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Bluegrass Jamboree set for Saturday

By Staff | Jan 25, 2018

Three bluegrass bands will take the stage at Cultural Park this Saturday for the third annual Bluegrass Jamboree & BBQ, a fundraiser for the Cape Coral Historical Museum.

“My favorite part of the jamboree is that it brings funding for the museum,” said Cape Coral Historical Society and Museum President Wendy Schroder. “It is our big event. People see where we are, see where the museum is. Our hope is they come back and learn about the unique history of Cape Coral.”

She said the annual Bluegrass Jamboree came about when Cape pioneer Paul Sanborn and Barbara Salafia brought forth the idea.

“The first year we thought we would have 300 people. It ended up that we had 600 people and it has been growing every year,” Schroder said.

As of Wednesday afternoon the VIP tickets had sold out. General admission tickets, which include a raffle entry, are $15 in advance, or $20 at the gate. Tickets can be purchased online at www.capecoralhistoricalmuseum.org/Bluegrass-Jamboree, by calling (239) 772-7037, or by stopping by the museum at 544 Cultural Park Blvd.

Tickets purchased online will be available at will call the day of the jamboree.

“Bring your own seating . . . lawn chair, a blanket,” she said.

Again this year, Dick Spottswood with the Dick Spottswood Show, will emcee the event. Schroder said Spottswood is very popular in bluegrass.

The three headliner bands include Sawgrass Drifters playing from 12:30 p.m. to 1:40 p.m., Florida Bluegrass Express playing from 2 to 3:10 p.m. and Bluegrass Central playing from 3:30 to 4:40 p.m. A local band, Blu-Ridg, is the welcoming band for the jamboree.

The Florida Bluegrass Express was founded by Keith Bass in 2000. Bass has been playing the banjo since he was 13. The band is also comprised of LeRoy Rogers, who plays the guitar, and April Rogers, who plays the bass.

Mickie and Roli Scholl, a couple from Switzerland who moved to the United States in 1999, teamed up with singer and bass player Dan O’Connell from Rhode Island in 2001 when the Sawgrass Drifters began. The band is also comprised of Sharon Mammano and Karen Batten. Their musical style includes an acoustic mix of bluegrass, folk and country.

Bluegrass Central began more than 20 years ago by Scott Ritter. The band also includes Karen Batten, Linda Kallinger, John Hoover and Bob Cook. Their performances includes a hard driving banjo, dynamic fiddling, breakdowns and ballads.

“We are very honored this year to have Caira Everly. She is going to sing the national anthem for us. Her grandfather was the first sheriff to patrol Cape Coral and her father also worked for the Cape Coral Police Department. As a Historical Society and Museum, we are very happy another generation is coming and helping with the event,” she said.

The stage will be set up right behind the museum in the big open field with gates opening at 11 a.m. The event will be held from noon to 5 p.m.

Bubba’s Roadhouse & Saloon will provide food for purchase during the event. Schroder said Trafalgar Middle School, which grows its own food on campus, will provide desserts and treats.

“We gave them a booth to sell that,” Schroder said, adding that they like to help the community as well.

Peanuts, beer and wine also will be sold. Budweiser products from Suncoast Beverages and wine distributor Copa will provide the adult beverages.

The original Cape Coral Historical Society & Museum building was moved to its Cultural Park Boulevard location in 1983, enabling them to open their doors in 1987. The building was moved from Four Freedoms Park.

“We opened that and added two more buildings,” Schroder said.

The museum now includes the Historic Rosen Building, named after the Rosen Brothers, who built Cape Coral; the Gulf American Land Corp. Building, opened in 2003, featuring such information as the Calusa and Seminole Native Americans, as well as “cracker” house exhibits and the Kelly Building, which opened in 2008, chronicling the growth of Cape Coral’s businesses, government, schools, services and parks.

The museum offers guided tours and is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

“We will be closed this Saturday for the Bluegrass Jamboree,” Schroder said.