A new association has been formed to bring bluegrass music back to Oakdale Park every month.
Several weeks ago 30 to 35 people met at Oakdale and founded the Paluxy River Bluegrass Association. They plan to bring a bluegrass event to Oakdale every third Saturday of every month.
"Glen Rose used to be the place to go to for bluegrass music," said association co-founder Frank Simurdak. "We want to bring bluegrass back to Oakdale."
The park last weekend hosted the Paluxy River Spring Bluegrass Festival, the first time such a festival has been held in the spring. A big bluegrass festival traditionally takes place every fall.
The spring festival was a hit, said Billy Huckaby, director of the city's Convention & Visitors Bureau. Final numbers haven't been tallied yet, but Huckaby estimated about 1,000 people attended the three-day event.
"The bluegrass festival was a huge success," Huckaby told the Glen Rose City Council Monday evening. "I have not heard one complaint. I think it's going to turn out that we did good."
Gary Ivy, in his last report as Oakdale Park manager, told the council that newly appointed interim park manager Wayland Adams put together the festival on Oakdale's end. City staff had a goodbye party for Ivy on Monday afternoon. He is going back into retirement and will remain a consultant to the city and return periodically to help as needed.
"It went much smoother than any festival we've had," Ivy said. "I'm happy to report that I was just a consultant. Mr. Adams did an excellent job."
The bluegrass association wants to continue the success of those festivals and take advantage of local talent as well as bring in bluegrass groups. Glen Rose has many musicians who play bluegrass music, Simurdak noted.
He brought up the example of Pearl, a village near Evant that holds regular gospel and bluegrass performances inside a historic schoolhouse. Musicians get together in the old classrooms and hold jam sessions, which some fans love as much as the performances in the auditorium.
"We think we can do something like that here," Simurdak said. "We also will try to encourage them to come Friday night and stay."
The events would be held on the Oakdale stage. In case of bad weather, the events could be moved to the conference center (the old skating rink) or the pavilion. As at Pearl, lots of little jam sessions would take place around the park.
Workshops for individual instruments also will be held. The association also wants to get younger people involved by doing programs at the local schools.
The events will be free, but those attending do need to bring what no bluegrass gathering can be without - lawn chairs.
The Reporter will publish details of future bluegrass events as they become available.