By Joe Reavis
To take in every bit of Bluegrass on Ballard in downtown Wylie this Saturday, attendees will have to go early and stay late.
The event pays tribute to bluegrass music, which will be played all day throughout town, but activities have grown to offer something for the entire family, including a car show, children’s activities, food and shopping.
Presenting the celebration are Wylie Downtown Merchants Association and the city of Wylie.
This is the third year that the theme has been about bluegrass music and attendance has grown to expectations of almost 10,000 people this weekend. For 27 years, the Wylie Jubilee was based on country music.
Activities officially get underway at 10 a.m. at Olde City Park with opening of arts and crafts displays and registration of entries in the chili cooking contest sponsored by the American Legion.
Informally throughout the day, bluegrass musicians will gather for informal jam sessions at spots along Ballard Ave.
Scheduled music begins at 3 p.m. on the central stage to be set up at Ballard and Maple Street. Six groups will perform until the event closes at 10 a.m. Performers are Phil Ferguson and Texas True at 3 p.m.; Bobby Giles and Music Mountain at 3:55 p.m., In Achordance at 5:45 p.m., Texas and Tennessee at 5:55 p.m., Sgt. Peppers Lonely Bluegrass Band at 7 p.m. and Joe Jullins and The Radio Ramblers at 8:30 p.m.
Classic and custom automobiles start rumbling into town about 4 p.m. for a judged show of Dallas Mopar Club. The car show drew about 200 entries last year and is expected to be even bigger this weekend.
Vehicles will be on display until 9 p.m. along Ballard from Marble to Brown streets, and branching off Ballard onto Marble.
North Texas Equestrian Center, which has helped sponsor Bluegrass on Ballard since its inception, will be offering pony rides to children from 4-8 p.m. on the south end of the street.
Amidst all the activities, Ballard Ave. stores will be open for business.
Bluegrass on Ballard co-sponsors are North Texas Equestrian Center and Sears Home Appliance Store in Murphy. Music sponsors are Farmers Electric Cooperative and Methodist Richardson Medical Center, and stage sponsors are CWD, The Wylie News, Verizon FIOS and Wylie Eye Center.