Ben Wheeler: Celebration set to honor Brooks Gremmels

Published on Thursday, 22 May 2014 23:08 - Written by Vernoic Terres Special Contributor

Friends, family and loyal staff of the late Brooks Gremmels will hold a celebration on July 4 to honor the man behind the revitalization of what was once, a sleepy, little East Texas town of Ben Wheeler.

Gremmels, who died earlier this year of cancer, focused his efforts and resources to spark a renewed sense of community in the town.

In 2003, Gremmels retired to the then-sleepy town in Van Zandt County. He began buying property and repairing dilapidated buildings, and transformed the town into a lively and artsy nook in the Piney Woods of East Texas.

In 2008, he and his wife, Rese, threw a Fourth of July celebration for the community with free music, hot dogs and fun in the park.

Since that first fun-filled gathering, Ben Wheeler has hosted many events to bring people near and far to the town.

“What better way to honor Brooks who brought us all together the first time, than to celebrate the way he did?,” Jenni Wilson, president of the Ben Wheeler Arts & Historic District Foundation said. “The community of musicians, artists, and friends will come together to donate their time, talent, and a fireworks display to party in true Brooks fashion, presenting six hours of free, family fun.”

Events will include:

5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.: music at The Pickin’ Porch Park including Wesley Pruitt, Heather Little, Matt Bradshaw, Craig Wallace, Travis Bolt, Chase McClanahan & blacktopGYPSY.

7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.: Stratoblasters

8:30 p.m.: fireworks at sunset

9 p.m.: Mouse & The Traps at Moore’s Store

9 p.m.: Jimmy Wallace & Jerry Don Branch at The Forge Bar & Grill

9:30 p.m.: Movie for the kiddos: Wizard of Oz at The Forge’s Backyard Pavilion

Money raised will go to the Ben Wheeler Arts & Historic District Foundation to continue Brooks’ vision to revitalize the town.

Veronica Terres is the marketing manager of the Ben Wheeler arts and Historic District Foundation.