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Courthouse Square  Fayetteville_ Texas


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									Courthouse Square  Fayetteville, Texas
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a “pickin’ park?” A pickin’ park is an outdoor venue where people of all ages come together to play their acoustic instruments in impromptu “jam sessions.” What is a jam session? A jam session is an informal gathering of instrumentalists and vocalists who select and perform music for their own pleasure. By convention, each player in the jam has an opportunity to play a solo “break” in each tune played. It is an opportunity to learn new licks and practice the ones they know. Where is Fayetteville? Fayetteville is located in the famous Texas wildflower country midway between Houston and Austin, 5 miles north of TX 71 on Farm-to-Market Road 955 at TX 159. How much does it cost? The Texas Pickin’ Park is always FREE to musicians and listeners alike. What is an “acoustic instrument?” An acoustic instrument does not employ electronic amplification of its sound. The attributes of acoustic music are both aesthetic and practical. (See “Why aren’t microphones or amplifiers permitted?”) Why aren’t microphones or amplifiers permitted? As a practical consideration, only acoustic (un-amplified) instruments are permitted so that any number of small jam sessions may be formed in the Pickin’ Park and play their music without interfering with one another. From an aesthetic point of view, the musicians relish the mellow, natural sound of their blended instruments. What kind of music will I hear at the Pickin’ Park? Pickin’ Park jams are particularly popular with bluegrass players, but nearly every genre will be heard at one time or another. Jams are impromptu and that means


the players pick their own music as the mood strikes. Blues, jazz, gospel, traditional jigs and reels, ballads, and more. What time is the show? The Texas Pickin’ Park is open to pickers and the public whenever they want to come, every day and evening. The “season” is generally April through November, but you are welcome at other times too if the mood strikes and the weather permits. There is no “show” or performance as such. Jam sessions are small and intimate. You are welcome to bring a chair and sit up close where you can hear the music. Where is your list of performers or schedule of shows? On those occasions when we know popular groups or clubs are planning to meet at the park, we will post a notice on the web site. If we know of a performance at any of the area venues who book acoustic music, we will publish it in our newsletter, but there are no “shows” as such at Texas Pickin’ Park. Remember, the Pickin’ Park is a venue open to all who play acoustic instruments. You are free to make your own plans to meet and jam whenever you like. How often are jams scheduled? In the main, jams are impromptu events. That is, you may come and play when you feel like it. You may arrange with musician friends to meet at a certain time to jam. That said, we will occasionally announce a jam for a specific day and time to maximize the number of pickers who will be present, thus providing the best opportunities for you to meet and play with new folks. If you would like to be notified of these events and related news, you are encouraged to subscribe to our email newsletter at subscribe@texaspickinpark.com. Who is in charge? You are! Texas Pickin’ Park is a venue – a place to play acoustic music. Think of it as a park or playground where you can bring your family or meet your friends to play softball or join a pick-up game of basketball with strangers who like to play the game, too. Only here there are no basketball courts or picnic tables, just lots of places to jam. If you don’t charge the musicians to play or the public to listen, how do you make any money? The short answer is, we don’t! Texas Pickin’ Park is about making music, not money. It is not a commercial enterprise. It operates under the aegis of the City of Fayetteville, Texas and is supported by voluntary contributions which are used to pay for those facilities and equipment which are not supplied by the city. These are primarily the tools we use to communicate with the world at large via news releases, email newsletters and this website. It is entirely a grassroots, volunteer effort. There is no payroll. All donated funds and in-kind contributions are received and accounted for by the City of Fayetteville and are tax deductible.


Who owns the Texas Pickin’ Park? The Texas Pickin’ Park is a designation of the Courthouse Square of the City of Fayetteville, Texas. Is there any place to spend the night in Fayetteville? Lots of them, and you may look them over at this link provided by the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce. What about meals. Are there any good restaurants nearby? There are three great eateries right here on the courthouse square, others nearby. For a complete listing, check this link provided by the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce. Is this a suitable place to bring small children/teens? The Texas Pickin’ Park is an ideal outing for the entire family. You will feel welcome and safe in our alcohol- and drug-free park. Are there any other attractions or recreational opportunities in the immediate area? Fishing, camping, wildflowers in season, and the natural beauty of rural Central Texas are all around. For a more complete listing of area attractions, check this link provided by the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce. If the jam sessions are impromptu, who gets to say what music will be played? By tradition, each player in a jam has an opportunity to suggest a tune when it is his or her turn. Vocalists, too. If a hundred instruments are all trying to play the same selection, doesn’t it result in bedlam? It sure could! But the truth is, jams are usually 2 to 6 instruments, occasionally up to 10 or 12 participate. When a jam grows too large, some players will detach themselves to form another jam and carry on in another location. This is the natural, expected course of events. As the day/evening progresses, pickers’ migrate from jam to jam as the mood strikes. It’s all about having fun and making music. With so many jam sessions playing at once, don’t they clash? Acoustic instruments, by their very nature are not loud. That’s the reason most jams form in a circle where the musicians are facing each other. The un-amplified sound does not carry very far, so several jams can form without interfering with one another.


