GRAPELAND — Bluegrass music lovers from all over the country will gather in Grapeland for the 44th Annual Labor Day Weekend Bluegrass Music Festival at Salmon Lake.
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.
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 lineup includes musicians new to the festival: The Larry Stephenson Band, Volume Five and the Little Roy & Lizzie Show.
Among returning favorites are The Marksmen, The Purple Hulls, Chords of Grace and Andi & The Bluegrass Pals.
Mike Powell will serve as this year’s emcee.
Pickers will play throughout the park — all day, everyday, with impromptu jam sessions on a whim.
This year’s events in the park for the special weekend include an Estate Sale and Junk Swap Aug. 27-30, a Golf Cart Parade on Aug. 31, Banjo Bingo on Sept. 1, and a Barn Dance and Homemade Ice Cream contest Sept. 2.
Concerts will be held each evening Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 3-5.
Sunday, Sept. 6 the park will host a morning devotional with bluegrass worship music.
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.
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