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Two banjo lengths apart: Floyd Country Store moves famous Jamboree outside

Friday Night Jamboree canceled earlier this year in favor of online show, but owners wanted to give outside version a chance

FLOYD, VA. – It wouldn’t be a summer in Floyd with the famous Friday Night Jamboree, but hundreds of people packed inside the Floyd Country Store just isn’t possible right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

So after moving the show online, they’ve changed things up again to try to get people back to the music.

There’s pickin’ and dancing and a whole lot of fun in downtown Floyd on Friday. Even if things looked a little different than they usually do, Floyd Country Store owner Dylan Locke said the show must go on.

“We’re missing this a lot, it’s in our blood, it’s in our DNA and we crave it,” Locke said.

It’s the first go around of the backyard jamboree. The weekly Friday Night Jamboree is usually inside, but Locke had to cancel it due to the pandemic. The show moved strictly online but as the weather heats up, Locke said he wanted to try a new way to get people back to something familiar.

Compared to inside where rubbing shoulders with other dancers is a must, the backyard setup keeps people six feet, or two banjos, apart from each other. They also required people to wear masks until they found their seats.

“This is serious, that is why we’re following the guidelines and the protocols to the T and you know some people don’t want to do that but we’re going to hold our ground,” Locke said.

For people like Paula Faulk, the music could not have come back sooner. She regularly makes the 90 minute drive from her home in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina for the dancing and the tunes.

“Me and my friends were so excited to get out and come tonight, to hear the music and see our friends,” Faulk said. “We hope that’s a good sign, a push in that direction.”

Floyd is starting to get back to normal. Summer is usually the busy season and while Friday’s crowd was smaller than they expected, they’re still streaming the shows online for people who are staying home.

“We’re really excited to keep this music out there to the whole world at a moment in time where usually travelers would be rolling through Floyd to see us, so we’re bringing it to them,” Locke said.


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