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Monett Strawberry Festival

22 May

1st Annual Monett Strawberry Festival

June 3rd and the 5th, 2011 5:00- 10:00PM • June 4th 8:00AM- 10:00PM

In the early 1900’s Strawberries were shipped from Monett all over the U.S.A. from the railroad, just one block south of Broadway.  With that extensive history, and the fact Strawberries are in season in early June, Monett is presenting a sweet fun Festival.

The attendance to the Monett Strawberry Festival is free to the general public.  All events are accessible for people with disabilities.

Here is a listing for some of the events that will be part of the Strawberry Festival

Music:
There will be local bands and musicians playing during the day on the stage at the east end of the 400 block of Broadway.
Friday evening will feature a concert by Mark Chapman
Saturday evening will feature a concert by The Timberline Bluegrass Band
There will also be performances by Captain’s Son, Angela Bennett, Robert Pommert and The Bootkickers.
All music events are free to the public.

Drama:
A play about the history of Strawberries in Monett has been written, and will be performed each evening.

Talent Show:
There will be a “Talent Show” each day, featuring acts of all kinds, from dancing and singing to juggling, it’s open, as long as it is “Family Friendly”.

Karaoke Contest:
A Karaoke Contest will take place on Saturday.

Children’s Pageant:
A “Petite” Strawberry King and Queen will be crowned at the Strawberry Festival.  Children from infants to 5 years old can enter.

Poetry, Prose, Song, and Poster Contests:
In April and May we will be having contests for Grade School, Middle School, and High School students for Poetry, Prose, Songs and Posters relating to Strawberries in Monett.  The winners will be showcased on stage during the Festival.

Car Show:
There will be a Cruise In Car Show on Saturday.  The public will get to vote for their favorite cars, trucks and motorcycles in “Decade” categories.

Art Show:
Friday and Saturday there will be an Art Show in one of the stores on Broadway.  This art show will feature Children, Teen, and adult categories.  This will include Paintings, drawings, wood carvings, sculptures, photography, and “Other Media” catagories.

Bake Off:
There will be a contest for the best Strawberry Preserves, Jams, Pies, Cakes, Cookies, and any other Strawberry related foods, as well as best “Non-Strawberry” Berry foods.  This will be simular to the old County Fairs.

Inflatable Kid’s Rides:
There will inflatable kid’s rides provided by the Fun Zone from Cassville.  There will be a charge for these rides.

Vendors:
There will Craft Booths, Food Booths, and Non-Profit Organizaing Booths.  For information.

Our goal is to bring a fun event to Monett that is as refreshing as a step back into the past and relaxing as well as entertaining.

Come downtown, eat some strawberry ice cream or maybe some strawberry shortcake, enjoy the show.

Visit the website!

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It’s Bluegrass Tuesday with Bill Monroe!

23 Mar

This year marks Bill’s 100th Birthday, Festivals are planned throughout the year in celebration…For more info on visit the link below.

Bill Monroe was born on Sept. 13, 1911, in Rosine, Ky. Credited as “The Father of Bluegrass,” the music he created evolved from the folk and country music he heard growing up in a musical family as the youngest of eight children. As a child, he also backed up his uncle Pendleton Vandiver (“Uncle Pen”) at local dances.

Orphaned by age 16, Monroe eventually moved to Chicago and formed a group with brothers Birch and Charlie, with Bill on mandolin. While in Chicago, he worked in an oil refinery and as a square dancer on Chicago’s WLS National Barn Dance. Birch soon dropped out, but Bill and Charlie continued on as the Monroe Brothers, finding their most enthusiastic audiences at Charlotte, N.C.’s radio station WBT. They soon recorded several sides for RCA’s Bluebird label, including “John Henry,” “Nine Pound Hammer” and “What Would You Give in Exchange for Your Soul.”

