Wappstock - Still Rockin!
All great things start with an idea.
Joe Bancroft still recalls the day he was hit with a title wave of an idea.
“It was July 25, 2011,” recalls Bancroft. “I started a Facebook page called Wappapello the 80’s. And within 24 hours, over 100 people had joined the page.”
So, Bancroft started thinking about it, and he asked a friend of his, Roy Ward, if it would be possible to organize a reunion party on Facebook.
‘Well, Roy didn’t even have a computer at the time,” laughed Bancroft. “So….he went right out and bought one.”
Within a few days, area musicians began committing to an event. Two weeks later, the first Wappapello Reunion was held.
Everyone enjoyed it so much, the group decided they wanted to make it a yearly event. But they felt they really needed a cause to give it additional meaning. They decided their goal was going to be to send kids to camp.
“Every kid should get that experience,” explained Bancroft.
So….now the event was a good time with a cause.
“It’s really still like a big reunion,” added Bancroft. “It’s fun for people to get together and share their memories of the 70’s and 80’s.”
Of course music is the centerpiece of the event.
“We can’t actually pay the musicians,” he explained apologetically. “But….we give them an event they are proud to be a part of.”
The event grows every year. Last year, a motorcycle rally and poker run were added, along with a classic car show.
For the music lovers, there is something for everyone. The musical genres run from Contemporary Christian to Country, and from Bluegrass to Rock.
“This year we’re starting the day with a Catfish Tournament, and we will have Bluegrass music playing at Crabb & Company Restaurant,” said Bancroft.
Much of the action will be taking place at the Wappapello Eagles Pavilion, where four bands will be performing.
“This is just a perfect way to come to an end of the summer with people who love Lake Wappapello,” concluded Bancroft.
He said last year the event raised enough money to send ten children to Camp Latonka.
“We supported Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and American Heritage girls this past year. But are eager to help other camp activities for all kinds of kids,” explained Bancroft.
The first event will be the Catfish Tournament, which begins at 6:30 a.m., at Slabber Dave’s. Weigh-in is at noon at Crabb & Company. Entry fee is $60 per boat, and 50 percent of the proceeds go to the kids’ camp. Each entrant also gets two tickets to the 70’s, 80’s, and Blues show.
Registration for the Poker Run begins at 9 a.m., with the Poker Run leaving at 10 a.m. The fee is $20, and the rider gets a free ticket to the Indoor Stage. The route will be 100 miles, starting at the Wappapello Eagles club, and then with stops at the Greenville Eagles Club, a truck stop in Ellsinore, the Poplar Bluff Eagles club, and then Bullwinkles on T Highway.
The Classic Car Show begins at 9 a.m. Awards will be presented at 2 p.m.
Bands featured this year will be the Robert Monroe Band, Brady Nichols Band, Headway, Ernie Lewis Band, As Is, Scott Shipley, Alex Beaird Band, Black River Blues Band, Drivin Rain, and Cynderblok.
“It’s going to be a great time, and a great way to help our community’s kids,” said Bancroft. “We hope to have a lot of people come out.”