Hometown Grill

Dinner with a side of Wi-Fi

Jannie Stubblefield stands in the kitchen of the Hometown Grill restaurant she operates with her husband, Dave, in McKee.

Jannie Stubblefield stands in the kitchen of the Hometown Grill restaurant she operates with her husband, Dave, in McKee.

Some come for the burgers or the daily special of pork chops or meatloaf, but some come for the wireless Internet.

“More and more people are asking about the Wi-Fi,” says Jannie Stubblefield, who owns Hometown Grill with her husband. “It’s really beginning to be a bigger and bigger draw.”

The Hometown Grill sits on Main Street in McKee. It has wireless Internet from PRTC, and it is not uncommon to see patrons at the tables with laptops open.

It has been known as a hybrid establishment — part convenience store, part gas station and part restaurant. But after a significant transformation and the installation of a new grill, there is no mistaking what the place is now.

“We have become a full-fledged restaurant,” Stubblefield says. “We’ve remodeled, and we just keep adding tables. It is definitely a work in progress.”

The atmosphere is still casual, the menu affordable, and the food even better with its newly remodeled kitchen.

Diners can also catch their favorite TV shows in HD on a large screen HDTV provided by PRTC to showcase the TV services PRTC offers.

“We have the best catfish and burgers in town,” Stubblefield says. They begin serving breakfast at 7 a.m. and close the kitchen at 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Closed Sunday.

For more information, visit Hometown Market & Gas on Facebook or call 606-287-8100.

Muncy Park

A labor of love and Jackson County’s home for gospel music

By Brian Lazenby

Jim Muncy’s life’s work has been bringing gospel music to the people of Jackson County. It was a task he launched almost 40 years ago, and he has no plans to stop anytime soon.

“It is what the Lord gave me to do, and I try to be faithful in it,” he says.

Jim Muncy stands on the stage he built near McKee. Gospel musicians, including the Primitive Quartet, will gather here for the 40th Annual Muncy Park Singing on June 26-28.

Jim Muncy stands on the stage he built near McKee. Gospel musicians, including the Primitive Quartet, will gather here for the 40th Annual Muncy Park Singing on June 26-28.

Muncy was just 33 in 1974 when he hosted his first “singing” at C.N. Shepherd Park. In the 39 years that followed, he built Muncy Park, a venue he constructed on his property at 131 Mildred Road, just outside of McKee. Over the years he has brought many well-known gospel acts to Jackson County.

Muncy is a people person. He definitely has the gift of gab, and that trait has served him well in this venture. He has made a lot of connections that help him attract some big-name gospel acts.

“I always try to attend some big singings every year, and I’ve gotten acquainted with a lot of people over the years,” he says.

Some of these acts include The Bobby Leach Trio, The Harbingers, The Lanchfords, Southern-Aires, Chuck Compton and Squire Parsons.

Muncy was living in Ohio when a chance meeting helped him realize his life’s calling. It was there in the Buckeye State that he met Darrell Webb, whose love of gospel music equalled his own.

“I knew by his accent he was from Kentucky,” Muncy says. “It turned out that we were both from Jackson County.”

Webb hails from Sand Gap, and Muncy is from Annville. The two immediately became friends and together hosted their first gospel singing, which has grown into an annual three-day event. Since that first day, he and a host of volunteers built Muncy Park, which consists of a stage complete with lights, a sound system, concessions and a backstage area where the musicians congregate and fellowship before they perform.

“I’ve been doing this over half my life,” Muncy says as he surveys the venue and reminisces about how the project has expanded over the years. “All this is a labor of love.”

Muncy pays the electric bill and other expenses with proceeds from concessions sales. But he “passes the plate” to compensate the musicians. “We do this on a , love offering,” he says.

He divvies up the money based on the singers’ expenses getting to and from the event. Someone from Jackson County may get $50, but someone traveling from Ohio or Illinois may get $150.

Much of the event’s success is due to the generosity of the 300 to 500 people who attend each night of the singing. “People know how we do this, and they give,” he says. “Sometimes there will be $100 bills in there.”

This generosity has enabled Muncy to do what he loves and to share that love with the public.

“I love gospel music better than anything, and I always have,” Muncy says. “I don’t sing good, and that makes my love of it all that much more.”

This year’s event will include some great acts, including the Primitive Quartet, which will be performing on June 26.

