Little Roy & Lizzy Show at Salmon Lake Park – photo by Julie Tucker
Salmon Lake Park in Grapeland, TX, located between Dallas and Houston, has wrapped up another successful year with their annual bluegrass festivals.
The 26th Annual Gospel Bluegrass Festival celebrated record crowds as history was made with the New Tradition Reunion featuring Danny Roberts, Daryl Mosley, Jamie Clifton, and Richie Dotson. Other notable bands included The Gospel Plowboys, The Marksmen Quartet, The King James Boys, The Purple Hulls, and more. “This is the largest crowd we’ve seen in quite some time,” said promoter Julie Tucker. “Some of the old timers were reminiscing that ‘this is how it used be,’ which made us quite happy.”
The 47 Annual Labor Day Bluegrass Festival survived despite the extreme summer heat experienced in Texas that weekend. Larry Stephenson Band, Donna Ulisse, A Deeper Shade of Blue, and Hickory Hill were big hits, and real troopers to endure the heat along with the rest of our great lineup.
Park Owners David and Leah Powers, along with Julie Tucker, have made the decision to move the annual bluegrass festival to late October starting in 2024. “Every year we either fight the heat or the possibility of rain as the hurricane season ramps up that time of year,” said Julie. “The annual bluegrass festival will now be held the fourth weekend in October. Much thought and consideration went into the decision, including making sure we didn’t conflict with neighboring festivals. Once the announcement was made, we received tremendous positive feedback from annual patrons.”
Tucker is already working on 2024 Gospel & Bluegrass Festival lineups. The Cox Family, The Gospel Plowboys, The Marksmen Quartet, The Purple Hulls, Caleb & Abby Lindsey, and more will appear at the 27th Annual Gospel Festival, May 23-25, 2024.
The 48th Annual Bluegrass festival will be held Oct 24-26, 2024, and will include Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Caroline Owens Band, Karl Shiflett & Big Country, The Marksmen Quartet, plus more to be announced.
“Folks that come to Salmon Lake Park come for several reasons in addition to the lineup,” say the Powers. “Camping and jamming are a big draw for us, and we have folks coming in a week early. We have lots of activities throughout the week leading up to the festival including open mic night, instrument workshops, crafts for the ladies, and more. We are seeing more and more young people in recent years that attend with their parents and grandparents. We really focus on making our event family friendly by including kids in our workshops, jams, and stage shows. The local schools welcome our bluegrass patrons to come in and perform for the kids and teach them about the various bluegrass instruments. Field trips during the festival are also welcome and this year we hosted the fifth grade class from Grapeland ISD.”
Full details on both festivals can be found online.