Henderson comes alive with

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 18, 2000

bluegrass music this weekend


Features Editor

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If you’re in a hurry to get somewhere, then you probably don’t need to make plans to

attend the

Bluegrass Jamboree at Henderson Friday and Saturday. Once you get there, you won’t want to be anywhere else.

Since 1965, bluegrass lovers have been packing the Henderson Music Park twice a year- October and April – for Rex Locklar’s Bluegrass Jamborees and this weekend should be no exception.

On Tuesday, several "big rigs" had already claimed their favorite spots and many others will soon follow suit. In fact, Locklar said he expects the park to be near capacity by Thursday afternoon.

At the spring jamboree, campers filled 63 slots with everything from pup tents to luxury RVs. More than 70 camping spots are expected to be filled for this weekend’s jamboree with additional pickers and listeners coming in from all directions to enjoy the pickin’, singin’, and fellowship that is "bluegrass."

The thing that is most unique about Locklar’s Bluegrass Jamboree is that everyone there is a VIP. The shade tree pickers are as much a part of the jamboree as those who take center stage in the old Henderson Schoolhouse.

Clem Johnson has been attending the jamborees for more years than he cares to count.

"I always look forward to the pickers on stage but I guess my favorite thing about the jamboree is the shade tree picking groups," he said. "Pickers just split off in groups – under trees, under tents or on a log to pick and sing. If one group doesn’t suit you, another one will."

Johnson said the music will vary from group to group.

"One might be singing bluegrass, one country, one gospel, so I suggest that those who come bring a chair that they can move from place to place because you’ll want to hear some of all of it," he said.

Much is said about pickers at bluegrass festivals but many of those who attend don’t pick at all. They just enjoy listening and/or singing along.

"You don’t have to be real particular how you sing," Johnson said. "At the bluegrass jamboree any way is okay. We’re all here just to have a good time. This is a chance to enjoy some of the best bluegrass music around in a relaxed atmosphere. You can’t beat it."

So, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Come and stay as long as you like. There’s a lot of good food around so you won’t starve if you decide to stay all day and half the night.

Admission is $5 each day – Friday and Saturday – but Thursday offers some good parking lot picking and there’s no charge for whetting your appetite for the weekend.

Henderson Music Park is located in downtown Henderson. You can’t miss it for the music.