Glen Rose’s crucial tourism business got a much-needed boost last weekend with four events that kept downtown and Oakdale Park bustling with activity.
Hundreds of visitors from as far away as West Virginia converged on Glen Rose for the first major bluegrass festival Oakdale Park has seen in years, a moonshine festival complete with real moonshine (and moon shine as well), the Paluxy Pedal backroads bike race and the Somervell History Foundation’s Cowboys & Cabernet fundraising gala benefiting Barnard’s Mill Art Museum.
The Paluxy River Bluegrass Festival was a “huge success,” said Billy Huckaby, director of the Glen Rose Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Darrell Best, chairman of the Glen Rose/Somervell County Chamber of Commerce, said the square stayed busy all day long, unlike at some festivals where attendance tapers off in the afternoon. The Christmas in the Park garage sale next to the Riverhouse Grill also brought in people, as did festival sponsor Mike Brown Ford's display of new cars.
“It doesn't get much better in Glen Rose than it did on Saturday,” Best said.
The moonshine tasting also was a big hit, Best added.
“I know we had 150 tastes because we washed out 150 jars,” he said.
More than 100 people also turned out for the Moonshine Festival street dance Saturday night, even though the Green Pickle, Hollywood & Vine Restaurant andBarnard's Mill also featured entertainment.
“I don't think anybody was home Saturday night,” Best said with a laugh.
The Quicksilver Paluxy Pedal Back Roads Bicycle Ride drew hundreds of riders. Once again proceeds from this year's ride will benefit the non-profit LDL Educational Resources Foundation.
Adam Eyres, who has organized the ride since 2003, said the Pedal has raised $58,000 for the LDL Foundation, with a goal of increasing the total to $100,000 in the next few years.
The ride began at Glen Rose High School and traversed a range of distances — 29, 45, 60 or 80 miles.
Quicksilver Resources is the event's platinum-level sponsor. Other sponsors include Town & Country Bank, First Financial Bank and Bicycles Inc.
Another popular fundraising event, Saturday night's Cowboys & Cabernet gala held at Barnard's Mill Art Museum, was sponsored by the Somervell History Foundation to raise money for continuing preservation efforts at the mill.
Foundation President Pat Barrow said the gala drew 135 people and raised more money than last year’s event. She did not have the exact amount totaled yet because some donations are still coming in. The Riverhouse Grill catered the dinner, held outside on the grounds under the stars and twinkling lights.
Among the items auctioned were a bas-relief sculpture of Barnard’s Mill by local sculptor Margaret Drake, paintings, photos, Wedgwood china and experiences such as wine tasting, margarita fiesta and a canoe trip on the Brazos River to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the publication of John Graves’ classic non-fiction book Goodbye to a River. Several spots still are available for the river trip, scheduled for Nov. 13. If interested, contact Barnard’s Mill at 897-7494.