Right Direction Travel

Travel in a digital world

Pat Henderson

Pat Henderson

Pat Henderson sits at her computer researching travel destinations, booking flights and setting itineraries. She’s not daydreaming and wasting time at work — she’s doing her job.

Whether you are looking for a bus tour to visit a grand U.S. city or a cruise to the Caribbean, a honeymoon or destination wedding, she and her company, Right Direction Travel, can make it happen.

Henderson serves on the PRTC Board of directors, and she is employed at the White House Clinic in McKee. But thanks to the speed of her fiber broadband connection, she still has time to run her travel business.

Her office is anywhere with an Internet connection, and Right Direction Travel is one of the growing number of businesses that have shed the brick and mortar to operate its business in a digital locale.

“The fiber has really made a difference,” she says. “If I go somewhere else, the connection is much slower.”

Broadband is the backbone of many small businesses, and in cases such as Right Direction Travel, it is the sole tool necessary to operate. From her home, or anywhere with an Internet connection, Henderson says she sends and receives more than 100 emails some days to and from various resorts and travel agencies as she books trips.

She plans anything from small family vacations to extended European tours. She also organizes chartered bus trips for large groups that leave from Lexington or Richmond and arranges a couple of group trips a year that leave from McKee.

“I always planned our family vacations,” she says. “This is something I can do for others and give a personal touch to it.”

For more information about Right Direction Travel or upcoming trips, call 606-364-3666 or 606-438-3681.

Natural beauty inspires couple’s art

Jack and Linda Fifield fill their lives with art. Jack creates wooden bowls and Linda is well known for her beaded vases.

Jack and Linda Fifield fill their lives with art. Jack creates wooden bowls and Linda is well known for her beaded vases.

By Brian Lazenby

Linda Fifield grew up in a large, rural Kentucky family surrounded by traditional Appalachian craftwork. There were hand-sewn garments, quilts, crocheted laces and embroidered linens — the products of skills that were passed down by her mother and grandmother.

“I come from a traditional Appalachian family where there was always some sort of work in progress — mostly Appalachian fiber crafts,” she says. “Creativity was an integral part of daily life — a tradition that continues in my own adult home.”

Her husband, Jack, a dentist in McKee, is a transplant to Appalachia. He grew up in suburban Minneapolis. He was studying dentistry at the University of Minnesota when he discovered the vibrant and artsy enclave of Cedar-Riverside, home of the 1970s version of the American craft movement. It was there that he realized a lifelong passion for making things out of wood. He began with dulcimers and furniture but found his true niche when he began turning wood on a lathe. Now, he often spends up to 12 hours at a time in his shop.

Over the years, the husband and wife have developed and honed their own crafts. Linda now primarily works with glass beads strung around a variety of pots, as well as vases made of glass, wood or clay. Jack tinkers with carved stone or deer antlers, but he primarily turns wood on a lathe to make a wide array of wooden urns, bowls and other containers. Occasionally, they collaborate, with Linda stringing beads in a pattern around a portion of one of Jack’s wooden creations.

“We have pretty much been doing this our entire adult lives,” Jack says. “We both kind of became interested in making stuff at an early age.”

Natural muse

After experimenting with various fiber crafts, Linda made a trip to the Field Museum in Chicago, where she discovered the medium for her art. It was in the Native American section of the museum where she was inspired by the collection of handmade baskets.

Linda and Jack Fifield sit on the porch of their home in Jackson County, where art is such a big part of their lives.

Linda and Jack Fifield sit on the porch of their home in Jackson County, where art is such a big part of their lives.

“Each minuscule stitch was as perfectly formed as a bead,” she says.

The experience launched her work with colored glass beads she gets from the Czech Republic. And it was only natural that she take inspiration from the world around her.

The Fifields’ grand, rustic home sits on a wooded tract near Sand Gap overlooking a high bluff with stunning vistas of tree-lined ridges and faraway valleys. Inspiration for both Linda’s and Jack’s work is deeply rooted in the beauty of their home environment.

Linda often strings her bead patterns to form skylines of the mountain ridges that surround her home, or a gnarled and twisted tree that grows outside her studio window silhouetted against the sky.

She picks up a colorful beaded vase trimmed in silver beads, strung in a jagged pattern around the lip. She calls it “Ice.” It was inspired by the frigid winter months and the coat of ice clinging to the tree branches surrounding her home.

