Alabama Ag Museum to recognize Rex Locklar

Published 7:30 pm Tuesday, September 5, 2023

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The Landmark Bluegrass Festival is set for Saturday at Landmark Park, 4090 Ross Clark Circle in Dothan. Gates opens at 9 a.m. with live music noon until 9 pm.

Everyone who enjoys a foot-stomping, banjo pickin, good ol’ time celebrating the Bluegrass style of roots music is invited to attend.

An event of special interest to those who were “family” at Rex Locklar’s Bluegrass Festival in Henderson for 45-plus years will be a tribute display to the late “Father of Pike County Bluegrass” at Landmark Park’s Alabama Agriculture Museum.

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Kari Barley, museum curator, said Locklar “grew” bluegrass music in his sleepy hometown of Henderson in rural Pike County.

“For four-plus decades, Rex was Mr. Bluegrass,” said Barley, who calls Henderson home. “He introduced countless people to Bluegrass and was dedicated to keeping Bluegrass alive.

“People came to Henderson from all across the Southeast to pick and sing or just sit back and enjoy the high, lonesome sound of Bluegrass.”

“At the Alabama Agriculture Museum, we wanted to recognize Rex’s contributions to Bluegrass and his longtime dedication to keeping the ol’ time music alive.”

Locklar, a veteran of WWII,  owned and operated Locklar’s store, which was the community’s gathering place.

“Ol’ Rex,” as he was affectionately and appreciatively known, continues to be missed by many,” Barley said.

The Bluegrass Festival will feature The Byrd Family at 1 p.m. Smoke and Steel at 2 p.m. and Jim Conner, writer of John Denver’s “Grandma’s Feather Bed,” at 3 p.m.

Random Mountain Ramblers will kick the afternoon Bluegrass off at 4 p.m. followed by Smoke and Steel at 6 and Blue Holler at 7 p.m.

Lawn chairs and blankets are allowed.

The Landmark Bluegrass Festival will have antique tractors, wagon rides, jam sessions, historical exhibits, arts and crafts and food vendors.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and military plus $2.51 fee.  Kids’ admission is $4.