Up in the Hollow: Hazzard County is our county on Aug. 13-14

Hazzard County is not a real place; it is a state of mind. To its vast legion of fans, Hazzard is a place where the gals are always beautiful and the ol’ boys are kind- hearted and fearless. It is a place where the good guys always win and where nobody really gets hurt and where you can always hear the sound of squealing tires and roaring engines over the stompin’ beat of hot country music. It recalls a more innocent, less cynical time. It recalls the “cowboy” movies of Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, and their range riding cohorts. It is a mix of action, slapstick, music, and altruism.

And it is great fun.

When “The Dukes of Hazzard” premiered on CBS-TV in January 1979, the snide television critic of the Los Angeles Times wrote, “This show will not last past the first commercial break.” Never was a critic more wrong. A monster megahit in the 1980s, “The Dukes” continues to find a new international audience of young people in its fifth decade of television life. At a time when “family programming” has become forgotten, the gang from Hazzard County has been rediscovered time and again by folks looking for something they can watch with their kids. And as they say, “that is a good thing.”

About a hundred of these restored specimens -- the General Lee -- will be in Sperryville Aug. 13-14.

So here comes Hazzard Nation for a two-day get-together in a beautiful field in Rappahannock County. We are calling it “Hazzard Homecoming.” So far, we have visitors coming from 36 states and from as far away as Scotland and New Zealand. If you are new here, it is hard to explain, but basically it will be two days of personal appearances by the cast of the show; two days of country, bluegrass and gospel music, and a two-day car show (featuring about a hundred General Lees, the most popular car in the history of show business). There will be world-class bicycle stunts, plenty of children’s activities, the kind of wrestling we call “rasslin”, hot air balloon rides, a kid’s water slide, pony rides, and a fireworks extravaganza Saturday night.

Sunday morning at 10 there will be a gospel sing with the Lewis Tradition, the first family of bluegrass gospel singing.

To combat the likely heat there will be shade tents, “misting tents”, and plenty of ice-cold water. There will also be lots of good food, snow cones, ice cream, and cold soft drinks. Folks attending might want to bring sunscreen, hats, beach blankets, and folding chairs for the festival seating.

Cast members appearing both days will be Catherine Bach (Daisy Duke), James Best (Rosco P. Coltrane), Sonny Shroyer (Enos) and Rick Hurst (Cletus). John Schneider, who played Bo Duke, will appear on Sunday. Two of our great stuntmen, Gary and Craig Baxley will also be appearing both days.

Among the musical performers will be Grammy nominee T. Graham Brown, the legendary Dr. Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys, Nathan Stanley, Lisa Meadows, The Lewis Tradition, rockabilly giant Sleepy LaBeef, and Cooter’s Garage Band. Bluegrass performers include Shenandoah Drive, Hollow Bound, The Gold Top County Ramblers, Loose Gravel, and Dark Hollow with Paul Fincham.

On Sunday, our special guests are going to be two busloads of “wounded warriors” from Walter Reed Army Hospital and Bethesda Naval Hospital. These men and women are being hosted by our Harris Hollow neighbors, Randy and Suzy Spillers, who are also sponsoring Catherine Bach, the very fetching “Daisy Duke.”

Tickets are $15 for one day, $20 for both days. (Discount tickets are available at the Union First Market Bank.) Admission is free for seniors, for kids 10 and under, and for active duty service members. Parking at the event is also free.

Vendors include the Sperryville Volunteer Fire Department, the Sperryville Rescue Squad, the Castleton Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department (VFRD), the Flint Hill VFRD, RappCats, the Amissville VFRD and Reynolds Memorial Baptist Church.

There is a probability of traffic congestion on the roads around Sperryville on the mornings and evenings of that weekend. We hope you will be patient and forgiving about any possible inconveniences the event may cause. I apologize in advance.

For details on the event, see the event calendar listing here.