What to Expect For Hillbilly Days 2020

Hillbilly Days 2020 has been officially cancelled. This is due to precautions concerning COVID-19. That beings said, the City of Pikeville has expressed that they will attempt to reschedule the event for Fall. If they do so, we will be notifying you via email, as well as posting the notification on our websites TourPikeCounty.com and HillbillyDays.com.
Pike County Tourism CVB executive director Tony K. Tackett would like to reassure everyone that, although many upcoming events have been cancelled, event organizers will do all that they can to reschedule these events. This is just a precaution that is being made to ensure that our visitors, and community remain healthy, and to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
If you wish to keep track of all event cancellations and postponements for Pike County, Kentucky, check out our blog post:

Hillbilly Days is one of Kentucky’s most popular and well attended festivals, hosting over 100,000 visitors over the course of 3 days in April. This year’s Hillbilly Days festival will feature all of the goofy characters, food and treat vendors, live concerts and carnival rides that has made the event such a hit with visitors over the past 44 years. However, this year, Hillbilly Days will be offering a lot of new attractions as well. Let’s take a look.

Dino Roar! Tour

The Dino Roar tour brings dinosaurs to life for an exciting, informative, and downright roaring-good time! This educational show teaches kids fun facts about dinosaurs, with interactive dinosaur experiences, as well as a fossil showcase featuring real and replica fossils.

This is a great, family friendly attraction for Hillbilly Days 2020, with shows scheduled for all 3 days of the event. Check out the flyer for showtimes.

Abby the Spoon Lady & the Tater Boys

Youtube sensation Abby the Spoon Lady will be performing alongside the Tater Boys at the Appalachian Center for the Arts, Thursday, April 16 @ 7:00 p.m. Known for her unique and amazing talents as a percussionist (playing spoons), her brand of folk/bluegrass captured the ears and hearts of millions on youtube. This very special performance compliments Hillbilly Days perfectly, as Hillbilly Days features a host of bluegrass, gospel and folk musicians each year on the Pikeville City Park Stage. Taking place at the Appalachian Center for the Arts, this will be an intimate stage performance in the heart of Hillbilly Days on Second Street in Downtown Pikeville. Check out the Appalachian Center for the Arts website for ticket information.

Hillbilly Days Arm Wrestling Tournament

Presented by Dueling Barrels Brewery & Distillery, this will be the second year that Hillbilly Days will feature an Arm Wrestling Tournament. Festival organizers wanted to add more unique and interesting events to the festival, experiences that visitors can engage in. This event will feature three classes of competition, from Pros to Amateurs, and a Ladies division. World Arm Wrestling Champion Travis Bagent will be returning as well, making this a truly unique event to attend, even if you decide not to compete. This event will be located under the Big Top Tourism Tent on 101 Division Street. Click here to download the flyer.

Nick Jamerson & Friends

Eastern Kentucky native Nick Jamerson and his friends will be performing their blend of americana country at the Appalachian Center for the Arts Friday, April 17, 2020. Jamerson is known for his stint as one half of the popular duo Sundy Best, whose 2014 album Bring Up the Sun reached #11 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart. Showcasing his unique voice and instrumental prowess, you will love his flavor of true-to-life music that harkens back to the legendary sounds that made country a staple in American music.

Hank Williams Jr.

Hank Williams Jr. and Hillbilly Days were made for each other. The legendary Hank Williams Jr. will be headlining for the Appalachian Wireless Arena’s Hillbilly Days concert for 2020, Saturday April 18. An American country and southern rock legend, Hank Willaims Jr. is known for such hits as “If the South Woulda Won”, “There’s a Tear in my Beer” and “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight”, just to name a few. Ticket prices for this event will be $89.50, $69.50 and $39.50, and can be purchased at the Community Trust Box Office, or online at Ticketmaster.com.

Secure Your Hillbilly Days Lodging

With Hillbilly Days coming soon, you may wish to secure lodging as soon as possible. Pikeville-Pike County has a wide assortment of quality hotel and motels that are conveniently located near the festival. Take a look, and feel free to reach out to the hotels to check on availability.

For More Hillbilly Days Information

To learn more about what Hillbilly Days has to offer, and keep up-to-date on all things hillbilly, visit hillbillydays.com. Hillbilly Days is “The Festival with a Heart”, and serves as a fundraiser for the Shriners Hospital for Children in Lexington, Kentucky. Shriners Hospital of Lexington serves children from all across Kentucky who have skeletal disabilities or injuries such as burns, spinal cord injuries, cleft lip and palate, and other complex health care needs. Please consider supporting the Shriners Hospital for Children by purchasing a shirt, cap, or button from the hillbillies who will be located on Huffman Avenue during the event.

