Save Bean Blossom foundation forms

Bean Blossom Brown County Jamboree Preservation FoundationIn November last year Jim Peva gave notice of the impending sale of the Bill Monroe Memorial Park and Campground, home of the famous Bean Blossom bluegrass festivals.

More recently, he informed us of current plans. Following on from that comes news of the formation, by a group of devoted enthusiasts and industry folks, of the Bean Blossom Brown County Jamboree Preservation Foundation Inc. in a continued effort to ensure that the Bill Monroe Memorial Park and Campground continues to be the “Mecca of Bluegrass” for generations to come.

In an expression of his support for the Bean Blossom Jamboree Foundation (BBJF), park owner Dwight Dillman, a former banjo player with the Blue Grass Boys, recently removed the For Sale sign posted at the entrance to the park. Although not part of the Board of Directors or the Advisory Committee, Dillman endorses the Foundation’s plan to purchase and operate the park in accordance with its rich history and traditions.

The mission of the foundation is to establish a permanent music park and education center on the hallowed grounds where, Bean Blossom, the longest continuously-running bluegrass festival began in June 1967. Before Bill Monroe purchased the site, in 1951, it was home to the Brown County Jamboree that was held in the Brown County Jamboree Barn, which was officially opened in 1943.

The Bean Blossom Brown County Jamboree Preservation Foundation will have an information booth set up at all the events that take place at Bean Blossom including Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival (June 14-21), Bean Blossom Gospel Jubilee (July 30 – August 2), Uncle Pen Days (September 24-27) and Hillbilly Wagon Train Jam (October 2-4). The Foundation will also be at ROMP (June 26-28) in Owensboro, Kentucky.

BBJF Director Tom Adler said …….

“Our mission is to preserve the music park at Bean Blossom in perpetuity and continue the Brown County Jamboree’s heritage of musical shows and the bluegrass music festivals established at Bean Blossom by the Father of Bluegrass Music, Bill Monroe. The vision of the Foundation is a permanent music park and educational center, grounded in the history of the musical events at Bean Blossom.

If you are one of the many bluegrass fans with ‘Bean Blossom Memories’ of your own, and would like to see the history and traditions associated with the site of the world’s longest continuously-running bluegrass festival preserved for generations to come, you can play a key role!”

Tom clarified that role:

“Write a check now — making your charitable donation to the BBJF today is what it will take to make this happen. Send it to BBJF, Inc., 5163 North State Road 135, Morgantown, Indiana 46160, and think again–as you write your check–about what this special music park has meant to you. What it is now, what it has been in the past, what it can and should be, forever…

Please visit our new website and send your friends there as well to donate cash for our Capital Campaign to buy the park or to join us as annual BBFJ members rallying in every way to save this historic and vibrant music park.

Bluegrass fans the world over, even those who have never been to Bean Blossom, appreciate the significant role that the park has played in the evolution of Mr. Monroe’s music.

The BBJF is a non-profit foundation applying for I.R.C. Section 501(c)(3) status, so a contribution may be tax deductible. Donations to the cause can also be made via the website.

Officials of the new organization include ……

Bean Blossom Jamboree Foundation Board of Directors:

  • Steven L. Johnson, President
  • Cary A. Fields, Vice President / Treasurer
  • Richard C. Hersberger, Secretary
  • Thomas A. Adler
  • Neil V. Rosenberg
  • Saburo Wantanabe Inoue
  • Sarah Wasson
  • Penni McDaniel
  • Ken Perlman

Bean Blossom Jamboree Foundation Advisory Committee:

  • Col. James R. Peva
  • Roger Brock
  • Don Meadows
  • George V. Garrett

To contact the Bean Blossom Brown County Jamboree Preservation Foundation, you can phone them at 1-877-989-BBJF (toll free), or reach them by postal mail at:

BBJF, Inc.
5163 North State Road 135
Morgantown, IN 46160

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.