It look's like you don't have Adobe Flash Player installed. Get it now.
When you think of Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield you probably think of the Civil War, or battle reenactments. But each Saturday night in May, visitors won’t hear gunshots--instead, they’ll hear music. KSMU’s Melanie Foehrweiser has more.
In the 1960’s, the National Park Service noticed a lack of visitors to many urban parks. So it came up with the idea of “Arts in the Park.” Ted Hillmer is the superintendent at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield.
“The idea was to get people to enjoy their parks in the urban areas and that worked out pretty effectively. Then other parks throughout the park service kind of picked that up and you didn’t have to be an urban park, you could be a rural park also and do that.”
It was this influence that led Hillmer to start the program at Wilson’s Creek after he took his current position in 2003. While parks can appreciate any type of art, Hillmer believed that the rich history of music in the Ozarks should be showcased.
“Music’s always been a part of this area, and I’m sure Mr. Ray played some type of instrument on the Ray House back in the 1860’s and entertained the areas on a Friday or Saturday night, so I thought that would be kind of easy to play with and since music was part of this area, to bring music to Wilson’s Creek.”
Arts in the Park will take place at Wilson’s Creek every Saturday night in May. All participating bands are local, and the program kicks off May 4thwith the Holmes Brigade, a minstrel group that plays period music from the 1840s.
“The 11this the Potter’s Wheel, I saw those people in a local magazine. They do gospel kind of bluegrass music and there’s about six, I believe, of them in the group. And then the Missouri State University Community Band, which, they’ve been here since we started this and the group, loves to come here and perform for our visitors and our visitors love to hear them. They play on the 18th.”
High Strung, a bluegrass band, will round out the May concerts on the 25th. Hillmer recommends that concertgoers bring a lawn chair or blanket. The music starts at 7 pm each Saturday outside of the Visitor’s Center. In the event of bad weather, the concerts will be moved inside. All of the concerts are free and open to the public.
For KSMU News, I’m Melanie Foehrweiser.