5 Things to Look Forward to in Pikeville-Pike County, KY 2019

Without a doubt, the last several years have been incredible for tourism in Pikeville Pike County, Kentucky. According to the Kentucky Department of Travel and Tourism, tourist spending in Pike County, Kentucky has increased by over $7.2 million since 2014. This is a great sign for a region rich in heritage, culture, scenic beauty, and of course the Hatfield McCoy Feud Tour. But the greatest news is, there are no signs of slowing down. People from all across the globe are inthralled with the feud history, and the unique experiences that can only be had in Eastern Kentucky. So what can visitors expect for 2019 in Pikeville Pike County, Kentucky? Let’s take a look:

Eastern Kentucky’s first joint brewery/distillery, Dueling Barrels has made a big splash with visitors since opening in June. With each passing month, more and more experiences have been added to what has already been an experience rich attraction. A host of amazing special events have already been held there for 2018, from the Hatfields and McCoys descendants having a meet, greet & taste for Hatfield McCoy Heritage Days 2018, to a special three-course dinner with Town Branch’s Master Distiller, Mark Coffman. The popular Hoptoberfest also kicked off in 2018, as well as a variety of fun block parties, making Dueling Barrels Brewery & Distillery a place to keep an eye on for 2019.

With the addition of the Randolph McCoy statue in 2018, as well as the completion of the Hatfield McCoy historic sites restoration project, there could be further plans in the works for the popular heritage tour for 2019. Pike County Tourism CVB commissioner and McCoy Well property owner Bob Scott has spearheaded many of these improvements, and despite the red tape and hurtles that still exist, hopes to possibly have the McCoy cabins rebuilt on the legendary property, a project he has been working on for several years. While there is no promise that this will be accomplished in 2019, there is still plenty of interesting things that will no doubt become available as the year progresses.

The East Kentucky Expo Center has featured a plethora of excellent events in 2018, seeing an increase not only in the frequency of events, but variety as well. Now under new management, there are more exciting things to come for the expo in 2019, with Tri-state MX, City Rockfest and Travis Tritt with the Marshall Tucker band shows scheduled for the opening quarter. If Cirque Musica’s Wonderland is any indicator of the variety that is to come, 2019 should feature a whole slew of unique entertainment experiences at the East Kentucky Expo Center. 

Elkhorn City’s Artist Collaborative Theatre is one of Kentucky’s most award-winning community theatres, capturing a bevy of awards over the past several years for awe-inspiring performances and stage design. 2018’s schedule was packed full of standout shows, such as The Crucible, Send Me No Flowers and The Christians just to name a few. The shows currently announced for 2019 include the literary classic Desire Under the Elms and Mary Poppins Jr. Cotton Patch Gospel, (which features a live bluegrass band), along with the hilarious Beverly Hillbillies are also on tap, making 2019 an already exciting year for live theatre in Pike County, Kentucky. 

Perhaps one of the most exciting new events coming to Pikeville-Pike County in 2019 is Preservation Kentucky Tour 120, May 18-19. The focus of the Preservation Kentucky 120 event is to showcase the diverse architectural styles of Kentucky, with the Pike County Courthouse being featured as a part of a state-wide initiative. A special production of Blood Song: The Story of the Hatfields and the McCoys will be showcased at the courthouse on the May 18th. More information on this exciting event is to be announced, so stay tuned.

Hatfields and McCoys: A Story of Forgiveness

When one thinks of the Hatfields and the McCoys, they no doubt think of a bloody grudge, unrelenting violence, unforgiveness and vengeance. After all, the Hatfield and McCoy feud is perhaps the world’s most infamous feud, and is a pop culture staple that is found in everything from movies, to television shows, artwork, as well as a huge assortment of books. The Hatfield and McCoy feud is so ingrained in American culture that one name is rarely said without the other, with the figure of speech “feuding like the Hatfields and McCoys” being used across the nation, and in many parts of the world.

Ron McCoy with “Devil Anse” Hatfield

With all of the sensationalism found within feud lore; the gunfights, the forbidden Hatfield-McCoy love affair, law men and outlaws, and everything in between, it is no wonder that this story has garnered the attention of so many, and has had the lasting appeal that it has. With all of this considered, it is easy to lose sight of the greatest feud story told, a story of forgiveness.

Since the signing of the peace treaty in Pikeville back in 2003, Hatfield and McCoy descendants have gone to great lengths to use the infamy of the feud to bring a new message to the world, a message of conflict resolution and forgiveness. In fact, this message of forgiveness was recognized by the John Templeton Foundation as being one of “Ten Great Moments in Forgiveness History”, alongside notable acts such as Holocaust survivor Corrie Boom shaking the hand of a guard that held her captive in a prison camp, Pope John Paul II forgiving his would-be assassin Mehmet Ali Agca, and Jesus Christ forgiving roman guards as they were in the process of executing him on the cross.

While the Hatfield & McCoy descendants may disagree on some of the details of the feud, they are passionate about bringing their message of reconciliation to the world. Each year, at Hatfield McCoy Heritage Days in Pikeville, Kentucky, Hatfield and McCoy descendants travel to Pikeville to take part in a variety of events, from a pig roast at the Pikeville Farmer’s Market, to a Hatfield McCoy theatre production, storytelling events and more. Hatfield & McCoy Heritage Days culminates in a special service at the McCoy Well in Hardy, Kentucky, the site where the Hatfields attacked and burned down the McCoy cabin on New Years Eve, 1888. This attack resulted in the death of two of Randolph McCoy’s children, a daughter and a son, as well as leaving his wife permanently injured. This special service focuses on memorializing the past, and reiterating the message of peace and forgiveness.

