Seabrook Music Festival

The event changed from the Seabrook Celebration to the Seabrook Music Festival. As the crowds grew, so did the profits and the little community association with its humble beginnings was in a position to make even greater contributions to the community. One of the organizations proudest projects was the construction of a $50,000 Pavilion at Meador Park. To this day, the pavilion continues to be a welcomed location to hold various events and provide refuge from the elements for various activities including the annual Krewe de Mutz and the Candlelighters Walk for Kids. By 1995 the Seabrook Music Festival had grown so large that parking was becoming an issue and once again, the annual event had out-grown its venue. However, a surprise was ahead for the organization. At a monthly membership meeting in 1996, President Jesse Jones announced that David Cameron, long-time member and resident, had given him wonderful news. Daves' family foundation, The Harry S. and Isabel C. Cameron Foundation, had just purchased 16 acres of property located at Hwy. 146 and Red Bluff Road and were donating it to the Seabrook Association so they would have a larger place to hold their annual Seabrook Music Festival. As you can imagine, everyone was very surprised and totally elated. A huge amount of the association’s success is due to the generosity of the members of the Cameron Foundation. They have been extremely supportive of the organization as well as numerous other entities throughout the entire Greater Houston area. Dave can often been heard making the remark Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, but buy him a fishing pole and he can fish for a lifetime to feed himself. The Seabrook Association now had a very large “fishing pole”.

      The board and membership now had the somewhat overwhelming task of trying to determine the best method of developing this property into a festival site that would be a viable addition to the community. Electricity had to be installed. Water lines had to be run. The grounds had to be prepared. And, by the way, it was also decided to create an amphitheater so patrons would have a better view of performances! This would be a huge project to undertake for a regular for-profit corporation with paid employees. One might wonder how such a project could be done by a group of volunteers whose membership was around 200 at the time.

      What happened next was truly amazing. A group of dedicated people; each with their own individual gifts, talents and interests and a whole lot of networking great things can be accomplished and they were indeed. Literally hundreds of truckloads of dirt were acquired, mostly from the Nasa Road One construction project, and the hill or what is often termed as “Loomer Mountain was built. The late Bill Loomer, former proprietor of Clear Creek Equipment Co., donated his bulldozers and other machinery to complete the project. Former Mayor, Bob Robinson contributed product from his company, Gulf Coast Limestone, to build a road for the property. Dan and Tom Johnson of Bay Area Electric completed all of the electrical work so the site would be lit up and ready to go on game day. Scott Fisher of Fisher Irrigation installed sprinklers. Bob Norris was in charge of the grounds and Jesse Jones served as site development coordinator. Dodi Miller, owner of Miller Machine, built a beautiful wrought iron gate with pelicans to serve a wonderful entrance to the grounds. Many, many, many people contributed to this effort to make the Cameron Amphitheater and Fair-grounds the newest Jewel in the Crown of the City of Seabrook as former president, Jesse Jones called it, a premier festival site.

Friday, October 4th of 1996 was the Grand Opening of the Seabrook Music Festival at the new location. Over 400 volunteers had signed up to work the 3-day event. The committee chairs had completed their preparation. The carnival was set up and the aroma of smoked brisket from the cook-off teams filled the air. It looked to be a great weekend! Unfortunately, on Saturday the heavens opened up as a huge thunderstorm rolled across the fairgrounds. Local band, LC Roots was the first band set to take the stage, followed later that evening by The Georgia Satellites and Atlanta Rhythm Section. Stage manager, the late Jimmy Dibello, along with everyone else wondered what we could do to save the show. Fortunately, the Clear Lake Beach Club came through and the entertainment was moved to their location while the cook-off teams stayed huddled in their tents and RVs cooking their, hopefully prize-winning, concoctions.
Such would be the case for the next four years. The event had been held for 16 years without a rainout. However, the next few years proved to be a sporadic hit-and-miss for many of the days of the 3-day event. All was not lost however, with the purchase of rain insurance to help recoup any losses and several sunny days throughout the years, the Seabrook Association continued to see profits and fund thousands of dollars annually for worth while causes and projects. That is the beauty of this organization according to Past President, Diana Rodgers, it is so fulfilling and rewarding to be able to contribute to so many different entities, instead of just one like you normally would in other non-profit organizations. As you can see on the list of Awards, the Seabrook Association has contributed to a wide variety of groups and projects and made a difference in many, many lives.