Wakarusa Jamboree

Wakarusa Jamboree
Wakarusa, Indiana

History of the Wakarusa Jamboree

    The Jamboree got its start in September of 2000 when Stephen Schmidt decided to hold a regular monthly jam on the first Thursday of each month, at his Furniture and Music Store, Schmidt Furniture, Nelson Parkway, Wakarusa, Indiana.

   The jam started with approximately eight to ten (8-10) musicians sitting in a circle and jamming for several hours.

    After meeting and jamming for several months, friends and family started to attend and listen. The number of musicians also grew forcing the jam to move from the front showroom of Stephen’s store to the factory in the rear of the building. Upon playing at that location for a year, the former “Come & Dine” Restaurant requested the jam be moved to their location, keeping the date of the first Thursday of every month. After several months of playing…the restaurant continued to draw fans and was packed to capacity.

    The Jamboree again, started looking for a larger location to hold the jam sessions. Thru the generosity of Mel and Ruthann Schrock the Jamboree was offered a meeting location at their business location, Horizon Transports, Wakarusa, Indiana.

   Shortly thereafter, the Horizon Transport location was filled to capacity and the Jamboree was once again on the move to locate the use of a larger facility.

   Thru the generosity of Mel and Ruthann Schrock, Ed Tom, and Stephen Schmidt, the Jamboree was able to hold their monthly jam meetings at the Northwood Middle School, 301 North Elkhart Street Wakarusa, Indiana. The Jamboree meets at the school for the months September thru May.

   The Jamboree meeting location for… June thru August... West Park Pavilion 500 North Nappanee Street Nappanee,Indiana...

   In the Spring of 2008, the Jamboree became self-supporting. The number of musicians participating in the monthly jam has increased to approximately 20-30. The number of fans supporting the Jamboree, has exceeded 300.

   Mark your calendar and plan to attend the Wakarusa Bluegrass Jamboree on the first Thursday of every month.

The Early Days

Early Days of Jamming at Stephen Schmidts Furniture Shop.
Early Days Early Days Early Days
Carl Miller, John Miller, Clyde Carr Joe White, Ray Smith, Irv Eby Stephen, JoAnn, Jim, Jack & Joe


Early days of the Jamboree with special quest at Horizon Transport.
Jamboree at Horizon Transport Jamboree at Horizon Transport
Jim Kizer, at mic, Carl Miller, on DoBro Mike, Clyde Carr, Eby, Dennis


Kendalville Bluegrass Festival & Niles, Mi. Apple Festival
Kendalville Bluegrass Festival Niles, Mi. Apple Festival
Left to Right: Carl Miller, Bill Pullum, Harry Beecher, Rod Zehr (on Bass behind Bill), Barbara Carr, Clyde Carr Part of our gang on stage at the Niles Apple Festival.
Seated is Ethan Shelton. Ethan played Music with us each month, to the age of 110.