and is now an entertainment staple in the small town of Woodbine, Georgia.
Two of the founders of the Opry remain and spend their Friday evenings on stage. Hoydt Drury and Jack Bethune were recognized on Friday as attending their 1,137th Opry show. That is dedication of the highest degree. I have come to know these gentlemen over the past few years. Both have a passion for the music, the community, and especially their families.
Another gentleman has stepped up to handle a great deal of the MC work. Bill Garlen is a professional entertainer that recognizes the value of the Opry to the greater Woodbine area.
The audience and the players are mainly from the area. However, snowbirds, people passing through, and others who hear about the show regularly stop in.
The show is free, and volunteers prepare a meal that can be purchased. This old bluegrasser bellied up to a pulled pork sandwich, baked beans, coleslaw, and a slice of pecan pie! Tickets are sold for a dessert table and a 50-50 draw to help maintain the community center. Cakes, cupcakes, donuts, pies, and other goodies abound!
Everyone who comes into the center is treated like family and is always invited back. Bring your instrument and join the entertainment, or just come to listen.
Bill Garlen is part of a band called Satilla Blue. The band is planning a New Year’s day party. They are calling it the Satilla Blue Bowl. It begins at 4:00 p.m. with gospel music until 5:30. From 5:30 until 7:p.m. will be a traditional New Year’s supper of ham, black eyed peas, and collard greens. Traditional country music will then kick in until 9:00 p.m. or so. The community center is located at 205 Camden Avenue in Woodbine, GA.
We are looking forward to attending more shows during this month. See you at Woodbine!
Support your local music venues.