Gospel Music Celebration in the Mountains

Breaks ParkFather’s Day Weekend, June 15 and 16 at the Breaks Park Amphitheater
Breaks Interstate Park will host the annual Gospel Music Celebration in the Mountains during Father’s Day weekend, June 15 and 16 in the park amphitheater. The event will feature Bluegrass Gospel, Country Gospel, and Southern Gospel Music.

On Saturday, singing will begin at 4 pm. On Sunday, morning worship will begin at 11 am, and singing will start at 1 pm.
Scheduled to perform are Anointed Hearts, Gateway Quartet, Living Water, New Covenant, Onsby Perry, Rocky and Gail Smith, The Conners, The Gospel Roadmasters, The Lemleys, The Spiritual Voices, Violet Maynard and Family, and Waymarks. Performers are subject to change. Continue reading “Gospel Music Celebration in the Mountains”

Field Naturalist Weekend at the Breaks

Breaks Park plans to pay tribute to nature, with an entire weekend dedicated to programs focusing on such topics as ecology, geology, birding, wildlife, plants and wildflowers, bears, reptiles and amphibians, and much more.

The first annual Naturalist Weekend is a great opportunity for people of all ages and knowledge levels to come together to explore the many natural resources of the park, said Park Naturalist Jayd Raines. Programs are planned beginning on the afternoon of Friday, September 21, and concluding on Sunday morning, September 23. Continue reading “Field Naturalist Weekend at the Breaks”

62nd Annual Tri-State Gospel Sing at the Breaks

Breaks Park is gearing up for the 62nd Annual Tri-State Gospel Sing, which will be held at the park amphitheater during Labor Day weekend, Saturday, Sept 1 – Monday, Sept 3. This event is free (park entrance fees may apply).

Scheduled performers are as follows: Saturday will include The Jackson Family, Kevin Spencer, The McNeills, Willis Canada, Billy Fields, The Parsons, Gospel Grass Trio, Tammy Jones Robinette, The Crawfords, East Ridge Boys, Kevin Wilson Band, Steppin’ Out on Faith, Keen Mountain Boys, The Principles, Annette Herdon, Ronnie Spriggs, Eddie Street, and 4 the King; Continue reading “62nd Annual Tri-State Gospel Sing at the Breaks”

Spotlight on Moonshine: Presentations in Hatfield McCoy Feud Country

The creation of moonshine is an Appalachian tradition that runs deep into the culture of the Hatfield-McCoy feud country, Pike County, Kentucky. Known by many names, such as “white lightning”, “mountain dew” and “hooch”, this form of whisky was used for recreation, to nurse illnesses and to soothe suffering. Although frowned upon by many in “Bible Belt” Appalachia, the lack of quality employment paired with huge underground demand for whisky was too tempting for moonshiners to resist. The moonshiner’s condition is best described by Tommy Lee Jones’ character Doolittle Lynn in the popular movie “Coal Miners Daughter” by saying, “If you’re born in Kentucky you’ve got three choices; coal mine, moonshine or move it on down the line.” While this is no longer the case in progressive Pike County, Kentucky, this sentiment was very much true during our county’s history.

Moonshining is a dangerous business that requires great skill and cunning to be successful. Being notoriously illegal, half of a moonshiner’s work involved evading the law. Deadly shootouts have been known to result from the law’s relentless pursuit of moonshiners. It is also worth noting that many feudists from the Hatfield-McCoy feud were moonshiners, with Johnse Hatfield being indicted and arrested on moonshining charges during feud era. The moonshine still itself can be dangerous in the hands of a novice, and the moonshine produced can be contaminated if crafted in a poorly constructed still. While the illegal creation of whisky is still very much a concern for Appalachian law enforcement, our moonshining heritage is something we celebrate, as it is a fundamental part of what shaped Appalachia into the colorful and unique culture it is today.

Every Friday and Saturday, beginning at 11:00 a.m., Breaks Interstate Park, located on the state line between Pike County, Kentucky, and Virginia, offers a wonderful presentation on the heritage of moonshining. “This is a great activity that shows visitors how moonshine was created in the olden days. While they’re there, they’ll take in breathtaking views of the Breaks’ 1000 foot canyon, enjoy a brand new water park, and stroll through some of Kentucky and Virginia’s most beautiful hiking trails,” says Tony Tackett, Pike County Tourism CVB’s Executive Director. “Like wildlife, culture is best viewed in its natural habitat,” says Jay Shepherd, Pike County Tourism CVB’s Marketing Director. “Our region offers a unique and authentic glimpse into Appalachian culture and history that museums from outside the area can only dream of.”

This presentation would be a wonderful addition to your Hatfield McCoy Feud Tour getaway. Experience something different on your vacation; experience unique Appalachian hospitality and heritage. Contact Pike County Tourism CVB for hotel and Hatfield McCoy Feud tour reservations, (800) 844-7453.