“I take a lot of inspiration from nature,” she says motioning at the window. “Look around. How could I not?”

Rooted in wood

Linda Fifield displays a vase she created with glass beads fashioned to show the picturesque landscape she sees from her studio window.

Linda Fifield displays a vase she created with glass beads fashioned to show the picturesque landscape she sees from her studio window.

Linda has learned to turn her own vessels that serve as the base for her beadwork. She uses cedar, maple, apple and other wood from her property to form the skeleton for her beaded cover.

“Artist commitment is for me a way of life, a continuation of a family’s history,” Linda says. “An invaluable part of my Appalachian heritage is our family’s tradition of craftsmanship.”

Turning wood is a skill she learned from her husband, who often uses wood found on their property for his work. But he also uses many exotic varieties of wood that he gets from Southeast Asia, Australia, Central America, South America, Africa or the west coast of North America.

Jack says his wife has been the greatest influence on his work, but he also had the fortune to learn from some of the very best in the craft, including master wood carver Rude Osolnik.

Jack Fifield shows off a bowl he turned from wood gathered from his property.

Jack Fifield shows off a bowl he turned from wood gathered from his property.

“Of course, every visual artist works in a sort of dialogue with his or her chosen medium,” Jack says. “Wood does tend to have a mind of its own. And being of the Rude Osolnik school, my work has always been very much about the wood.”

The Fifields’ body of work continues to grow, both individually and collaboratively, and so does their regional and national recognition.

Linda Fifield meticulously threads tiny glass beads onto a vase. Her colored beads come from the Czech Republic.

Linda Fifield meticulously threads tiny glass beads onto a vase. Her colored beads come from the Czech Republic.

Their work has appeared in numerous galleries, art shows and magazines, including Smithsonian. It has been featured in the Philadelphia Museum of Art and on a poster advertising the American Craft Expo. Their work bas been displayed by the Appalachian Regional Commission in Washington, D.C.

They continue to teach workshops and display their work in several shows each year.

For more information about their work, visit lindafifield.com.

Owsley grad is flying high

OwsleyScholarshipPayne Burch soars through the skies after receiving a scholarship from PRTC in 2008.

The Owsley County High School graduate always knew he wanted to be a pilot and set out to make that dream a reality. Today he finds himself working for Friendship Flying Services and takes corporate executives and even University of Kentucky Basketball Coach John Calipari all across the country — and beyond.

“We fly anywhere the customers want to go,” Burch says.

Burch obtained his single-engine license in 2005. He followed that up with his instrument certification and multiple-engine license. But with his PRTC Scholarship, Burch took his core classes at Lees College in Jackson and plans to finish up with a degree in aviation.

“I want to thank the Board of Directors at PRTC for helping me get these college hours,” he says.

In his spare time, Burch also flies with the State Fire Patrol. “I’ve always had this ambition,” he says. “I just love to fly.”

PRTC nears completion of fiber project

Rex Tillery, an installer/repairman at PRTC, installs a fiber optic network at the Jackson County Bank in Sand Gap. PRTC is nearing the end of its fiber-to-the-home project that will give everyone in its service area access to the fastest, most state-of-the-art data network available.

Rex Tillery, an installer/repairman at PRTC, installs a fiber optic network at the Jackson County Bank in Sand Gap. PRTC is nearing the end of its fiber-to-the-home project that will give everyone in its service area access to the fastest, most state-of-the-art data network available.

Peoples Rural Telephone has completed its fiber optic buildout to more than 95 percent of the homes and businesses throughout its service area, with the bulk of its members already connected.

“More than 80 percent of our members are connected with fiber,” says PRTC Operations Manager Michael Stidham. “We encourage our members to contact us if they have not already begun to experience all the benefits fiber has to offer.”

PRTC has completed plans and specifications for construction of fiber facilities in all areas of Jackson and Owsley counties that do not already have fiber access. Construction to complete the fiber buildout to our entire service area will continue through the summer. By the end of 2014, all PRTC members should have access to fiber.

Competitors in bordering counties continue to claim they have a “fiber network,” but Stidham says PRTC offers the only network in the region that uses fiber exclusively, which provides broadband to every customer’s doorstep at the speed of light.

