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18th Annual Papa Joe Smiddy Mountain Music Festival

September 4, 2022 @ 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm

18th Annual Papa Joe Smiddy Mountain Music Festival at Natural Tunnel State Park

On Sunday, September 4th, the 19th Annual Papa Joe Smiddy Mountain Music Festival will honor the memory and legacy of Dr. Joseph “Papa Joe” Smiddy. The event is presented by the Cove Ridge Center Foundation and will be held in the amphitheater at Natural Tunnel State Park in Duffield, VA starting at 5 PM.

Similar to last year, there will be no admission charge to this year’s festival thanks to the generosity of our sponsors. Attendees may give a donation to the Cove Ridge Foundation to support its Scholarship Fund.

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”, who promoted the music of our region for many decades. 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. This year’s performers will be Dr. Joe Smiddy & Reedy Creek, Town Branch Bluegrass Band, Chris Rose and UVA Wise Bluegrass Band, and Eric McMurray and the Trinity Valley Travelers.

Dr. Joe Smiddy & Reedy Creek, have played together for more than four decades. Reflecting the broad musical tastes of Papa Joe, the band plays a variety of old-time music and original songs. Papa Joe started “Pickin’ in the Park”, the summer Sunday afternoon get-togethers at Natural Tunnel designed to encourage children and families to play music. Tennessee Border was selected from this past summer’s performers to open this year’s festival.

While there is fixed seating under roof, additional seating is available and used on the grass behind the fixed seating, so festival-goers are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket. A shuttle will be available for festival-goers with mobility issues, it will take them to the backstage level and bring them back up to the parking lot when they are ready to go home.

In 2022, festival admission is free of charge. Festival-goers are welcome to make a donation to the Cove Ridge Foundation, but no payment will be expected. For additional information on the event, you may call the Cove Ridge Center at (276) 940-2674 or by visiting the Center’s webpage at www.coveridge.com or by visiting its Facebook page.

Proceeds from the festival go into the Cove Ridge Foundation’s Papa Joe Smiddy Scholarship Fund. The Papa Joe Smiddy Mountain Music Festival is an official event of Duffield Daze and is an affiliated site on the Crooked Road.

The award-winning Virginia State Parks are managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

For more information about Virginia State Parks’ activities and amenities, or to make reservations in one of the more than 1,800 campsites or 300 climate-controlled cabins, call the Virginia State Parks Reservation Center at 800-933-PARK or visit www.virginiastateparks.gov.


September 4, 2022
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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Natural Tunnel State Park
1420 Natural Tunnel Pkwy
Duffield, VA 24244
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