No. 6 (tie) - Roy Clark misses annual show; festival weekend revamped

Friday, December 30, 2011
Roy Clark (GCDW file photo by Nick Schneider)

The Greene County Foundation Festival -- traditionally held the weekend after Memorial Day -- did not take place in 2011.

This was voted a tie for the No. 6 story for 2011.

The festival concert and golf tournament events has roots dating back to 1979 when the late Phil Harris and his wife, Alice Faye, teamed with Don Steward, former local golf pro Ted Bishop, and local businessman John Wilkes to launch the first-ever Phil Harris golf tournament and music show.

Since Harris' death in 1995, Roy Clark had taken over the role of headliner. This year, however, Clark was unable to attend the show due to a scheduling conflict. He participated in the taping of a Hee-Haw Show Reunion television special during the festival weekend. Clark served as co-host of the popular show for 25 years.

Money from the festival show has been historically earmarked for five scholarships -- one for each Greene County high school. The proceeds from the golf tournament have gone into the Phil Harris Charities fund, which annually awards scholarships to Linton-Stockton High School graduates.

Thousands of dollars in college scholarship money have been raised in the last 31 years.

"I've been involved in this since the very first day. I think it's been great thing and I think it's like everything else. It's run its course. This has been a long run for what we've done," Wilkes said during an interview earlier this year. "The scholarships will continue because we had the foresight to put the money in (a bank account) and just work off of the interest and not the principal."

Instead of the traditional Greene County Foundation Festival weekend, the Linton Community Development Corporation, the non-profit manager and developer of the Linton Music Festival presented a concert featuring The Roys -- an award-winning bluegrass duo from Nashville. Linton guitarist-songwriter Kade Puckett and Bloomington band Sheila Stephen and the Rodeo Monkeys were booked as opening acts.