To date, PRTC has spent more than $50 million building out this fiber network. The funding has primarily been secured through a PRTC investment and loans from the USDA Rural Utilities Service. About $17.5 million came through a grant from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.

“We are spreading the word outside our boundaries and throughout our region that Peoples Rural Telephone Cooperative has the most advanced technology available,” Stidham says. “We are asking for the community’s help in an effort to boost our economy at home.”

PRTC will soon offer fiber optic service to every home and business in our service area. This new network gives PRTC the capability of offering a wide array of services, including an exciting interactive TV offering known as IPTV that is coming soon.

To learn more about how fiber technology benefits you, visit us online at www.prtcnet.org or call 606-287-7101.

 

 

 

 

Ringside seats to TV’s future

By Keith Gabbard
Chief Executive Officer
 

Today’s television industry is very much like a wrestling match. In one corner stands the champion, the current structure where pricing and packaging are driven by the content providers. In the other corner is the fast-rising newcomer: OTT.

Keith Gabbard

Keith Gabbard

The term OTT means “over the top,” and is used to describe television programming that is available outside of a TV subscription. This includes services like Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Instant Video.

These services charge a subscription fee for users to watch movies, TV shows and even original programming — and the approach is changing peoples’ viewing habits. For example, the Netflix political drama “House of Cards” released its second season in February, and almost 700,000 Netflix subscribers watched all 13 episodes in the first weekend. Viewers are becoming more interested in watching what they want, when they want to watch it (even if that means spending their weekend consuming 13 hours of a political drama).

Also in February, we saw the launch of a service that is different from anything we’ve seen so far. The WWE Network offers wrestling fans original programming, a back catalogue of shows spanning decades and access to its pay-per-view events — all for $9.99 per month. And it’s only available over the top. Will this be a model that other niche providers pursue? Would consumers pay a separate fee for that kind of access to football or basketball? Home improvement or gardening shows? It remains to be seen.

We all use our TVs to connect with traditional programming, like the packages offered by PRTC. But how do people access the OTT programming? The list of devices is long, and continues to grow. There’s the popular Roku and Apple TV, devices that connect to your television and your home’s Internet connection. In April, Amazon introduced its own video streaming device. Some devices with different primary functions, like the PlayStation, Xbox and Blu-ray players, also provide access to OTT services. And many newer television sets have built-in OTT functionality.

Rick Schadelbauer is an economist with NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association. In a recent industry report, Rick shared with us that the number of households with connected TVs is on the rise. “According to a study recently released by The Diffusion Group (TDG), more than six in 10 U.S. households have at least one television connected to the Internet in order to access content from online services,” he wrote. And that number is up 19 percent from 2013.

These numbers, along with the OTT examples I mentioned above, paint a clear picture: television entertainment is rapidly evolving. Adding more pressure to change is the fact that content providers continue to demand more money from companies like ours, while telling us what channels we must carry and where we must place them in the lineup.

As we watch this match play out, there is good news for members of PRTC. We continue to invest in creating a robust broadband network, and we will be ready to provide you with a reliable connection to whatever services you decide to access — across whatever device you decide to connect to our network.

Glorious Grilling!

By Anne P. Braly 

Apple Butter Pork Chops with Cola Pecan Glaze

The flavors in this dish just seem to be meant for each other.

For the chops:

  • 4 one-inch thick pork chops, bone-in or boneless
  • 1 1/2 cups apple butter
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Glaze:

  • 2 tablespoons minced onion
  • 1/2-1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • Butter
  • 1 can of Coke (not diet)
  • Handful of finely chopped apples
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • Parsley flakes
  • Salt and pepper dashes
  • Crushed pecans

Place chops in a shallow glass dish. Combine remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour marinade mixture over chops. Cover tightly and refrigerate for several hours, overnight if possible. Remove pork chops from marinade. Place on grill approximately six inches above medium-hot coals. Grill, turning and basting with marinade.

For the glaze: In a small skillet, sauté the onion and garlic in the butter until tender. Carefully add in the remaining ingredients and allow the Coke to reduce to half. Once the mix starts to bubble it will reduce quickly, so be ready to remove it from the heat. If the mix burns the sugar, the Coke will become bitter and you will need to start over. Drizzle glaze over chops and serve immediately.

Zesty Cheater Wings

This recipe is so easy that it’s like cheating.

