GRAPELAND — The 44th Annual Labor Day Weekend Bluegrass Music Festival begins Thursday at Salmon Lake Park in Grapeland.
Salmon Lake Park, 357 Salmon Lake Road in Grapeland, has attracted some of the biggest names in gospel bluegrass for the past 43 years. This year is no different.
The opening ceremony is set for 5:45 p.m. Thursday.
Concerts will be held each evening Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 3 through 5.
Thursday’s line-up wil feature Hickory Ridge, Chords of Grace, Andi & BG Pals and Volume Five.
On Friday, enjoy The Gazebo Pickers, Paluxy Pickers, Larry Stephenson, Andi & BG Pals and The Purple Hulls.
Saturday’s bands are Moccasin Creek, The Boltons, The Marksmen, Little Roy & Lizzy and The Purple Hulls.
The park will host a morning devotional by Brother Mark Wheeler and bluegrass worship music with The Marksmen on Sunday, Sept. 6.
Mike Powell will serve as this year’s emcee.
The festival, founded by Floyd Salmon and his family, and run for many years by the Texas Bluegrass Music Association, is being hosted by park owners David and Leah Powers this year. They are calling this year’s festival Labor Day 2020 Bluegrass.
As always, pickers will play throughout the park — all day, every day, with impromptu jam sessions on a whim.
Workshops will be held Thursday through Saturday in the park’s Sunshine Inn.
Aside from the music, visitors may enjoy shopping food and craft vendors, swimming, hiking around the park, and exploring old buildings dating back to the early 1900s. Many have been renovated into cabins and reunion halls, along with the late Floyd Salmon’s artistic creations made from old machine parts.
The lake features a barge with two diving boards and a center lake pier. There is also a playground, a snack shack, and nearly 300 camper hookups.
A kids' favorite is the 10-foot water wheel, powering a gristmill, with its gears hidden in an replica of an old man getting spanked by an old woman, as he turns the crank.
Food vendors for this event include Old Magnolia Gourmet Sandwiches and The Rolling Stove – Hamburgers, Street Tacos, Snowcones and Frozen Drinks.
Arts, crafts and other vendor groups will be set up for shopping. Festival goers are asked to social distance when visiting the merchandise area.
Alcohol is prohibited in the park. RV and camping sites are still available.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, park capacity is limited. Cleaning precautions have been made and hand sanitizing stations will be available. Everyone is expected to practice social distancing and be responsible.
Weekend passes are available for $60. Tickets are $15 for Thursday, $25 per day for Friday and Saturday and $15 for Sunday. Children 15 and under with an adult enter free.
Festival-goers can reserve golf carts by calling 936-687-2594.
Vendor spaces for the Estate Sale and Junk Swap are still available.
From Palestine, go south on U.S. 287/Texas 19 toward Grapeland. At the fork, take the U.S. 287 Business route in Grapeland. At the caution light, turn right, go two blocks west, turn right again, and follow the Salmon Lake Park signs.
For tickets or more information, call 936-687-2594, or visit http://www.salmonlakepark.com