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Crooked Road Draws Music Lovers to Southwest Virginia

Katy and the Bubbatones
Katy and the Bubbatones perform for Crooked Road: credit: Wikimedia
The Crooked Road has proven to be a favorite crowd getter throughout the years that focuses on music and heritage.

The Crooked Road is a series of events and attractions to learn about how music has played a significant role in the history of southwest Virginia. The region features a variety of music, ranging from old-time string bands to a cappella gospel and blues.

Visitors will find 300-year-old ballads, bluegrass, country, and even rock tunes filling the air. The Crooked Road itself consists of 333 miles that The National Trust for Historic Preservation has called "One of America's 2010 'Dozen Distinctive Destinations'."

Venues of the Crooked Road


The Crooked Road has many venues. The major venues offer a variety of events including live music, dancing, historical sites, instrument making demonstrations, museum exhibits, live radio shows and shopping.

The more popular venues include the Birthplace of Country Music, Blue Ridge Institute and Farm Museum, Blue Ridge Music Center, Carter Family Fold, Country Cabin II, Floyd Country Store and County Sales, Heartwood, Old Fiddlers Convention and Rex Theater and Ralph Stanley Museum.

Affiliated Crooked Road Venues


More than 60 affiliated venues and festivals that enable the music of the region to be heard every day of the year. Those affiliated venues include fiddlers conventions, educational classes, workshops, annual festivals, concerts and the celebrated outdoor drama, Trail of the Lonesome Pine.

Some of those affiliated venues include ACMA Mountain Music Museum, Albert Hash Memorial Festival, Allen Hicks Jam, Big Walker Lookout, Blacksburg Square Dance, Bluegrass Festival, Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion, Capo's Music Store, Chestnut Creek School of the Arts, Crooked Road Gospel Sing, Footlights of the Blue Ridge, Floydfest, Galax Leaf and String Festival, Grayson County Old Time and Blue Grass Fiddlers Convention, Grundy Music Jam, Lee County Tobacco Fall Festival and many other events and activities.

Wayside Exhibits


The Crooked Road also includes 26 wayside exhibits that are dotted along the trail and throughout the region. Visitors can pull off the side of the road to read the panels.

Tune your radio to FM 100.1 to hear a five-minute audio recording that gives the details about the music and the musicians of the region. These wayside exhibits are scattered, including three at Virginia Welcome Centers, including I-81 north at Bristol, I-77 south at Rocky Gap and I-77 north at Lambsburg.

The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission, along with the Virginia Department of Transportation, help make the exhibits possible.

Costs and Tickets


Many of the activities are free while others do require an admission fee. Costs vary dependent upon the event and performers.

Details about costs and fees are available online at https://www.myswva.org/tcr/. The schedule of events is constantly being updated, so it is wise to regulary check to learn more about what events and activities have been added to the lineup.

With the constant changes and additions, plus the large variety of music that is performed, there is definitely something for everyone along The Crooked Road. With nine major venues, more than 60 affiliated festivals and venues, plus wayside exhibits, live music can be found somewhere in the region any day of the week.

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