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WJBD - Local News - Bluegrass Festival Drew Smaller Crowd than in Previous Years

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The Husband and Wife team of Gary and Roberta Gordon, performing as "The Gordons", performed on Saturday.

The Crowd on Friday was noticeably smaller than in previous years.

The host band, David Davis and the Warrior River Boys, during a performance on Sunday.

Bluegrass Festival Drew Smaller Crowd than in Previous Years

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

The person heading the 23rd annual Bluegrass and BBQ Festival in Salem's Bryan Memorial Park over the weekend was hoping for bigger crowds, but feels they will be near the break even point.  Marty Hays was hoping the move away from other activities in Salem on the second weekend of September would help boost attendance.  

"Friday was not as good as Fridays have been in the past. Saturday was a decent crowd, but as far as missing all the other big events in Southern Illinois, I think that was a good way to go, and that's what we'll do next year." Hays said.

Hays was disappointed the Sunday crowd for Bluegrass Gospel was not bigger.  This is the first time in a number of years the event has been extended to Sunday.  Hays has been given the go ahead by the sponsoring Independent Order of the Oddfellows to hold the event again next year.  He hopes more promotion of the new weekend will help next year.  Hays says while he saw several in attendance who couldn't come in the past because of conflicts with the other September events, it wasn't enough to boost the overall crowd.  He adds it could be that Salem is just not a good venue for a Bluegrass event. 

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