Tomball VFW Introduces New Outdoor Event Venue with Music at the Fairgrounds Festival

Two local nonprofits began a partnership years ago, launching a series of events that now culminate in a music festival at Tomball’s brand new open-air venue.

The community is invited to Music at the Fairgrounds on Saturday, June 25 at Veterans of Foreign War Post 2427.

The festival serves as the grand opening of the VFW Fairgrounds, which features a brand new stage overlooking approximately six acres.

With live music, vendors, food and drink, proceeds from this family event will help support the VFW.

After a chance encounter with the Tomball VFW in 2019, the volunteers of the Gulf Coast Blues Association were optimistic about achieving one of their long-held dreams.

The non-profit organization, whose goal is to bring blues music to the public, had been trying for years to get its blues festival off the ground.

Impressed by the VFW’s existing indoor venue and the eight acres surrounding it, the GCBA decided to hold their festival there. Their headliner was booked and ticket sales were underway.

“So of course everyone knows COVID has hit,” said GCBA Secretary and Treasurer Leslie Karm.

The event has been cancelled. Tickets have been refunded.

Despite the setback, organizations decided to turn disappointment into opportunity.

VFW Post 2427 sits on approximately eight acres at 14408 Alice Rd. in Tomball. Much of the property is behind the VFW building. The field has served a variety of uses over the years, Stephen Biehl, Texas VFW State Inspector and Chief of Staff for Tomball VFW Post 2427 said.

“There used to be a baseball diamond there, it was used for storage, we used it for parking, we used it for barbecues, but more often than not we just tried to keep it mowed,” Biehl said. . “We’ve been talking for years about trying to create something useful in this part of the property.”

GCBA music president Mike Karm said the GCBA and Tomball VFW had discussed the possibility of building an outdoor stage.

Over their four-decade career in the construction industry, the Karms had amassed a list of connections. The couple were able to find vendors and contractors who agreed to donate some of the services and materials needed to make the scene a reality.

The project started last year after the Karms told VFW that they were able to go ahead with the scene.

“We built a base that could fit a big tent, then we had the engineer draw us a plan for a roof and a wall,” Mike said.

“And it mushroomed from there,” Leslie added.

Through hours of planning, as well as the hard work and support of many partners, the new location came to fruition.

The result is a 44-by-22-foot rustic-looking wooden stage, complete with walls and a roof. The structure is designed to withstand extreme weather events and to accommodate the big names in the music industry.

“We created the stage where when a big star comes in, they have a place to park their bus,” Mike said, as well as a rear ramp to roll equipment onto the stage. “Everything has been looked to the future for big events, not just small ones.”

The new facility will be put to use next week during the Music at the Fairgrounds festival. Doors open at 3 p.m.

Reserved seats at the front of the stage are $30; or for $20, guests can set up their own lawn chairs and tents around the acreage to relax and enjoy live music.

The Angela Morgan Band will kick off the day’s performances, followed by Kaleidoscope Project, Dale Phillips and Southern Comfort, and the Buddy Whittington Band.

Cajun and Zydeco music sensation Wayne Toups will wrap up the night as the event’s headliner.

With the opening of the VFW Stage and Fairgrounds, the organizations look forward to hosting many more music events, including the GCBA Blues Festival.

One of the benefits of the new site, Biehl said, is to serve as a way to connect the community to its local veterans.

“Unfortunately most people when they think of the VFW they think of…older men in their 60s, 70s, 80s, sitting around and telling war stories, and we are so much more than that,” he said. said Biehl. “One of the things we’re really trying to focus on (is) making the VFW, as an organization and our facilities, more family friendly and more open to young veterans.”

“It helps the VFW to have the community in the establishment,” he said. “We have things at the facility that remind the public of our mission and our purpose to support veterans.”

The new location offers many opportunities for community events, said Sean Ellis, commander of Texas VFW District 4 and Tomball VFW Post 2427.

“We all want to hear live music and celebrate Americana! ” he said. “But this venue will also allow us to host the big Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Veterans’ reunions, graduations and other community events,” he said.

Ellis sees the VFW Fairgrounds as a gathering place where the community can celebrate in different ways.

“Celebrate with music, celebrate our freedoms and celebrate our veterans causes,” he explained. “We were very lucky to meet Mike and Leslie from the GCBA and are thrilled to open our fairgrounds to a wide variety of entertainment and events.”

To register for Music at the Fairgrounds, visit www.eventbee.com/v/gcbasummermusic?fs=e&s=cl#/tickets.

For more information and ways to support Post 2427 and GCBA, visit vfwpost2427.org and www.gulfcoastblues.org.

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