Friday, July 28, 2006


[Ani Difranco at Floydfest '05]

Yes, it started today and I'm a slacker for forgetting to mention the music and arts festival prior to this hour but there is still time to attend. The Floydfest line up this year highlights Los Lobos, Donna the Buffalo (one of my favorites), Edie from Ohio (Doing Time at the Lifeguard Stand is a classic!), Tim O'Brien, Drew Emmett and Rory Block plus a ton of other acts. From African rhythm dances to Bluegrass, this field off of the Blue Ridge Parkway near Meadows of Dan has grown leaps and bounds over the past five years into what it is today. Camping is available and it's within a stones throw of Chateau Morrisette (wine tasting on the Blue Ridge anyone?) Between this festival and next week's Galax Fiddlers Convention, can one fill his appetite for live music?

There is a band playing called "Sun Dried Opossum". What more do you need?

Aside from the festival, the Town of Floyd, Va. and the outlying county is a neat place to visit. Here in the NRV, it is looked at as a commune. Many "hippies" moved to the rural area in the 1960's and never left. Today, it is the arts and crafts center of the Valley. The Jacksonville Center is a huge old dairy barn that has been converted into a gallery and a place in which artists can rent studio space. The Harvest Moon Store and Over the Moon Gallery are also top places to find locally grown food (bison, mmmmm) and crafts. Floyd County has one stop light, no railroads and three two lane highways (route 221, route 8, Blue Ridge Parkway). In the past 7 years, commercial growth has invaded Floyd with a Hardees, Subway, Food Lion and Family Dollar. Other than those stores, every other business is a small family run business, including several town restaurants that host live music on a regular basis.
Not much changed in the past 40 years there and that is how the residents like it.

It is a true mountain oasis.


Our Goblin Market said...

Damn, every year I miss this. Maybe next year.

Hey, check out "Song of the Mountains" Music Series at the Lincoln Theatre. The next show is August 5th.

J. Michael Mason said...

Oh yeah! I try to catch Song of the Mountains on Blue Ridge Public TV on Saturday and Sunday nights (when I remember). One day I hope to catch it in person.

Marion has really embraced the Lincoln and the entire "Main Street, USA" project. They now have a Macados grill and bar in an old store front and rumors are the Mast General Store will open in downtown shortly. Outside of Wal*Mart, the town is thriving with independent ma and pa as well as local chain business. It should be a business model for SWVA and the I-81 corridor.

Jape said...

We've spent some time in Floyd, but this year was our first trip down for the festival. Great music, great people, great scene.

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