12-24 mini chicken wings and drums

  • Zesty Italian dressing
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Minced green pepper
  • Minced onion
  • Dried parsley flakes
  • Hot Sauce

Marinate the chicken in equal parts of Italian dressing and barbecue sauce, toss in some hot sauce and spoon in a few tablespoons of minced peppers, onions and some dried parsley flakes. Cover, chill for a couple of hours and grill until juices run clear.

Grilled Strawberry Pound Cake

Grilled Pound Cake3This is my all-time favorite grilling recipe for an after-meal sweet tooth.

  • Nonstick spray
  • Pound cake slices
  • Spray butter, such as Parkay
  • Brown sugar (optional)
  • Strawberry ice cream
  • Sliced strawberries
  • Strawberry syrup
  • Toasted sliced almonds

If you fear placing slices of pound cake directly on a grill, try using a grilling basket or use a sheet of heavy duty foil to make a griddle-like surface. Use the nonstick spray to lightly coat the grill or foil as it heats up. Use butter spray or melted butter to lightly coat each slice of pound cake. Grill until edges are browned and the slice is heated evenly. If desired, sprinkle the slices lightly with brown sugar before removing from the grill. Place a slice on a plate, top with ice cream, sliced strawberries, drizzle with strawberry syrup and top with almonds.

Whiskey London Broil

  • 1 (2- to 3-pound) London broil or flank steak
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup whiskey
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all of the marinade ingredients. In a resealable bag, combine the meat and marinade. Chill in refrigerator for at least five hours (overnight or all day is better).

When ready, heat up the grill and wipe a bit of oil on the grates or use nonstick spray. Remove the beef from the marinade and cook directly over the heat, turning as needed until outside is evenly cooked. I hate to put a time on this because it really depends on the thickness of your cut. You are probably looking at four to eight minutes per side, possibly more. Cook to your desired doneness. Allow to rest for a few minutes on a plate covered with foil. Slice thin and serve hot.

Meet the Deck Chef

Gas or Charcoal? Kent Whitaker says both. The grillmaster likes the flexibility of grills, so he can tailor a cooking method based on the cuisine.

Gas or Charcoal? Kent Whitaker says both. The grillmaster likes the flexibility of grills, so he can tailor a cooking method based on the cuisine.

By Anne P. Braly

Kent Whitaker wasn’t born with a silver spatula in his mouth. Like every grill master, there was a time when Whitaker knew nothing about grilling. Granted, it’s hard for him to remember the exact moment he took to the grill, knowing how to coax the best flavor from the meat that lay before him.

But now at the age of 47, he says it was during his teenage years that he began grilling seriously, learning a good deal of his technique from his dad.

“Outdoor cooking has always been a big part of our family,” Whitaker says. “Both sets of grandparents loved to grill. But it was my dad who ruled charcoal grilling.” His dad’s instruction, along with a good deal of trial and error, Whitaker admits, helped him hone his skills at the grill.

“I’ve never had anything blow up or caught a car on fire like in the commercials,” he says. “I was cleaning old grease off my smoker, and there was so much smoke that a neighbor ran over to see if our house was on fire.”

One great thing about grilling is its portability. Whitaker frequently takes his grill on the road to football games, including the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

One great thing about grilling is its portability. Whitaker frequently takes his grill on the road to football games, including the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Whitaker has authored numerous cookbooks sharing his love of the grill, with valuable tips on smoking, barbecuing and grilling meats as well as recipes.

“I’m still perfecting things and love the learning process and trying new things,” he says, adding that he loves to try grilling new foods and adding twists to recipes.

“Some have not been what I call successes, though!” he says. “You learn by trial and error; some stuff you pick up in restaurants or class.”

Cooking Methods

bigstock-Backyard-BBQ-Grilling-Party-St-34020527 (1)Whitaker says the first thing one should know about grilling is the difference between cooking methods.

  • Smoking uses very low heat (52° F – 140° F). Several hours up to several days, depending on temperature.
  • Barbecuing also uses low heat (190° F – 300° F). Takes several hours with low, slow heat.
  • Grilling requires high heat (400° F – 550° F ). Hot and fast and ready in minutes.

Once you’ve learned the basics, he says it’s time to experiment with different rubs and marinades, as well as meats and other foods.

