A long-running country music event rich in history finished up what might be its last gig at Mansfield Park last Friday night.
Buck Sloan’s 45th Annual Musician’s Reunion at Mansfield Park was a week of singing, music and dancing from August 15-22.
For nearly half a century, the free event has drawn music fans to different locations in the Bandera area as it grew in size.
“We held the reunion in three different locations for 10 years before eventually making Mansfield Park home,” Shirley Sloan said.
Shirley hinted this might be the last reunion, but Buck, with a gleam in his eye, said if he feels good enough there will be a 2022 reunion.
Buck Sloan said his father played the guitar and it inspired him to become a professional musician.
Buck Sloan, who’s been named a living legend by the Bandera Music History Project Hall of Fame, and his musician friends are known for playing country tunes well into the night, and this year was no different.
Most of the fans at the reunion on Thursday and Friday said they have been coming for many years because it feels great to be longtime friends.
The week-long event feels like a big family picnic where the atmosphere includes potluck dinner and attendees are encouraged to bring folding chairs, camping supplies, snacks and fans.
The Bulletin visited the last two Reunion shows for an up close look at the event, and the music, singing and fun were all at top level on both nights.
On Thursday, the band included Shirley singing, Buck with guitar, Ed Gray with guitar, and Greg Holland on Pedal Steel guitar to entertain the excited audience.
On Friday, the band included Shirley singing, Buck with guitar, and Randy Herndon on pedal steel guitar to sing songs the fans wanted.
Herndon drove from Houston to see Buck and Shirley.
“I heard this might be the last reunion, and I wanted to be here for at least one of the reunions. I played with Buck Sloan band for seven years, and the band is like family to me,” Herndon said.
While Herndon has seen one reunion, Jeff Masse has seen almost all of them.
“I was very young, about age four, when I went to the first Buck Reunion. I believe I went to 41 of the 45 events, and all were exciting and fun,” he said.