A 1982 Texas Senate Resolution declared that “the Oakdale Park Bluegrass Festivals…have made Glen Rose the Bluegrass Capital of Texas.” The resolution noted that the “5,000 and more people attending these festivals on the Oakdale grounds leave standing room only” and that legendary bluegrass musicians such as “Lester Flatt, Chubby Wise, Mack Wiseman, Grandpa Jones and many others” have performed at Oakdale.
Although the names of the performers have changed and the crowds aren’t quite so large as to make it standing room only (there’s plenty of room for your lawn chairs), Oakdale’s Bluegrass Jamboree, which began in 1972, is still going strong. An article published in 2004 in the Journal of Texas Music History, observed that “of all the [bluegrass] festivals that began in the early 1970s, only the Bluegrass Jamboree at Glen Rose survives.” So, make plans to come to Oakdale Park where you can enjoy some great music and be part of history in the making.
Oakdale Park hosts its Spring Jamboree on the first weekend in April, and its Fall Jamboree on the first weekend in October. Both festivals begin with a free “beans and cornbread” supper on Wednesday evening, followed by the first performances on Thursday evening. On Friday and Saturday, performances are scheduled during both the afternoon and the evening. And, for those who like to do their own pickin’ and grinnin’, there are jam sessions going on throughout the festival. There’s also an open stage prior to Saturday’s scheduled performances. The campground is always full during these festivals, so be sure to make your reservations well in advance.
In addition to the annual festivals, Oakdale Park’s bluegrass tradition is kept going by the Paluxy River Bluegrass Association which hosts jam sessions and a free stage show every third Saturday. The jam sessions begin on Friday evening and continue until Saturday’s 6:30 p.m. stage show. During the winter, the show is held in the Park’s Convention Center, but once it begins to warm up, the show is held under the stars at the Park’s Outdoor Stage. If you love bluegrass music, consider becoming a PRBA member by visiting www.paluxybluegrass.com/get_involved. Members are eligible for discounts on Jamboree tickets as well as third Saturday RV site rentals. Ya’ll come!