Virginia Celebrates “Year of Country Music” With Multiple Milestone Anniversaries

20th Anniversary of Crooked Road Music Heritage Trail Shines Spotlight on Southwest Virginia’s Rich Musical History

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Crooked Road Music Heritage Trail, a trail honoring the Southwest Virginia’s rich musical roots. The trail winds through 300 miles of scenic terrain, picturesque landscapes, and iconic venues showcasing the region’s rich musical heritage. The Crooked Road will be celebrating its 20th anniversary with special concerts and events throughout the year at each of the major venues.

First recognized by the General Assembly in 2004, the Crooked Road follows historic Route 58 throughout the winding hills and valleys of Southwest Virginia connecting 10 major venues that feature bluegrass and old-time music on a regular basis. Today, the Crooked Road serves 19 counties and four cities across the region.

“We celebrate the rich music history of the Commonwealth with incredible anniversaries and milestones in 2024. The music festivals, venues, and historic music sites across Virginia attract visitors from around the world,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “We expect Southwest Virginia, with all its anniversaries, to be a major draw for travelers this year.”

“Music is an important driver of tourism in Virginia and an important part of Virginia culture,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick. “The dollars spent by visitors exploring Virginia’s music history contribute to the overall economic impact of the Commonwealth.”

As the Commonwealth celebrates two decades of preserving and promoting the musical legacy of Southwest Virginia, multiple spots along the Crooked Road will also have their own significant milestones in 2024.

50th Anniversary of the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia

A momentous occasion awaits in 2024 as Virginia commemorates the 50th anniversary of the historic Carter Family Fold, a musical performance and concert venue located in Hiltons, Virginia dedicated to the preservation and performance of old-time country and bluegrass music and named in honor of the original Carter Family. A.P., Sara, and Maybelle Carter are among the earliest recording artists in country music and the trio is considered the “First Family of Country Music.”

Beginning March 23, the Carter Family Fold will host weekly Saturday night concerts featuring some of the best regional country and bluegrass artists leading up to a special “Appalachia Rising” concert on April 27 and a big 50th Anniversary musical event on August 3.

10th Anniversary of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, Virginia

10 years ago, the Birthplace of Country Music Museum opened its doors in Bristol, Virginia to showcase the beginnings and evolution of country music and its roots in the Southwest Virginia area. This Smithsonian-affiliated facility showcases the historic 1927 Bristol Sessions, which saw the creation of some of the earliest country music recordings in America when the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers and several other musicians recorded for the first time before gaining prominence.

The museum will be hosting live music events throughout the year, including the multi-day Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion music festival, which brings together renowned artists from various genres. This year’s festival takes place September 13-15, 2024.

40th Anniversary of the Floyd Country Store’s Friday Night Jamboree in Floyd, Virginia

In the heart of Floyd, Virginia, the Floyd Country Store commemorates the 40th anniversary of its Friday Night Jamboree. The weekly Jamboree invites friends and family from all around the world to the quaint general store turning it into a rowdy night of entertainment with authentic old-time and bluegrass music performances that regularly sees the crowds spilling out into the streets.

20th Anniversary of the Ralph Stanley Museum in Clintwood, Virginia

The Ralph Stanley Museum and Traditional Mountain Music Center in Clintwood, Virginia will be celebrating 20 years of honoring the life and music of the legendary Virginia musician Ralph Stanley, who is recognized as a pioneer in traditional Appalachian old-time music. Stanley donated his extensive collection of memorabilia, ranging from vintage instruments to countless musical awards, to the museum.

20th Anniversary of the “Song of the Mountains” concert series in Marion, Virginia

The award-winning “Song of the Mountains” concert series will be marking its 20th anniversary of showcasing bluegrass, old-time, and Americana music at the Lincoln Theatre in Marion, Virginia. “Song of the Mountains” is filmed live and broadcasted on public television channels nationwide. The live concerts feature four to six artists at every performance and the show has featured local, regional, and nationally known artists like Doc Watson and Dr. Ralph Stanley.

Music enthusiasts, history lovers, and the community at large are encouraged to join in commemorating these milestones during the year to discover the enduring legacy of Southwest Virginia’s musical heritage.

“The music of this region still comes out of the hills as a new generation of performers take mountain music back into the mainstream,” said Senator Todd Pillion, R-Washington County. “We are thrilled to celebrate the historic anniversaries of these many sites that provide an unquestionably authentic Virginia experience.”

“Southwest Virginia’s history is rich with musical heritage,” said Delegate Terry Kilgore, R-Scott County. “So many of these artists have influenced music and entertainment heard around the world and the numerous milestones we have this year honor the Commonwealth’s storied past.”

For more information, visit virginia.org/crookedroad.

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