Gary McCoy & William Keith Hatfield

So, when telling the story of the Hatfields and the McCoys, remember, the story does not end in the execution of Ellison “Cottontop” Mounts, nor does it end with a climactic battle. The story of the feuding Hatfields and McCoys ends with a treaty, a handshake, and a newly forged kinship between both families. Where one story of vengeance and unforgiveness ends, a new story of forgiveness and brotherhood begins. Hatfield McCoy Heritage Days will be held in Pikeville, KY September 21 – September 23, 2018.


Peace Treaty Signing Media



Hatfield McCoy Gallery

Hatfield McCoy Heritage Days

What to Expect for the 42nd Annual Hillbilly Days Festival 2018!

The 42nd annual Hillbilly Days festival will be from April 19-21, 2018.  Be sure to secure lodging for the event!

Hillbilly Days was first founded in 1977 by a group of Shriners as a means to raise money for the Shriners Hospital. Two Shriners from the Hillbilly Clan Outhouse No. 2, Howard “Dirty Ear” Stratton and “Shady” Grady Kinney, decided to start the festival in 1976 after visiting a festival in Portsmouth, Ohio. They got a group of Shriners together and they began the festival in 1977. It has continued ever since.   Participants wear overalls and other rural attire while roaming the streets of Pikeville to help raise money for a cause.

Carnival and Games

The Hillbilly Days carnival and games provide fun for the family and of course for the children!  The carnival starts on Wed., April 18, from 6-11 p.m., Thurs.-Fri. from 10:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m., and Sat. from 10 a.m. to midnight, located at the Riverfill!

Music and Dancing

Brantley Gilbert is performing at The East Kentucky Expo Center on Sat., April 21 at 7 p.m. featuring Aaron Lewis and Josh Phillips as the main show during Hillbilly Days.  Other bands and musicians will be performing on the Billy Johnson Stage, the Courthouse Stage, and Pikeville’s City Park Stage throughout the festival.  Get your tap dancing shoes out, put your overalls on, and get ready for some exquisite music and dancing!

Vendors and Visitors

Over 100,000 people come annually to Pikeville, Ky. to experience the event and culture of Appalachia! Over 300 vendors are set up in booths throughout the city as sellers showcase their products as well as homemade items.  Have you ever had a deep-fried Twinkie?  If not, then you need to try one alongside other delicious foods!

For more information about Hillbilly Days, please visit www.hillbillydays.com.

The Crucible Coming to Stage at ACT

Artists Collaborative Theatre (ACT) will soon welcome The Crucible to its stage as the annual literary production. Written by Arthur Miller, this “timeless tale of truth on trial” takes us back to the 1690’s Puritan town of Salem, Massachusetts, where whispers of witchcraft haunt the streets and rumors spread like wildfire as townsfolk search for the answers to their fears.
After young girls are found dancing in the woods, they become stricken with a mysterious illness. Long simmering disputes, grudges and jealousies turn into harsh accusations and soon the entire community is embroiled in prolonged legal proceedings filled with dramatic claims and desperate confessions. This classic tale of mass hysteria, fear, violence, and ignorance serves as both an exciting historical drama and a timely parable of contemporary American society.

The full cast list of local performers include the following: Jason Justice as John Proctor, Amy McDougal as Elizabeth Proctor, Bradley Gene Bryant as Rev. Samuel Parris, Rain Trester as Betty Parris, Shailyn Hopkins as Abigail Williams, Za’Maryah Johnson as Tituba, Dave Sykes as Thomas Putnam, Sandy Penix as Ann Putnam, Adam Neil Johnson as Rev. John Hale, Marica Casey as Rebecca Nurse, Katie Goff as Mary Warren, Roger R. Belcher as Deputy Governor John Danforth, Elathan Bowling as Judge Hathorne, Rodney Ruth as Giles Corey, Lainey Vasquez as Mercy Lewis, Maddie Wakeland as Susanna Walcott, Ella Tolliver as Sarah Good, Allen Gibson as Francis Nurse, Andrew Bentley as Willard, J.R. Vasquez as Marshal Herrick (guard), Peterson Maynard as Hopkins (guard), and Kaylee Adkins, Whitney Ramey, Lainey Vasquez, and Madison Wakeland as the Ensemble.

The Crucible, rated PG-13, will show every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30 pm and every Sunday at 3 pm from February 15th through March 4th and March 15th through March 18th. Tickets are only $10 each and are available online at www.ACT4.org, by phone at (606) 754-4228, or at the box office the day of the show. ACT also welcomes you to stay up-to-date with all they do at facebook.com/ACTheatre1.

As always, ACT extends a special thanks to the Kentucky Arts Council for their collaboration on this production.