The 14th annual Papa Joe Smiddy Mountain Music Festival is set to begin at 5 p.m., Sept. 4, in the amphitheater at Natural Tunnel State Park in Duffield. Named for Dr. Joseph C. “Papa Joe” Smiddy, a well-known educator, entertainer and old time musician, the festival is held annually on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend and presented by the Cove Ridge Center Foundation.
Papa Joe will be the guest of honor at the event. The annual gathering seeks to promote the musical heritage of the area’s Appalachian mountain culture and honors the tireless work of “Papa Joe” to promote the music of the region.
Bill and the Belles will headline this year's event, which includes performances by New Circle Bluegrass, Dr. Joe Smiddy & Reedy Creek, the ETSU Bluegrass Pride Band and the ETSU Old-Time Pride Band. Tom Taylor will emcee the festivities.
Proceeds from the festival go into the Cove Ridge Foundation's Papa Joe Smiddy Scholarship Fund.
Festival-goers are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket. Food and drinks are welcome, but no alcohol is allowed on Natural Tunnel State Park property. All tickets are general admission and may be purchased for $10 in advance or $15 at the gate. Children 12 and under are admitted free with a paying adult.
The Papa Joe Smiddy Mountain Music Festival is an official event of Duffield Daze and is an affiliated site on the Crooked Road. To purchase tickets by phone, call 276-940-2674. Tickets are also available at Natural Tunnel State Park, the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce and Addington Oil in Weber City.