Landmark Park remembers Rex Locklar

Published 6:00 pm Monday, September 11, 2023

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Landmark Park in Dothan hosted the Landmark Bluegrass Festival on Saturday. The event was attended by fans of the high lonesome sound of bluegrass music from early in the day until long after the sun went down.

The festival also featured jam sessions, farming displays throughout the park, arts and crafts, food vendors and opportunities for chocolate milkshakes in the old country store and quiet time in the old country church.

Across from the bluegrass stage was the Alabama Agricultural Museum, which was of special interest to those who attended Rex Locklar’s biannual Bluegrass Festival at Henderson in rural Pike County over a 46-year span of time.

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Rex Locklar, the Father of Bluegrass in Pike County, died on February 22, 2014, and his memory and his love of bluegrass continue in the minds and hearts of those how knew him, said Kari Barley, museum curator.

“Everybody who knew Rex loved him and appreciated him for all he did to keep bluegrass music alive,” Barley said. “We wanted to honor Ol’ Rex, as he was affectionately known, during the time Landmark Park recognizes the role bluegrass music has played and continues to play throughout many areas of our country.”

Cathie Steed and Anne Register were among those from Pike County who enjoyed the festival.

“We especially wanted to visit the Agriculture Museum,” the ladies said. “We were very impressed with the museum’s displays and artifacts. It is an outstanding museum of agricultural history.”

Both, Steed and Register were attracted to Locklar’s memorabilia.

“I grew up in Banks so I’m familiar with Rex’s bluegrass festivals and what they have meant to those who love bluegrass music and the recognition they brought to Pike County,” Steed said.

Register is a Texas native so she’s only heard about Pike County Bluegrass.

“I was interested to know that Rex Locklar was in the military and a dedicated patriot,” she said. “The video gave me an idea of what the festival was like.”

Both enjoyed seeing the Benton Brothers on the video playing at the festival.

“We know Alex and Lee from the We Piddle Around Theater,” Steed said. “It was fun to see and remember them as younger pickers and to know them now as outstanding young family men.”