“They’re rockin’ and a rollin’on a Liberty Saturday night” should be the line in the Jimmy Buffett song because the Liberty Opry on the Square does just that. Saturday nights are filled not only with 50s music, but Gospel and country sounds also fill the air. Not only does this fun and wholesome venue offer music and food, but door prizes make the night even more fun and enriching. “Once you walk through the doors of the Liberty Opry, you become a part of our family” is the motto of the Liberty Opry, and from the beginning, when emcee Jerry Locke announces the first act, through the songs, comedy, special remembrances to the parting remarks and thanks of the owners at the door, the night is one to remember. The Opry is located in the third oldest town in Texas. Lone Star heroes William B. Travis, Sam Houston and David Burnett practiced law here. The historic Park Theater opened its doors in 1938. After sitting idle for some years, the Cox family purchased the building in 1993, and began the Liberty Opry and programming format used today. John Cox was not only an original owner, but a songwriter and talented performer playing four instruments. He is warmly remembered in the hearts of those who heard him perform, and on the Liberty Opry webpage. Because he was a fully dedicated Christian, many times he felt moved to speak of his faith during performances; yet he would hold back as he knew there were many denominations present, and he did not want to offend anyone. However, he finally spoke one night during a performance, and the response was one of coming together. John Cox passed away in 1998. The tradition of praying before each performance is one way the current owners Jay and Nina Cantu and JR and Stefani Bolt continue his testimony. “A true Christian-based program was started and we will continue this tradition in our own special way. We pray with the entertainers (back-stage) and our audience before each show. We recognize, honor and acknowledge all veterans. No matter how difficult or disappointing a person's day or week has been, when they come to the Liberty Opry, we do our best to make the time spent with us the happiest moment of the week,” Jay said. At intermission, Jay brings the house lights up, tells jokes, visits with audience members and hands out dozens of door prizes. There is not a bad spot in the 320+ seat theater. Many people put their love and hard work into the success of the Opry. The Cantus handle reservations, show production, the snack bar and more. They are very hands on. “This is our life,” he said. Jim Cox, a member of the original owner’s family, grew up with the Liberty Opry band. He is the lead guitarist, charts the music and leads band rehearsals in preparation of each show. The band is talented and entertaining and often accompany the performers. Jay Cantu adds, “The band is composed of great professionals who put their heart, soul and time into each performance. We do believe they are one of the best bands in Texas. The comedy act of world-famous Larry “Booger Lee” Etheridge,” along with his side kick, Jerry Locke, is second-to-none, and will leave you in stitches.” The Opry is often compared to the entertainment in Branson, Missiouri – family-centered, uplifiting, often humorous and best of all, affordable. Prices begin at $11 for groups; most performacens are $12 with an occasional performance priced slightly higher. Parking around the square is free. The Café, a friendly restaurant that is part of the theater serves dinners, homemade sandwiches, salads, desserts, and more, all for very low prices. Checkered tablecloths welcome early patrons who meet to eat and then enjoy the show. The Liberty Opry is approximataely a 30-minute drive from Atascocita. Recent musical performances include The Coasters, the famous 50s American doo wop group. Upcoming special acts are “Rock Around the Clock” Aug. 18 and a “Country Western” show Sept. 15. For more information on the Liberty Opry, visit libertyopry.com/members/.

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