Thursday, July 3, 2008

Turkey Track Bluegrass Festival: Waldron, Arkansas

Twice a year Bill, Linda and Dusty Lovett put on a bluegrass music festival. It’s held at the Turkey Track Bluegrass Music Park near Waldron, Arkansas. Waldron is located about fifty miles south of Fort Smith, Arkansas on Hwy. 71. It's a wonderful way to spend your Ozarks vacation.

The first festival is held the second weekend in June. In the past they have had Marty Raybon, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Cherryholmes family, and Mac Wiseman to name a few. The same people you’ll see if you tune into the Grand Ole Opry. In the four days of the festival you’ll see about 42 shows, attend the free hog roast and have a chance at winning a homemade quilt. With tickets priced at $50.00 for all four days, it’s too good of a deal to pass up. If you just want to drop in for the day a pass is $15.00 and you’ll still get to sit in on a dozen shows.

The October festival is the second weekend of the month. IBMA entertainer of the year Rhonda Vincent has traveled to Arkansas to perform at this festival for the last several years. It’s a real treat to hear her sing. Afterwards you can get your picture taken with her and purchase a Rhonda Vincent CD that she will happily autograph for you. All of the bands are available after performances so you can meet your favorites.

If you have an interest in playing a bluegrass mandolin the way Bill Monroe did, bring one along or one of the vendors will sell you one. You can sit in on one of the pre-festival jam sessions. Because the gates open about a month ahead of time there are lots of bluegrass jams to sit in on. There are also folks playing old country music and bluegrass gospel as well. If you don’t play an instrument listeners are welcome.

You’ll need to bring an extra set of lawn chairs to put up by the stage. It’s a good idea to have a piece of 2”x4” wood to put under the front legs of your chair as it could be sitting on an incline. I’d suggest a hat and some sunscreen as well. They run a free shuttle service continually during the festival to carry you from your campsite to the stage.

There are plenty of vendors selling cold water, kettle corn, roasted peanuts, blackberry cobbler and ice cream and maybe even some catfish along with the normal fare of hamburgers, French fries and Frito pies. It has been known to rain and while an umbrella is too large when unfurled a pullover poncho can work wonders.

You can chose RV camping or tent camping. The rates are reasonable for both. RV camping is $8.00 per night and tent camping is $4.00 per night. They have hot showers in all three bathrooms (Don’t forget your shower shoes) and three dump stations for the campers. There is electricity and water available at the campsites. They have standard restrictions. All pets must be on a leash, no bicycles, no alcohol or drugs. Golf carts are welcome. It’s a good idea to bring your own drinking water.

If camping isn’t your thing there are motels located in nearby Waldron. You’ll need to book a room at least three months in advance according to motel staff.

Waldron Arkansas Motels

Coachman’s Inn 479-637-4157
Southern Nights 479-637-4851
Cypress Lodge 479-637-3451

Y-City Mountain Inn stated that they sometimes had room availability during the festival. They are located 10 miles south of Waldron. Their phone number is 479-577-2489.

Directions to Turkey Track Bluegrass Park can’t be successfully obtained on Mapquest so I’m including them here. From Business Hwy 71 (enter on the south end of town) turn east onto Hwy 250 and the park is about 8 miles on the left.

Have a wonderful trip!

Turkey Track Bluegrass Park, Schedule, Tickets, Rates, Driving Directions
Y-City Mountain Inn
Weather Forecast for Waldron, Arkansas

1 comment:

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