Whitaker has several monikers attached to his love of grilling. “Cornbread” is one; “Rib Bone” another. But most know him as the “Deck Chef.” And that’s where you’ll find him on the Web: www.thedeckchef.com, a site with recipes as well as a place to buy his cookbooks.

Southern Celebrations

Festivals highlight big and small icons of rural life

By Elizabeth Wootten 

It’s not every day that people stop to celebrate watermelons. Or MoonPies. Or crape myrtles. But throughout the summer, many counties and cities host unique festivals devoted to such unheralded aspects of life in the South. And the celebrations they put on can give you and your family the opportunity to experience all kinds of fun activities.

Not sure where to start? The Internet is a great tool that can help you during the planning stage. Finding directions, events and hotels is made easy by travel and tourist websites. With a little research, you can have your trip mapped out in no time. Get to planning those one-of-a-kind adventures for you and your family today. Here are some festivals to get you started.

South Carolina

Walterboro Antiques, History & Arts Festival – May 16-17, Walterboro 

Hampton County  Watermelon Festival – June 14-22, Hampton

Known for the longest parade in South Carolina, this event includes a wide variety of events such as a parade, a street dance, Battle of the Towns, Mud Run and more. This year’s theme is The Hampton County Watermelon Festival Promoting Physical & Spiritual Wellness. www.hcmelonfest.org

Lowcountry Blueberry Jam & Blueberry Festival – June 22, McClellanville

South Carolina Festival of Stars – June 27-28, Ninety Six

14th Annual South Carolina Festival of Discovery – July 10-12, Greenwood

Edisto Music & Shag Fest – Aug. 29-30, Edisto Beach

McCormick Gold Rush Festival – Sept. 20, McCormick

From breakfast at the McCormick United Methodist Church to panning for gold at the Heritage Gold Mine, there is plenty to do for all ages at this daylong festival. Live music, games, a silent auction and live artist demonstrations are just a few of the activities to enjoy. www.mccormickgoldrush.net

Due West Fall Festival – Sept. 27, Due West

Beaufort Shrimp Festival – Oct. 3-4, Downtown Beaufort

Beaufort Shrimp Festival

Beaufort Shrimp Festival
Photo by Captured Moments Photography

Celebrating wild-caught shrimp and local food and fun in the Lowcountry, the festival features an arts and crafts market, a 5K run/walk, live entertainment, children’s activities and, of course, plenty of shrimp. www.downtownbeaufort.com/beaufort-shrimp-festival

28th Annual Belton Standpipe Heritage & Arts Festival – Oct. 4, Belton

Tennessee

Poke Sallet Festival – May 9-10, Gainesboro

A tractor show, quilt show, iris show, Outhouse Race and Poke Sallet Eating Contest are some of the features this year. Kids can enjoy the day, too, with a petting zoo, rides and games. www.pokesalletfest.com

Annual Highway 52 Yard Sale – May 16-17, Macon County 

Country Fried Festival at Milky Way Farm – June 7-8, Pulaski 

4th Annual Genealogy Jamboree and Pioneer Day – June 12-14, Cumberland Gap

The Secret City Festival – June 13-14, Oak Ridge

Defeated Creek Bluegrass Festival – June 13-14, Defeated Creek

Lions Club Annual Hillbilly Days – June 19-21, Lafayette

Bell Buckle RC-Moon Pie Festival – June 21, Bell Buckle

The Southeastern Tourism Society has named this festival a Top 20 Event. A 10-mile run kicks off the event, with a parade, bluegrass music, a performance by Speakeasy, the coronation of the king and queen and more sprinkled throughout the day. www.bellbucklechamber.com

The 15th Annual Lavender Festival – June 21, Oak Ridge

Lynchburg Frontier Days – June 26-28, Lynchburg

Nine Mile Bluegrass Festival – June 27-28, Pikeville

Smithville Fiddler’s Jamboree & Crafts Festival – July 4-5, Smithville

Celebrate Independence Day weekend with traditional Appalachian music and old-time fun. Beginning at 9 a.m. each day, the festival will include more than 35 categories of music and dancing as well as food and craft booths. smithvillejamboree.com

Smokin’ in McMinnville BBQ Festival – Aug. 8-9, McMinnville

Franklin Jazz Festival – Aug. 30-31, Franklin

32nd Annual Standing Stone Marbles Festival & National Rolley Hole Championships – Sept. 13, Hilham

