Floyd jamboree tradition continues

Argen Duncan

The annual Floyd Lions Country Jamboree is still going strong, and organizers say this year’s four-day event will be one of the best in its 61-year history.

The show runs Thursday through Sunday with country and gospel music, cowboy poetry and comedic skits. The Citizen of the Year award for community service is presented Saturday night.

“The quality of the performers is excellent, the band is made up of several veterans of the show that have played together for several years, and it will come together as an entertaining evening,” said Linda Miller Brown, who plays base in the stage band and has participated in the jamboree since she was a child.

The event remains the primary fundraiser for the Floyd Lions Club. The money goes to such things as scholarships, eyeglasses for children in the region, assistance with medical bills and a lit American flag in front of Floyd High School, said club member and Jamboree Master of Ceremonies Dave Nash.

Program director and Lions Club member Fred Patterson said the show has about 30 participants and 50 acts. Every performer is to go on stage each night, but there is a little variation in the acts Thursday through Saturday, he said.

Nash said the Gospel Jamboree on Sunday will be different from the other shows.

The singers and musicians range in age from about 12 years old to senior citizens.

“It’s a very wide range of age, and it’s all good,” Nash said.

Patterson listed Will Banister and Andy Mason, two prominent area musicians, among the performers.

Some musicians have been performing for years or even decades. Brown’s family has been involved since her mother participated in the first show. Her aunt, sister, brother-in-law, children, husband and nephews are or have been on stage or behind the scenes.

“My family enjoys playing music, and we’re a deeply rooted part of this community,” she said. “We want to see this show continue and are happy to do whatever we can to make that happen.”

Not every community has a musical event of such quality, Brown said, and Floyd is proud of the jamboree. Patterson said it’s part of the town’s identity.

Nash said people look forward to getting together at the event and visiting with friends they may not have seen for since the last jamboree. They may even plan their vacations around attending the show.

“It’s a neighbor thing, and neighbors extend much beyond the Floyd community, is our attitude,” Nash said. “We have neighbors in other states we’re pleased to see come to the show.”