Bean Blossom, Indiana is a historic bluegrass mecca in the Hoosier State, known as the unofficial bluegrass capital of the world. The father of bluegrass music put this southern Indiana town on the map in the 1950s, when he established his hall of fame museum and annual festival. Today, the Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival is the longest continually bluegrass fest in the world. Every summer for more than 40 years, bluegrass greats and great bluegrass fans visit the Bill Monroe Memorial Music Park and Campground in Bean Blossom.
Dozens of bluegrass and country music concerts are hosted at the Bill Monroe Memorial Music Park and Campground each year. The stage for the nationally known eight day bluegrass festival is conveniently located inside the campgrounds. Music lovers can just pitch a tent and walk to the excitement inside the wooded amphitheater, lawn chairs in tow.
Visitors flock to south central Indiana each year from April through October to explore bluegrass history . A drive down to the Bill Monroe Memorial Music Park and Campground is the perfect summer day trip from Indianapolis. The scenic drive to Brown County is refreshing, and a few other Indiana attractions can be spotted along the way. Mallow Run Winery in Bargersville is a cool 21-and-over destination that offers delicious wine tastings daily. The Academy of Hoosier Heritage in Mooresville is a small museum dedicated to preserving community and Indiana history. The Grave in the Middle of the Road in Amity and the Atterbuty Fish and Wildlife Area in Edinburgh are other options to add onto this day trip from Indy. And don’t forget about nearby Bloomington, Indiana, where Indiana University offers educational and fun Indiana museums. The Wylie House Museum, the Mathers Museum of World Cultures and the Indiana University Art Museum are only a few of the educational hot-spots around campus.
The Bill Monroe Bluegrass Hall of Fame and Country Star Museum honors bluegrass legends like the famous early artists Carl Story, Earl Scruggs, Don Reno and Red Smiley. Bill Monroe himself was one of the first inductees, along with The Osborne Brothers and a group called The Seldom Scene. A walkway of bronze stars marks the entrance to the Bluegrass Hall of Fame, and each Hollywood-style star honors a musician that earned stardom. the inside of the museum has some really unique memorabilia, including artifacts from Bill Monroe’s personal collection. Clothing, pictures, instruments and other items have been collected throughout the decades many were donated by celebrities like Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, George Jones and others.
Another site to see at this Indiana attraction is Uncle Pen’s Cabin. It’s located in the courtyard, just near the exit of the Bill Monroe Bluegrass Hall of Fame. The cabin is a replica of the home Bill Monroe lived in as a teenager. When his parents died, Bill went to live with his Uncle Pendleton Vandiver in a small cabin much like the one in Bean Blossom. Bill Monroe wrote a popular song called “Uncle Pen,” and the cabin replica stands in tribute to the musical influence Mr. Vandiver had on teenage Bill Monroe’s life.
Bill Monroe died at age 84 on September 9, 1996. One year before his death, he was awarded the National Medal of the Arts by President Bill Clinton. Today, the Bill Monroe Memorial Music Park and Campground operate as a tribute to his long and successful career, and the impact he left on the entire music industry. A small admission fee is charged for adults, and children 12-year-old and under get in for free. A southern Indiana day trip from the Circle City can be both fun and educational for all ages.
Bill Monroe Memorial Music Park and Campground
5163 State Road 135 North
Bean Blossom, Indiana 46160