In 1938, the highly successful duo split up, and Bill formed his first band, the Kentuckians. A year later Monroe changed the name to the Blue Grass Boys and soon set his sights on Nashville. Monroe was only 28 years old when he joined the Opry cast on Oct. 28, 1939. Introduced by George D. Hay, the Opry’s founder, Monroe performed a the Jimmie Rodgers hit “Muleskinner Blues” and got three encores that first night at the War Memorial Auditorium. He quickly became an Opry favorite.

In the 1940s, Monroe began adding lyrics to his melodies and wrote such classic hits as “Blue Moon of Kentucky” and “Uncle Pen.” He hired banjo picker Earl Scruggs, singer-guitarist Lester Flatt and fiddler Chubby Wise on fiddle to create what is widely recognized as the most important bluegrass band ever. In 1948, Flatt & Scruggs left the band to form the Foggy Mountain Boys. (Wise also left the band that year.)

By the 1950s, Flatt & Scruggs emerged as a formidable presence, while Monroe continued to play the Opry. However, by the 1960s, folk music had become popular, and promoter Ralph Rinzler helped return Monroe to the spotlight. In 1965, Monroe headlined the first multi-day bluegrass festival, and he inaugurated his own annual festival in Bean Blossom, Ind.

Monroe was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1970, and he earned the National Endowment for the Arts’ esteemed Heritage Award. His Southern Flavor LP won the first Grammy award ever given for bluegrass music in 1989, and he earned the Grammy’s Lifetime Achievement award in 1993. In 1995, he was awarded a National Medal of Honor by President Clinton at a ceremony conducted at the White House. Monroe died on Sept. 9, 1996. A year later, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted him as an early influence of rock ‘n’ roll.

A number of prominent bluegrass musicians also spent time as one of Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys, including Stringbean, Mac Wiseman, Jimmy Martin, Sonny Osborne and Del McCoury.

Monroe described his beloved bluegrass as music with “a hard drive to it. It’s Scotch bagpipes and ole-time fiddlin’. It’s Methodist and Holiness and Baptist. It’s blues and jazz, and it has a high lonesome sound. It’s plain music that tells a good story. It’s played from my heart to your heart, and it will touch you. Bluegrass is music that matters.”

Bluegrass Tuesday with Kenny Baker

22 Mar


Baker was born in Jenkins, Kentucky and learned the fiddle by accompanying his father, also a fiddler. Early on, he was influenced by the swing fiddler Marion Sumner, not to mention Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. After working for Bethlehem Steel in the coal mines of Kentucky, he served in the U.S. Navy before pursuing a musical career fulltime. He soon joined Don Gibson’s band as a replacement for Marion Sumner. Baker who played western swing, had little interest in bluegrass music until he heard “Wheel Hoss” and “Roanoke”. During a package show with Don Gibson, Baker met Monroe and was offered a job. He cut his very first recordings with Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys on December 15, 1957.

Kenny Baker served more years in Monroe’s band than any other musician and was selected by Monroe to record the fiddle tunes passed down from Uncle Pen Vandiver. After leaving the Bluegrass Boys in 1984,Baker played with a group of friends, Bob Black, Alan Murphy, and Aleta Murphy. Bob Black and Alan Murphy recorded and album with Baker in’73, Dry & Dusty. After the one summer with Black and the Murphy’s Baker teamed with Josh Graves who had played dobro for Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs as a Foggy Mountain Boy. Baker teamed with Graves until Graves’ death in 2006.

Baker is considered to be one of the most influential fiddlers in bluegrass music. His “long-bow” style added a smoothness and clarity to the fiddle based music of his boss, Grand Ole Opry member Bill Monroe. His long tenure with Bill Monroe included banjo player Bill Keith’s development of the “melodic” method of banjo playing that included note for note representations of fiddle tunes on the banjo.

He was named to the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor in 1999. He recorded many albums for various record labels, including County Records, Jasmine, Rounder Records and most recently OMS Records. His most recent recordings include “Cotton Baggin’ 2000” and “Spider Bit the Baby” on OMS Records. It was often mentioned that Kenny Baker’s records were more popular at Bill Monroe concerts than the band’s own releases. There were, and remain, hordes of Kenny Baker students of the bluegrass fiddle.