Community Events

Enjoy some bluegrass, help a school

I’ve never met Jim Perry. Haven’t actually talked to him. We’ve communicated by email.

Although I’ve never met Mr. Perry, I can tell I like him and I appreciate his enthusiasm.

In his email, he asked us to help publicize an event that will benefit his school – he’s principal of Stapleton School in Baldwin County. The school is reviving an event that many of you would enjoy and some of you might remember from days gone by.

Here are Mr. Perry’s words:

“You may be aware that Stapleton School was the site of a much-loved and successful bluegrass festival for many years. While the event took place on school grounds, it was put on by local community members. From what I understand, the event was discontinued as the organizers aged and were no longer able to be involved.

“We are very pleased to be bringing the event back on April 7th of this year as a school-sponsored fundraiser. Chief among our financial goals for the event is to raise funds for a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) laboratory which we know will significantly improve our ability to prepare our students for success in the 21st Century.

“We have planned for this to be a first-class event. Our sound man served the same role for the Blakeley Bluegrass festival and we’ve got a terrific line-up of local bands including Fat Man Squeeze, Phil & Foster, The String Slingers, and The Unknown Bluegrass Band. In a nod to history, both Fat Man Squeeze and The Unknown Bluegrass Band took part in the original festival.

“We’ve also allocated time for our students to be involved as our 6th grade band and after-school guitar and violin musicians will be on stage as well. There will also be a mini-set by Madison Grace; Madison recently put out a CD and is the daughter of our long-time kindergarten teacher.

“The event takes place over six hours and will include several food trucks, an area for arts & crafts and other vendors, and planned activities for young people. Our goal is to make this a terrific family-friendly event which both honors our community and heritage, and provides funding for important school programs. It is our hope and intention that this will become a new annual Baldwin County tradition.”

If you enjoy bluegrass and want to help a school, plan to attend the Stapleton Bluegrass Festival Saturday, April 7, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids age 5 to 12. This is an alcohol-free event. No coolers allowed.