If people hear those old time tunes anywhere near Sparta’s Main Street, there’s a good chance they’re invited to a performance of the Crouse House Pickers.
Each Monday night for more than a quarter century, a group of Alleghany musicians have gathered together at the home once owned by prominent local citizens Floyd and Sarah Ellen Gambill Crouse. Known as the Crouse House Pickers, the jam band puts on a show for anybody who appreciates bluegrass and old-time tunes.
“It’s incredibly popular and pretty much always well attended,” Sparta Town Planner Kevin Dowell said. “But it’s also a lot of fun. The people who love this kind of music are really into it, so even if bluegrass might not be your thing, you might want to give this a try.”
The pickers are just one of the attractions at Alleghany’s Crouse Park, named in the Crouses’ honor after the property was donated to the town in 1969.
Just a couple blocks off Main Street — the park is located at the corner of N.C. 18 North and Grayson Street — the park features a paved 1/3-mile walking trail, basketball and volleyball courts, along with playground equipment and restroom facilities and a large outdoor stage and dance area.
“It also includes a pretty nice skate park,” Dowell said. “It doesn’t get used as much as when it was first built, but the flip side is that if you’re into skating, you won’t have to fight crowds to have fun.”
Picnic shelters are available, and the furnished Crouse House also can be rented for special occasions for a nominal fee.
The Alleghany Farmers Market, which lies along one edge of Crouse Park, is held each Saturday from summer to fall at Crouse Park. The market features cooking events and children’s activities.
Every Halloween, Crouse Park also plays host to Sparta’s Trunk-or-Treat festivities.
Adam Orr may be reached at 336-489-3058.