By GRACE GADDY
Dulcimer music, a farm and flower market, and a theatrical comedy are among events slated for this weekend, the second of three weekends comprising the 76th Annual Dogwood Trails Celebration.
Highlights this weekend include the following:
• Today and Saturday — 13th Annual Palestine Old Time Music and Dulcimer Festival
Kicking things off the old fashioned way with a healthy bit of toe-tappin', jammin' and strummin', the 13th Annual Palestine Old Time Music and Dulcimer Festival is expected to bring about 300 musicians from across the country to fill the halls of the Museum for East Texas Culture today and Saturday. The old museum will come alive with the sounds of old-time music workshops, jamming sessions and nightly concerts.
The schedule for today and Saturday is as follows: 9 to 10:15 a.m., workshops and jams; 10:45 a.m. to noon, workshops and jams; noon to 1:15 p.m., break for lunch; 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., day concerts; 2:45 to 4 p.m., workshops and jams; 4 to 6:45 p.m., free time and dinner; 6:45 to 10:05 p.m., evening concerts; 10:05 until, jamming. Single-day cost is $35 for everything (two concerts, workshops and jamming) or single-day without workshops, $25 (includes two concerts and jamming). For the public (those not participating in the workshops and other events), evening concert tickets are $15 per person or $45 for the family. Day concert tickets are $10 each.
The museum is located at 400 Micheaux St. in Palestine, behind Reagan Park. For detailed information about the festival, visit www.oldpalmusic.com.
• Today, Saturday and Sunday — The Texas Theater presents “Ghost of a Chance.”
The Palestine Community Theatre will present its spring comedy/love story, “Ghost of a Chance” at the Texas Theater in downtown Palestine. With character twists and ponderous ideas about life and death, “Ghost of a Chance” is the story of a recently engaged couple Bethany (played by Olivia Santone) and Floyd (played by Glenn Barnhart) dealing with obstacles on their path to true love – mainly the ghost of Bethany’s deceased husband, Chance (played by Gerry Goodwin), who manifests during the engaged couple’s cabin retreat. The production also features Floyd's mother Vera (played by Carol Moore), a kooky psychic Crystal (played by Dr. Jan Sikes) and the cabin owner Adam (played by John Lamb).
The opening show starts today at 7:30 p.m., with an opening night complimentary wine and cheese reception at 6:30 p.m. The show will run two weekends, today through Sunday, as well as April 4, 5 and 6. Friday and Saturday shows begin at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinee shows start at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $8 for students (ages 4-18) and $12 for adults. Tickets can be purchased locally at the Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce, 401 W. Main St.; Dogwood Diner, 402 E. Palestine Ave.; Switch, 1615 S. Royall St.; Sears, 2024 Crockett Rd.; Education Unlimited, 1917 Crockett Rd.; and Discount Pools, 304 W. Parker St., Elkhart. Tickets also can be purchased online at www.outhousetickets.com.
The Texas Theater is located at 213 W. Crawford St. in Palestine.
• Today through Sunday – Main Street Architectural Scavenger Hunt
Local explorers are invited to whip out their detective spectacles this weekend and next for the second annual Main Street Architectural Scavenger Hunt.
The hunt covers an area of 44 blocks and allows participants a chance to uncover some of the hidden gems of Palestine's historic district.
Participants can pick up clues – their “Hunter Tips” – at the Palestine Visitor Center, located at 825 W Spring St., download them from the website www.visitpalestine.com, or find them on the Main Street Facebook page.
• Saturday and Sunday – Texas State Railroad Piney Woods Steam Excursion and Dogwood Special Brunch
Saturday and Sunday – Piney Woods Steam Excursion – This roundtrip excursion on a historic engine departs from the Palestine and Rusk depots at 11 a.m. and returns at 3:30 p.m. The trip takes 1½ hours each way, with a 1½ hour layover for lunch at the opposite depot for a total 4 ½ hour experience. Box lunches are available for pre-order, or passengers can bring their own lunch. Beverages and snacks are available for purchase in the concession car.
Sunday – Dogwood Special Brunch – During a special Sunday morning train ride, locals are invited to enjoy nature tourism at its best, in the middle of dogwood blooming season. The train departs from the Palestine Depot at 10:15 a.m. and returns around 2:45 p.m. Tickets are $50 per person. For the full menu, visit www.texasstaterr.com.
The Palestine Depot is located at Park Rd. 70 in Palestine, and the Rusk Depot is at Park Rd. 76 in Rusk. Call 877-726-7245 to make reservations or book online at www.texasstaterr.com.
• Today through Sunday – Ivy Payne Wildlife Refuge
Nature lovers unite!
Anyone who needs a break from the world can come out this weekend to camp, take pictures, tour a lush wooded landscape and visit with new acquaintances on the 480-acre Ivy Payne Wildlife Refuge near Elkhart.
The refuge, located at the end of Anderson County Road 134, will open at 4 p.m. today and remain open through Sunday afternoon.
Nature tours through the hills and bottomlands of Parker Creek will start at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m. Sunday, led by East Texas Naturalist Dr. Heinz Gaylord.
There also will be a potluck supper Saturday night and a photo presentation of fauna and flora of the refuge. The property is equipped with a covered pavilion, two full bathrooms and a kitchen for common use.
Camping is primitive in woods adjacent to the covered pavilion. Small RV’s can be accommodated, though RV hookups and generators cannot be used.
• Saturday and Sunday – Main Street Farm and Flower Market
For the first time, Palestine's historic Main Street program will host an outdoor Farm and Flower Market from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Farmers Market Pavilion, located at 825 W. Spring St.
Up for grabs will be a variety of farm and garden products, including garden art, bedding plants, herbs, trees and fresh produce – all by regional growers – as well as fresh jams, salsas, pickles and more.
The Anderson County Master Gardeners also will be selling trees during the market – including white dogwood bare-rooted seedlings – and will offer free educational talks at noon and 2 p.m. each day.
For more Dogwood Trails events, check the special section inserted in today's paper.