In 2018, The City of Glen Rose will celebrate 46 years of Bluegrass Music at Oakdale Park! Bluegrass is part of the Glen Rose tradition, and we are so excited to be able to continue honoring that through the twice yearly, Bluegrass Jamboree Festivals. Alton “Whimp” and Geneva “Pete” May purchased Oakdale Park on June 15, 1963. The Mays, a musical family, agreed with the suggestion to host a bluegrass festival in collaboration with Thurman Winnett in 1972 using a metal trailer as the first stage! The Jamboree featured such popular bluegrass musicians as Earl Garner & The Bluegrass Mountaineers from Elkhart, Texas, and the Watkins Family from Shreveport, Louisiana, Debbie Bridgewater, and Joe Bass and the Double Mountain Boys of Lipan, Texas.
Over the years the Mays upgraded the event’s amenities including the construction of a covered stage for performers. The Jamboree included both stage performances along with numerous “jam sessions” on the park grounds. The annual Jamboree, along with regularly-scheduled bluegrass jam sessions, picnics, and reunions through the year, earned the City of Glen Rose the reputation as the Bluegrass Capital of Texas.
Whimp and Pete May, along with their son Scott and his wife Judy May, hosted thirty-six years of the
Jamboree until Oakdale Park was put up for sale. The final event, billed as “Oakdale Park’s Farewell Bluegrass Jamboree,” was held March 29–April 1, 2007, and featured a number of musicians and approximately a dozen bands—some of which had performed at the first Jamboree. The city of Glen Rose purchased Oakdale Park in 2009 and made plans to renovate the premises and resurrect the bluegrass festival. The home Bluegrass Association, The Paluxy River Bluegrass Association, holds monthly bluegrass jam sessions on the third Saturday of every month, and events throughout the year. Spring and fall festivals have subsequently taken place on the first weekends of April and in October as the Paluxy River Spring Bluegrass Festival and the Paluxy River Fall Bluegrass Festival. In 2017 City of Glen Rose made the decision to honor the history and longevity of the Jamboree by naming the twice yearly festivals the “Glen Rose Bluegrass Jamboree Festival”.
The 2018 spring Jamboree Festival will take place on April 5, 6, &7. Artists will include Catahoula Drive, The Kevin Prater Band, Mark Phillips & IIIrd Generation, The Kody Norris Show, The Robert Mabe Band, The Jeff Robertson Band, Downtown String Band, and The Paluxy Pickers!
Tickets to the festival start at as little as $15.00, and kids 16 & Under are FREE! For more information, call 254-897-3081 or visit GlenRoseTexas.net.
We hope you will come out and enjoy it with us, and become a part of the Bluegrass tradition!