By: Christy Means-Stephens | Category: Recreation/Leisure | Issue: June 2022
Jana Jae and Barry “Bones” Patton, World Champion Bones Player
Grand Lake has always been a popular destination for Oklahomans in the summer season, and Grove has three events every year that are eagerly anticipated: The American Heritage Music Festival, Cajun Fest, and Jana Jae’s Fiddle Camp.
Jana Jae is an American country and bluegrass fiddler, well-known for being a regular performer on Hee-Haw, where she met and married co-star Buck Owens. She continues to perform with several bands, as well as continuing solo work, and has performed with many of the best-known performers in country music. She is internationally recognized, and the city of Grove is proud to have such a dynamic and talented performer within the community.
American Heritage Music Festival
The American Heritage Music Festival is a long-standing one, with many more to come.
Cliff Top Band
“This is the 25th anniversary of the American Heritage Music Festival!” Jana Jae enthuses. “It all started when Grove wanted to have a fiddle contest, but they had no idea what to do…at first it was held in the blazing sun downtown on a flatbed, which is not good for those precious instruments…but everyone wanted to have a bigger, better one! So, they asked me to get involved, and we’ve enjoyed changing and improving the festival, and keeping it going even through the Covid years.
“The Chamber offered to help us during that tough time, and this will be the third year we have partnered. They share their beautiful outdoor stage, sound and lights, and we put on a super show for them! We’re at the host campground of Snider’s Camp on June 9, Thursday evening, with good food trucks and tons of entertainment on stage; Friday, June 10, we will be at Wolf Creek Park for the actual Grand Lake National Fiddle Contest all day and all evening. We wind up Saturday with groups busking all over town, which is a lot of fun. It’s a super weekend with the whole town involved in festive family activities.”
The American Heritage Music Festival takes place June 9, 10th and 11th at Snider’s Camp and Wolf Creek Park in Grove, Oklahoma.
July brings a little bit of Mardi Gras fun to Grove and Grand Lake! The arts, crafts and music festival will be held on July 2, bands will begin playing at 10:00 a.m. and will continue to romp and rock throughout the day. Hosted by Jana Jae and the nonprofit organizations Grand Lake festivals, it is a carnival of a day and one that can be enjoyed by the entire family.
“Cajun music has always been great fun, and we discovered how popular Cajun cuisine is right here in Oklahoma, too,” says Jana. “This is always a blast, with an authentic and very popular Cajun band from Louisiana, Cajun beads, a Mardi Gras party ambiance, lots of vendors, and a very special headliner back by popular demand, the Ragin’ Cajun himself, Doug Kershaw!
“This will be held in the air-conditioned Civic Center; plenty of room for dancing to the music and enjoying food and family fun as we celebrate our country’s birthday and cultural diversity. We have patriotic music also, and crooner Clint Walker can sing everything from Roy Orbison to Lee Greenwood’s ‘I’m Proud to Be an American. Folks come decked out in patriotic outfits, lake attire or dressed for Mardi Gras – it all works together for more fun.”
Lovely hand-crafted jewelry and Native American art, and a variety of crafts will be on display to view and buy; in addition to the wonderful spread of Cajun food, more traditional and “everyday” food such as hamburgers and hot-dogs will be available.
Also contributing to the organization of Cajun Fest are the Oklahoma Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. Tickets for Cajun Fest are $10, and kids enter for free!
Jana Jae’s Fiddle Camp & Music Festival
If you want to learn how to play, it is always helpful to learn from the best! Music is obviously Jana’s passion, and it comes through both in her playing and her teaching. Joining her are many notable musicians, to learn from, see, enjoy watching and listening to, and with whom to play.
“The Fiddle Camp is my opportunity to teach and share the music that has enriched my life so much,” declares Jana. “We have 20 excellent instructors for all ages, all levels, and all acoustic instruments! Not just for fiddles – we have guitar, mandolin, viola, cello, bass, djembe drums, rhythm spoons, bones, even ukulele! Also, music arranging, how to overcome stage fright, how to play in a band, how to improvise, how to play in a contest, and more!
“Coaching is in small groups according to interest, level, and age…we’ll have pros sharing with attendees. So much fun learning goes on, it’s my favorite festival of the year!”
Daytime events (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), which include workshops, Master demonstrations, and group sessions will be at the Grove Civic Center. Evening events are as follows: Friday evening, beginning at 6 p.m, includes a barbecue dinner and kick-off party, with bluegrass friends and jamming; Saturday evening, also beginning at 6 p.m., features a fish fry dinner, an open stage with jam sessions; Sunday evening wraps up with an open stage, jam session informal Pickin’ Party.
Schedules and registrations are available online, at www.grandlakefestivals.com.
For more information about the American Heritage Music Festival, Cajun Fest and Jana Jae’s Fiddle Camp & Music Festival, call Grand Lake Festivals at (918) 786-8896, or visit the website at www.grandlakefestivals.com.
Possum Trot Bluegrass Band
Lucy Weberling Group “I’m Not Lisa”