The Texas Blueberry Festival kicks off with the Blueberry Bluegrass Concert in the Park, from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, June 10 at Festival Park in downtown Nacogdoches. This free family-friendly concert, sponsored by Rex Perry Autoplex, will feature three well-known musical acts, The Little Roy and Lizzy Show, The Baker Family, and Catahoula Drive, as well as a special appearance by up-and-coming group the Gent Mountain Grassburs, who are sure to make you smile!
East Texas bluegrass lovers may recognize Catahoula Drive, a Pineville, La. four-piece band, from past Blueberry Bluegrass Concerts in the Park. Band members are Jamey Alwell, (guitar and lead vocals), Dennis Stewart (mandolin and vocals), Tres Nugent (string bass and vocals) and Devon Avery (banjo and vocals).
From south central Missouri, The Baker Family performs Bluegrass, Gospel and Classic Country at events and competitions throughout the country. They were America’s Got Talent Season 12 finalists and were named the 2016 Bluegrass Artist of the Year by the International Country Gospel Music Association. They earned second place in the 2022 SPBGMA Band Contest (Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America), won the 2014-2017 Oklahoma State Band championships and in 2013 placed first in the Pickin’ in the Pines Bluegrass contest in Flagstaff, Ariz. The acclaimed family band includes 22-year-old Trustin on fiddle, banjo, and vocals. He has been named a Grand Master Fiddle Champion by the Country Music Hall of Fame, and has earned several accolades, including the 2018 Great Lakes Fiddle Champion, 2018 Tennessee State Grand Champion, 2016 Arkansas State Champion title, the 2015 Tennessee State Grand Champion Fiddler, the 2015 Grand Lakes Grand Champion, the 2014 Oklahoma Junior State Fiddle Champion, the 2013 Junior National Grand Master Fiddler, the 2013 Texas Freshman State Champion, the 2011-14 Missouri Junior Champion and the 2011-12 Arkansas Junior State Fiddle Champion. Carina, 19, who plays mandolin, sings and jig dances, was the 2016 Oklahoma State Jr. Fiddle Champion and 2014 nominee for the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music for America’s female vocalist of the year. Elijah, 17, who plays upright bass and sings, was named 2016 Missouri Jr. State Fiddle Champion. Their mother, Carrie, plays guitar and upright bass and sings.
Little Roy and Lizzy are renowned bluegrass musicians from Georgia. Elizabeth Long, or Lizzy as her friends and fans know her, has played with acts such as Mac Wiseman, Jim and Jesse, The
Lewis Family, and Earl Scruggs. At the 2015 GMA Dove awards she was awarded Best Bluegrass Song of the Year for “God is There,” a duet with Rhonda Vincent. She is one of the youngest fiddlers to be inducted into “America’s Old Time Fiddler’s Country Hall of Fame” in LeMars, Iowa. “Little Roy” Lewis, from the legendary Lewis Family, has been inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, SPGBMA Hall of Greats, IBMA Hall of Honor, and the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
“Having Little Roy and Lizzy come to Nacogdoches is a huge honor!” said Scott Waller, Blueberry Bluegrass Concert in the Park co –organizer. “These two are legends in their own right, and when you put them together you get pure magic. It’s going to be an amazing night.”
Food, Parking, and More
The concert also will feature food trucks and vendors. Organizers encourage attendees to bring blankets and lawn chairs. The event is family-friendly, so please leave your coolers and alcohol at home. Pets on a leash are also welcome.
Parking will be available downtown. However, some downtown streets will be closed due to the Blueberry Festival, so concert-goers are urged to visit texasbluegrassfestival.org or www.facebook.com/bluegrassnac/ for parking instructions. Parking with free shuttle service to the concert venue will be available at First Baptist Church, 411 North St. Parking at the venue will be at the Nacogdoches City Garage location at 114 W. Cox St.
Organizers are grateful for the enthusiastic partners that make the concert possible, especially Rex Perry Autoplex, the City of Nacogdoches, the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce the Nacogdoches Convention and Visitors Bureau, First Baptist Church, SFA Alumni Association and Motorhomes of Texas
The weekend of fun starts Thursday night at Millard’s Crossing with the Blueberry Jam. The Texas Blueberry Festival presented by Tipton Ford continues Saturday with a full day of activities in downtown Nacogdoches, including a Blueberry pancake breakfast, competitions and more live entertainment. For more information, visit tbf.nacogdoches.org/ or call 936-560-5533.