A Labor Day tradition will bring together the Clay County community again this year.
The Saline City Annual Labor Day Picnic is taking place this year Saturday, Aug. 30-Monday, Sept. 1, at Graves Field, and is chock full of entertainment.
The picnic originated in the 1930s in Barley Grove at the south edge of Saline City and was later moved to the main street of the town.
In 1951, a parcel of ground was purchased and dedicated as Graves Field, the present location of the picnic. The ground was named after William C. Graves, the only Saline City casualty during World War II.
Entertainment will be highlighted by the Third Annual Bluegrass for Billy Festival benefit on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1.
There should be a lot of picking going on during the event with more than 20 bluegrass bands scheduled to play at the festival. The following bands are scheduled to perform; Birch Creek, The Grimes Girls, Crooked Creek, Olivia Smiley and Company, The Denman Family, Salt Cured, Lost River Risin', Diamond Station, Vicki and Crew, Dewey, Cheatem and How, New Terrain, Common Ground, The Coon Holler Kids, Sweetgrass, The New Old Timers, Louie Popejoy and The Heirs of Bluegrass, Carl Bentley and The Eagle Creek Band, Bunkam Valley Boys, Stony Point, 2 Greasy Hogs and A Mandolin, Stringtown Pickers, Two Highways, Lonesome Whistle and Silver Strings, who will be performing their first show in 25 years. Many other friends of Billy Reed, who passed away from lung cancer in 2005 and is the namesake of the festival, are anticipated to perform as well.
Bluegrass for Billy will be raising money for the Bill Reed Memorial Scholarship Fund and the American Cancer Society. The stage show will begin around 9 a.m. on the Sunday, and 10 a.m. on Labor Day.
For more information about Bluegrass for Billy and to make camping reservations, contact Greg Nicoson at 812-249-5903. Jam sessions in the parking lot is also encouraged.
Other featured events at the picnic on Saturday and Sunday include Co-Ed Softball games, a golf scramble, Tractor Pull and the ITPA Truck Pull. Softball will be played all three days of the picnic and teams must register with Ryan Persinger at 812-835-5510.
The majority of Labor Day's events will feature the children.
Events of the day include a cutest baby contest, Little Prince and Princess of Saline Contest, Little Mister and Miss Saline City Contest, a pedal tractor pull, bunny catch and a greased pig contest.
The Clay City Band Boosters will also be making sure all the patrons attending the picnic are well fed.
On all three days the boosters will be having a buffet breakfast, from 7-11 a.m., with a cost of $5 for adults and $3 for children under 12. They are also making full meals available for lunch and dinner on Sunday and Monday for $7 for adults and $4 for children under 12. Hungry folks will have their pick of Chicken and Noodles, Salisbury Steak or Roast Beef with their choice of three sides and lemonade or tea. They will also be providing Beef Manhattans with a drink for $4.50, Taco Salads for $3.50 and desserts.