Bill Monroe, the “Father of Bluegrass” music came to a place known as the Brown County Jamboree Barn and played for the first time in the early 1950’s and bought the property shortly thereafter. He loved the area and he loved the music that he played. Today, the Bill Monroe Music Park still exists and is fully operational. The park hosts many events throughout the year and 2011 is no different. Take a look at the schedule and see if you can find a reason that you would enjoy coming to the park.
The park began with a group of musicians in the 1930’s when a square dance promoter named Guy Smith began hosting a free show. A flatbed truck on a grease rack was the stage and it was held at the intersection of state roads 135 and 45. A local sound man ,Denzel “Sports” Ragsdale, would drive around with a speaker attached to the top of his car to announce the show. The gatherings would get so large that the crowds would flow out into the street. After getting too large for the area, the show was moved onto neighboring property that was owned by Francis and Mae Rund. Realizing that this show was drawing more spectators than anyone had expected, the Rund family decided to set up a circus type tent and then eventually built the Brown County Jamboree Barn. After his first trip to the Jamboree, Bill Monroe purchased the property and began his music park.
The park is now owned by a former Monroe band member, Dwight Dillman and he is excited to be celebrating what would have been Bill Monroe’s 100Th birthday this year. Dwight feels that he is continuing the tradition that the park was built on. The park contains a campground which is for rent most of the year and now offers restrooms, showers, electricity, and a laundromat. There is also a fabulous museum that covers the history of Bill Monroe and the beginning of bluegrass music. Any music fan is sure to find that this museum is one of a kind. This year promises to be better than last year and not as good as next year as the park continues to grow and improve in amenities and shows.
The 2011 schedule is as follows:
John Hartford Memorial Festival June 2-4
45Th annual Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Festival June 11-18
2 ND annual Bean Blossom Gospel Jubilee , hosted by the Sullivan Family Aug. 4-6
Bean Blossom Blues , Brews, and BBQ Aug. 25-27
Brown County Old Settlers Reunion Sept. 2-3
Bean Blossom Biker Fest Sept. 8-10
37Th annual Uncle Pen Days Festival Sept. 21-24
Beverly’s Hillbilly Wagon Train Sept. 29- Oct. 1