The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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Heart of the Blue Ridge

The Blue Ridge Folklife Festival, Ferrum, Virginia

By Bob Heafner © 1985

Issue: October, 1985

blue ridge folklife festivalThe Dixie Playboys, popular Roanoke radio group from the 1950's, will appear in person at the Blue Ridge Folklife Festival on October 26 at Ferrum College, Ferrum, Virginia. The country music group is one of several which will hold a reunion at the festival as they recreate early radio programs in Roanoke. Left to Right: Glen Howell, Roy Lemmon, Mel Linkous, Virgil Simmons and Gordon Reid.

On October 26, 1985, from 10:00 am til 5:00 pm, the 12th Annual Blue Ridge Folklife Festival will be held at Ferrum College in Ferrum, Virginia. Those of you who have attended previous festivals there know how much enjoyment is in store for people attending.

The admission will be $2.00 for adults and $1.00 for senior citizens and children. This includes parking fees.

The highlight of this year's festival will be country music groups that appeared on radio stations WDBJ, WSLS and WROV in Roanoke in the 30's, 40's and 50's. In those days the programming was live and lively. You'll get a taste of that through several groups such as Roy Hall and the Blue Ridge Entertainers, The Texas Troubadours, Shenandoah Valley Pals, and others, as they perform for you again. This will be the largest such gathering in the history of Virginia.

In addition to the old radio groups, there will also be a minstrel show, horse pulling, a petting zoo, antique car and steam engine exhibits, craft demonstrations and lots of good country food, prepared on the grounds. The Blue Ridge Farm Museum will be open for tours all day also.

If you're interested in crafts you'll really enjoy seeing oak split baskets being made or bright quilt patterns, just to mention two of the numerous hand crafts being demonstrated and sold.

The Folklife Festival is a celebration of our mountain heritage, a sharing for one and all. Every year, the campus of Ferrum College is packed full of wonderful things for you to enjoy and experience. Thousands upon thousands of people attend each year and leave with renewed appreciation for our way of life. The air is charged with an atmosphere of hospitality and celebration. It will be a day your whole family can enjoy and share together.

The Mountain Laurel plans to be there, shaking hands and meeting people, swapping tall tales, and enjoying the festivities. We'll look forward to seeing you there.