GLEN ROSE – Lone Star State Dulcimer Society hosted its 35th annual Dulcimer Festival Friday, May 6, at Oakdale Park. Hundreds of campers, music lovers, and musicians attended the weekend long event and enjoyed classic bluegrass and dulcimer music as well as craft and music booths.
“I would say that it was a huge success,” Dana Hamilton, the MC of the festival, said. “It was a good crowd out there and we’re really starting to grow again.”
The Dulcimer Festival is far reaching from the small town of Glen Rose. Bob and Cindy Harris traveled over to Oakdale Park with their friend “Dave” all the way from Abiquiu, New Mexico - about an hour north of Santa Fe.
“We’ve been coming out here for five years,” Bob said. “It’s our third year to have the booth.”
Cindy makes fused glass and copper jewelry, all off the grid on solar power. She also makes unique clay sculptures.
“We like that it’s small and relaxed,” Bob said.
“The people are just - it’s Texas, what else can I say? They’re wonderful,” Cindy said. “I’m from Texas so it’s nice to come back and visit.”
The Harris family isn’t the only ones who recognize the uniqueness of the Glen Rose festival. Hamilton said one of the things that makes this festival special is the youth that attend.
“This is the only one that seems to be packed with young people,” Hamilton said. “You don’t see this many kids at most of the other festivals, but in Glen Rose you see kids that grew up and bringing their own kids. We’re a family friendly show, we leave the front row open for the kids to come up and run around in front. That’s what Glen Rose is all about, let the children run around and enjoy the music, the kids love it.”
The festival started music at 10 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and featured late night activities afterwards as well.
“We got music going all day long Friday and Saturday,” Hamilton said. “We start at 10 in the morning and go all day. We have workshops that go on all day on Saturday and they’re all free. We have a square dance on Friday and Saturday nights, too.”
The level of musicianship that performs at the festival is outstanding and literally on the world-class level.
“We had on stage probably 8-10 former national champions of the mountain dulcimer and the hammer dulcimer and three world champions of the autoharp,” Hamilton said. “The hammer dulcimer dates back to biblical times.”
Next year’s festival is already drawing a crowd. Hamilton said that a lot of the campsites and cabins are already reserved for next year.
“We hope to see you there next year,” Hamilton said. “We’d really like to see more of the locals in Glen Rose to come out and enjoy it. We don’t charge admission and I’d like to see it grow more.”