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Bluegrass event features fun for all

by | Jun 9, 2023 | Latest

A summertime staple in Wylie is set to return for another iteration that will contain plenty of fun for all ages.

Over the years, Bluegrass on Ballard has evolved from a weeklong celebration known as the Wylie July Jubilee to a street dance and, ultimately, a daylong event with music, arts and a car show. This year’s event runs from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 24, at Olde City Park and along Ballard Avenue in historic downtown Wylie.

Public Information Officer Craig Kelly said the roots of Bluegrass on Ballard can be traced to the Wylie July Jubilee that began in 1978 and ran for a week. That event included a rodeo, boat races on Lake Lavon, square dances, “fiddle music” and art shows.

“It’s our Wylie Fourth of July event and has been ever since it was an ice cream social and barbecue event for our volunteer fire department,” said Jeremy Meier, president of the Wylie Downtown Merchants Association. “We see a lot of families come out for the bluegrass music, the car show, ice cream competition or arts and crafts. The event is a way for our local community and people outside the community to see what Wylie is about.”

Declining attendances at the jubilee led to the creation of a street dance that was replaced in 2013 by Bluegrass on Ballard. Kelly said he has enjoyed learning about the evolution of summertime events in Wylie that help make Wylie the place it is today.

“We jumped from an event that went from being attended by 200-400 people to an event attended by 6,000 people,” Kelly said. “These events are always mentioned when we are mentioned as a best place to live and best place to raise a family.”

This year, planners expect around 10,000 attendees that come from across the city and nearby surrounding communities. In some cases, Bluegrass on Ballard may even be the first time an individual visits Wylie’s historic downtown area.

“Bluegrass on Ballard is a great event for introducing visitors,” Kelly said. “The event is usually a 50/50 with visitors and residents. The goal is to introduce the restaurants, shopping and great opportunities to come into downtown Wylie. The hope is that they’ll come back in the future and make it a morning or evening.”

For the full story, see the June 7 issue of The Wylie News.

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