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40th Anniversary Carter Family Memorial Festival
19 Dec 2013
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Music festival held the first weekend in August presented in honor of The Original Carter Family, the first family of country music, and commemorating the historic 1927 Bristol Recording Sessions.

In 1974, Janette Carter decided to present a festival dedicated to her father, A.P. Carter. Before he died in November, 1960, he asked his daughter to do all she could to see that the Carter Family's music was never forgotten. She told him Daddy I will try. She did just that, and the Carter Family Memorial Music Center now stands as a tribute to the love and devotion she felt for her father and the music he created. The stage for that first festival was the flatbed of an 18-wheel truck on loan from the National Guard. Sara Carter came from California, and Maybelle Carter came from her home in Nashville. Very small by today's standards, that first festival was truly a labor of love.

After the festival, Janette began presenting shows of acoustic-only old time and bluegrass music in the grocery her Dad ran in the 40s and 50s. The shows quickly outgrew the one-room structure. In 1976, Janette - along with her siblings Joe and Gladys - built the Carter Family Fold. Despite the fact that she never graduated from high school, Janette Carter established a nonprofit, rural arts organization and a museum.

Craft and outside food booths open at 3:00 p.m. on Friday and at noon on Saturday. A homemade quilt will be raffled off during the festival and given away during Saturday night's performance. The A.P. Carter Cabin Birthplace and the Carter Family Museum will be open from the time the gates open each day until 8:00 p.m. There will be lots of music and jamming on the grounds in addition to the scheduled performers inside the Carter Fold. Limited rough camping is available.


If you've ever witnessed a Carter Family Memorial Festival at the Fold, you know you're going to have a great time. However, if you've never been to one of the annual festivals or the Fold itself, we encourage you to stop on by, do some dancing, and enjoy our famous mountain hospitality. After only a few minutes, you will surely agree that the music and traditions of Appalachia are by no means fading away - they're stronger than ever.


This event is featured on the Year of the Rural Arts Calendar of Events. For more information on the Year of the Rural Arts, visit www.artoftherural.org

Craft Dance Performance Song Folklore Heritage Rural Traditional YORA Festival/Celebration Appalachia Southeast Folklorist Musician Carters Music
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