By Clarence Plank
For the 59th year, guitar strings are ready to hum and country songs to resound in Floyd.
Floyd’s 59th Annual Country Jamboree is scheduled for Thursday through Sunday, and is showcasing more than 25 performers. The Floyd Lions Club is organizing the event.
Thursday through Saturday’s performances feature country music, and Sunday showcases Gospel music. The Lions Club will recognize the Outstanding Citizen of the Year on Saturday during half-time intermission of the show.
“A lot of effort goes into making the show, but we all love it,” Master of Ceremonies Dave Nash said.
To Nash, it is special because Floyd is a small community and small communities are “drying up,” he said. Many people get involved with the Lions Club and the show.
“This is a way for the community to come together and do things,” Nash said.
Nash said the event helps to pull the community together, to see each other and have a common goal.
Eight musicians gather to form one band, which plays for different singers.
Lions Club Secretary and Jamboree director Fred Patterson said some musicians have played with Jamboree band for a long time. Ronny Fouts has participated “on and off” since the 1960’s, and Linda Miller Brown and Wayne Buchanan have also been with the band for for some time.
For the first time this year, Mitzi Miller, LoVita Frusher, Laverne Standifer and Matt Benoit are singing in the Jamboree.
Benoit was a member of the Kacee Lovato Band. Frusher and Standifer were members of the Cochran Sisters, and are back after a 20-year absence from the Jamboree.
In addition, Patterson plans to perform a song in the event for the first time. He will sing “Elvira.”
“There is a lot of talent who come across that stage,” said drummer Bill Rice, who has played with the Jamboree for 20 years. “Amy Carter is just amazing. That child can sing. For a big voice to come out of a little girl it is incredible. Benoit is getting ready to record an album. Myself and (my son) Sam will be helping out on the album some. Benoit is really talented and so is his dad, Paul Benoit.”
Attendance averages 250 a day, depending on the day, Patterson said.
The Jamboree is the Lions Club fundraiser, and the money goes to meet the needs in the community.
“The Lions Club, of course, are the knights of vision and the knights of the blind,” Patterson said. “We do a lot things connected with vision. We buy glasses for children who need them. Probably our biggest thing is in the area of scholarships, and we’ve had people who have bad luck, fire or a serious illness.”
Dave Nash has served as the Jamboree’s master of ceremonies for eight years.
“There’s a lot of people involved in the Jamboree who need to be given credit,” Nash said. “The members of the Jamboree band drive five weekends in row to practice. We have one coming from Tatum, (one from) Farwell, and others come from Portales and Floyd.”
Nash said the band members volunteer their time.
Nash’s wife, Sherry, works with children to decorate for the Jamboree.
The Floyd Fire Department will be available to meet the needs of anyone during the Jamboree, and the Booster Club is set to have a concession stand.
Rice said playing for the community of Floyd is great.
“I believe it is best to give back what you have been given, and I’ve gotten a lot from the community and the surrounding area,” Rice said.
What: Floyd’s 59th Annual Country Jamboree
When: 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday for Gospel music
Where: Old Gym at Floyd High School.
Proceeds go to:
• Three $1,000 scholarships to Floyd seniors
• Floyd Community Center water bill
• Eye glasses for students in all three Roosevelt County school districts
• Sports teams in community youth programs
• Student trips for state, national and international experiences
• Community members who have experienced medical or other catastrophes
• Equipment for Floyd Schools and community activities
• Musical instruments for students