By CHERIL VERNON
PALESTINE — The Palestine Dogwood Jamboree will begin its 10th year of production during its next show, “Moments to Remember” on Saturday, March 15.
“The show has been a tremendous success and has served to provide a great venue of family entertainment,” Dogwood Trails Producer Dan Manuel said. “We have been blessed through the previous nine years with wonderful sponsors and participation from Palestine, and actually all over Texas. Numerous tour buses come to the Jamboree for each production.”
The show will start at 7 p.m. at the Palestine Civic Center. The Jamboree will take place this year one week prior to the annual Dogwood Trails festival.
“The Dogwood Jamboree was first conceived some 10 years ago and from that first performance back in 2005 each show has just gotten better,” Manuel said.
The show will feature The All Star Banjo Band of Houston.
“This is a group of about 25 young people — all talented musicians, playing banjos guitars, fiddles, etc.,” Manuel said. “They are internationally known and have performed all over the country.”
Also featured on the show will be local recording artist Rodney Ray as well as local band “Yesteryear,” Mandy Seale, Amanda Lane, Tammy Bostick, Joe Hancock, Hal Roper and George Lester. Band members include W.J. Copeland, Mike Kellogg, Elton Phelps, Billy Lane, Joe Hancock, Lori Bishop, Shelia Fowler and Rick Wheat. Others on tap include Sandy “Flo” Singleterry, the Dogwood Jamboree singers and Manuel.
The March show also will kick off the Dogwood Jamboree Talent Search Youth Artist of the Year. Three young artists under the age of 18 will compete during the March show, with the winner — selected by a panel of judges and audience vote — advancing to the finals in December.
“For a long time we have wanted to give the young people of the area an opportunity to perform and in some way help them to advance their music ambitions,” Manuel said. “A number of young people auditioned for the show last year and the judges selected those with the highest score to perform on the 2013 venues.”
Auditions for the June show will be held in early June and auditions for the August Jamboree will be held in mid-July. Those wishing to audition can call 903-729-5611 or 903-729-7080. There is no entry fee for auditioning.
“It is amazing how many people come from the Metroplex, Houston and other parts of the state for the Jamboree. Many people travel to Branson, Mo. or Nashville, Tenn. for similar productions, and from the reviews we have received in numerous country music publications, the quality of the Jamboree and the performers are equal in many respects,” Manuel said. “We want to encourage those who have never attended one of the shows to make a special effort to bring the family out and enjoy the music, artists and comedy that fills the civic center during the evening performance and vote for your favorite artist in the talent search contest.”
The show is sponsored by local businesses and is designed as family entertainment. Children often appear on the show as well as adults of varying ages.
“I’ve always said, if you ever attend one performance, you will want to come back as you listen to the songs that classic country music fans have listened to through the years,” Manuel said.
Doors open at 6 p.m. At the intermission, door prizes donated by local merchants and businesses will be given away.
Advance tickets for the show can be purchased at Cavender’s Boot City, Dogwood Diner, Bishop’s Brisket House, Hometown Pharmacy or by calling 903-729-7080 or 903-723-6291.