Pre- Fourth of July Picnic Party (7/4/1990)

Mary Lou Christian and Ann Willis

Express News
San Antonio, Texas
July 4, 1990
by Tracey Timpanaro

More than 8,000 spectators turned out Tuesday night for Willie Nelson’s pre-Fourth of July picnic, a first-time event at Blue Bonnet Palace’s outdoor rodeo arena.

Damara Smith, Johnny Bush and Little Joe Hernandez were other featured bands.

“We want to establish this as an annual pre-Fourth of July event and have big-time entertainment,” said Leonard John, Blue Bonnet co-owner with brothers Melvis and Clarence. 

“Especially with the way the holiday falls from time to time, this makes a lot of sense and it makes for a lot of fun.  People want to be with their families on the Fourth, so this gives them the opportunity to enjoy the night before,” Leonard said.

The Enrique family was so enthusiastic about the show they arrived early.  “The tickets were a Father’s Day present,” said daughter Marita, who attended with parents Anita and Martin.

Mary Lou Christian of Hurst and Ann Willis of Temple were other early arrivals.  Both donned Nelson T-shirts.  Christian said between them they have more than 1,000 Nelson records.

Part of the event’s proceeds go to the Selma Volunteer Fire Department. Leonard said there was a possibility of para-mutuel racing in the area.  “Selma is growing and we want to have our fire department prepared and ready.  Also, they just moved into a new fire station,” he said.


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