ESPN, ABC Evening News, Sports Illustrated and others have featured this one-of-a-kind festival. Although registration is required for the Rolley Hole Tournament, activities open to all include marble making, a swap meet and demonstrations. www.facebook.com/theNationalRolleyHoleMarblesChampionships

Half Moon Music Festival – Sept. 14, Ten Mile

Rockwood Fall Festival 2014 – Oct. 4, Rockwood

6th Annual October Sky Festival – Oct. 19, Oliver Springs

European American Heritage Festival – Oct. 25, Pulaski

Kentucky

33rd Annual Little River Days – May 16-17, Hopkinsville

The Lower Town Arts & Music Festival – May 16-17, Paducah

Mountain Memories Festival – June 6-7, Frenchburg 

Stringbean Memorial Festival – June 19-21, Jackson County

Bluegrass and mountain music honoring the memory of David “Stringbean” Akeman. Music classes and workshops. www.stringbeanpark.com

!8th Annual Duncan Hines Festival

18th Annual Duncan Hines Festival

18th Annual Duncan Hines Festival – July 12, Bowling Green 

Berea Celtic Festival – Aug. 15-18, Berea

Swift Silver Mine Festival – Aug. 29-31, Campton

Hatfield-McCoy Heritage Days 2014 –  Aug. 29-31, Pikeville

Tobacco Festival – Labor Day Weekend, Sandy Hook

Blazin’ Bluegrass Festival – Sept. 18-20, Whitley City

Gourd Patch Arts Festival

Gourd Patch Arts Festival

Gourd Patch Arts Festival – Sept. 20, Mayfield

25th Annual World Chicken Festival – Sept. 25-28, London

A tribute to the heritage of Colonel Harland Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, this international celebration includes a variety of attractions, from Chick-O-Lympics and Barnyard games to face painting and a car show. www.chickenfestival.com

Cave Run Storytelling Festival – Sept. 26-27, Morehead 

Oak Grove Tourism's Butterfly Festival

Oak Grove Tourism’s Butterfly Festival
Photo by Janet Young

Morgan County Sorghum Festival – Sept. 26-28, West Liberty 

Oak Grove Tourism’s Butterfly Festival – Sept. 27, Oak Grove  

From a monster mural to an insect road show exhibit, there are activities for children of all ages. Learn about nature through hands-on activities during the day, and stay for the release of hundreds of butterflies at the end of the day. www.oakgrovebutterflyfest.com

The Murray Highland Festival – Oct. 25, Murray

Alabama

30th Annual Poke Salat Festival – May 16-17, Arab 

Mentone Rhododendron Festival – May 17-18, Mentone

On Friday, there will be a bonfire in the town square where you can enjoy marshmallow roasting, storytelling, and live entertainment. The festival also includes food, arts and crafts, children’s events, live music and more. www.facebook.com/MentoneAlabamaFestivals

NACC Latino Festival

NACC Latino Festival
Photo by Angie Stewart

NACC Latino Festival – June 7, Rainsville

31st Annual Sand Mountain Potato Festival – July 4, Henagar

Main Street Music Festival – Aug. 8-9, Albertville 

Ardmore Crape Myrtle Festival – Aug. 30, Ardmore

Purchase crape myrtles of all colors and sizes as well as other plants and flowers at this event. You can also experience crafts, antique cars and tractors, children’s activities and more. www.ardmorealtnchamber.org

The 44th Annual St. William Seafood Festival – Aug. 30, Guntersville

Best known for its famous gumbo, the festival is the primary fundraiser for St. William Catholic Church and attracts seafood lovers from near and far. Come enjoy freshly prepared food at Civitan Park on Lake Guntersville. stwilliamchurch.com/seafood_festival

Ider Mule Days – Sept. 1, Ider

Riverfest Barbecue Cook-off – Sept. 19-20, Decatur 

Boom Days Heritage Celebration – Sept. 20, Fort Payne 

New Hope Annual Outdoor Juried Arts & Crafts Festival

New Hope Annual Outdoor Juried Arts & Crafts Festival

New Hope Annual Outdoor Juried Arts & Crafts Festival – Sept. 27-28, New Hope 

48th Annual Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention – Oct. 3-4, Athens

Athens Storytelling Festival – Oct. 23-25, Athens