Bluegrass is ‘on’ in Henderson

Published 7:41 pm Wednesday, September 28, 2022

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Shelby Cargile is not one to break with tradition.

And, the Bluegrass Festival at Henderson in rural Pike County is tradition.

“It’s on,” Cargile said. On Friday and Saturday nights, October 7 and 8, there will be picking and singing at the Henderson Music Park.

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Cargile said that’s the way it has been in Henderson for most of the last 50 years and there’s no reason to stop and every reason to keep going.

Rex Locklar was known as the “Father of Bluegrass” around the Wiregrass and River regions of Alabama. When he died in 2014, many thought so would bluegrass music. However, Cargile and friends were determined “Ol’Rex” would not be forgotten and that bluegrass would be played.

It took a dedicated bunch of pickers, a sack full of ideas, a ton of backbreaking work, tens of talents and a fistful of dollars to renovate the Henderson Music Park.

The old schoolhouse is gone but not the memories, Cargile said. And bluegrass is being played.

“Campers will start coming in on Thursday, October 6, and there will be picking around the campground,” Cargile said. “By late Friday afternoon, we should have a crowd.”

The pickin’ and grinnin’ will get off to a fast start on the stage around 6 p.m. on Friday (Oct . 7), and continue until 9 or later. The schedule will be the same on Saturday (Oct. 8), except for the memorial service at 2 p.m.

“We’ll remember those in our bluegrass family who have been lost during the year,” Cargile said. “And, of course, we’ll remember Rex.”

Cargile said everyone is welcome to the Henderson Bluegrass Festival, pickers, singers and bench warmers. It’s a good idea to bring a folding chair.

There is no admission charge, but donations are appreciated.