Pappa Joe Smiddy Festival canceled

July 31, 2020

The continuing impact of the Coronavirus has forced cancellation of the Papa Joe Smiddy Mountain Music Festival that would have been held on Sunday, September 6 at the amphitheater at Natural Tunnel State Park in Duffield.
The annual event which is in its 18th year, cannot be held this year due to the impracticality of implementing social distancing and other protective measures which would have been necessary. “This event is a highlight of our year every year,” said Isaac Webb, one of the organizers of the event. “We are privileged to honor the memory of Dr. Joseph “Papa Joe” Smiddy as we present this festival each year. We are able to feature talented musicians from the area and put together an excellent line up of traditional music for our very loyal audience who we will miss seeing this year.”
The event which supports the events held at the Cove Ridge Center at the park and provides scholarship money for local student musicians has been held every year on the Sunday before Labor Day for nearly two decades. “We hope to be back again next year and look forward to continuing the tradition,” said Webb. This annual gathering seeks to promote the musical heritage of the area’s Appalachian mountain culture and also honors the tireless work of “Papa Joe” to promote the music of our region. In addition to being an accomplished old-time banjo player, entertainer, and educator, Smiddy was Chancellor Emeritus at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise.

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