Why do you say the Pickin’ Park is “family-friendly?” Pickers are family folks, too. You will find the music at times lively, but not raucous. The lyrics sung are never unwholesome or rude. The mood is joyful and it is infectious. And the Texas Pickin’ Park is an alcohol- and drug-free venue. Can our church worship band jam at the Pickin’ Park? Yes, indeed. Make it a church outing, if you like. Same goes for any affinity group that plays or enjoys acoustic music. The Pickin’ Park is for everyone. I’ve been learning to play the guitar, but I haven’t really got any experience playing with others. Would I feel intimidated or out of place if I brought my guitar (or fiddle, mandolin, autoharp, string bass, etc)? New players are always welcome. From time to time we will announce “Slow Jams” for the benefit of those who are new to pickin’ and jammers will be helpful in suggesting clubs near your home where you can gain experience. Do you have bleachers or benches or . . where do I sit? There are some benches in the Pickin’ Park, but we strongly recommend you bring a folding lawn chair for your comfort. You will want to pick up and move to hear a different group from time to time, and bringing your own chair guarantees you a reserved seat wherever you go! What if it rains? It can happen. When it does, some jams move to a covered location under a storefront awning, or the Visitor Center or other nearby shelter. Others will wait it out in one of the restaurants around the square. Some will call it a day. Are there any indoor jams? The Texas Pickin’ Park is an outdoor venue. From time to time, jams will move indoors because of a sudden shower, though facilities are limited. (See “What if it rains?” above) How do we reserve a place to set up our jam? All jam sites at Texas Pickin’ Park are claimed on a first-come, first-served basis. Can I just come and find a jam to join? Yes, by all means. That’s the name of the game at Texas Pickin’ Park. Our goal is to find musicians on the square every day of the week, whenever they feel the urge to play. I’m a vocalist, I don’t play an instrument. Are there opportunities for me to sing?


Almost always. Bass players and vocalists are in demand, so just find a group that is playing your kind of music and hang around long enough to see how they are operating, then just ask one of those friendly folks if you can sing one. By the way, jam courtesy gives vocalists the right to pick the key. Doesn’t the Pickin’ Park conflict with the all the Bluegrass clubs who have regular monthly jams? Quite the opposite. The Pickin’ Park offers a venue for clubs and associations to use for outings and club jams. The Pickin’ Park also develops new players and is a source of potential new members of bluegrass organizations near their home. What is the “Grand Jam” I’ve been hearing about lately? The Grand Jam is the kick-off of a new season at the Texas Pickin’ Park. Since we are brand new, our first full season will open in the Spring of 2008. The Grand Jam will be a weekend crammed with jamming in the park and bluegrass band performances in Fayetteville’s 19th Century SPJST Hall. It will be a grand celebration with food, fun, prizes and instrument-trading tables to lure you. Plans are still in the works, so sign up for our newsletter to be sure you have the latest information about the Grand Jam, April 18-19-20, 2008. subscribe@texaspickinpark.com Is there a Pickin’ Park closer to my home? Only if you live nearer to Mountain View, Arkansas than Fayetteville, Texas. Mountain View is the grand-daddy of all pickin’ parks and our inspiration. We know of no closer place where you can pick seven days a week. Are there food and drink vendors in the Pickin’ Park? Generally, no. There are three great restaurants and a general store right here on the Square. On special occasions, however, such as Fayetteville’s traditional Lickskillet Days celebration, food and drink vendors will be present on the Square. Subscribers to our newsletter will be informed of special occasions in advance. subscribe@texaspickinpark.com. What if it’s too hot/cold/windy/rain/sleet/snow/earthquake/tsunami, etc.? Jams are impromptu. That means, “if you want to.” If any of the above conditions prevail, you may not want to. Where can I park my RV? Where can I pitch a tent overnight? Check the links on www.texaspickinpark.com for outstanding RV and tent camping facilities nearby. If Fayetteville’s population is just 261, isn’t it just a wide spot in the road? Where can I find out more about the town? Go straight the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce website www.fayettevilletx.com to see for yourself what a pretty little town Fayetteville is. Then make your plans to spend a weekend in a charming Bed & Breakfast inn or


one of the hotels on the Square and jam to your heart’s content in the Texas Pickin’ Park. Campgrounds are nearby, too. Are the natives friendly? Here’s a clue. When you come to Fayetteville, you will notice drivers of passing cars invariably wave at you. It’s called the Fayetteville Wave. Here’s how you do it: As a car approaches from the opposite direction, just raise two fingers from the steering wheel until the car passes. I think it’s the 21st century version of tipping your hat. Nothing flashy, just a little sign of friendly respect. What if our Bluegrass club decides to come as a group, can we have a picnic in the Pickin’ Park? Yes. We encourage you to do so. Be sure to observe the Park Rules. Subscribers to our newsletter will be kept informed of special events in the area to assist with scheduling, booking lodging, etc. subscribe@texaspickinpark.com Can I obtain a vendor’s permit to sell (food, soft drinks, beer, t-shirts, souvenirs, etc.) in the Pickin’ Park? We do not issue permits or licenses for vending in the Pickin’ Park except during the Festival weekend, April 18-19-20. There will be lots of them on that weekend. I love Bluegrass music but my husband would rather go fishing. Do we have a problem? One of the best bass fishing lakes in Texas is just 4 miles from the Courthouse Square. If your husband is the friendly type, he might even wangle an invitation from some local farmer he meets at the Pickin’ Park to wet a line in his wellstocked pond. (We call ‘em tanks out here.) What is “pickin’ courtesy?” The conventions of a jam session are those unwritten rules that make things go smoothly. They can be found at www.texaspickinpark.com/park_rules If we come to the Pickin’ Park next weekend will we see any big names there? You never know. However, if we learn that a special person or group is going to be at the Pickin’ Park, we always inform the subscribers of our email newsletter. subscribe@texaspaickinpark.com Are there any “slow jams” at the Pickin’ Park? A slow jam can form at any time. There will also be scheduled Slow Jams from time to time which we will publish in our email newsletter. We hope slow jams will become a regular feature of the Pickin’ Park. If you would like to receive our newsletter just click here subscribe@texaspickinpark.com www.texaspickinpark.com


Post Office Box 3, Fayetteville, TX 78940


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