Hillbilly Days underway after 2-year absence

Published: Apr. 22, 2022 at 10:42 PM EDT

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WSAZ) - Following a two-year absence due to the pandemic, banjos and overalls are back in full force in downtown Pikeville.

The 45th edition of Hillbilly Days kicked off Thursday and offers a little something for everyone, including carnival rides, live music, and funnel cakes.

Friday, several among the thousands of attendees talked about how there’s an even higher level of appreciation this time around after missing out on all the fun and celebration of hillbilly heritage the past couple years.

“This is everything to us,” Dewey Bishop said while holding a jar of moonshine. “We’re rednecks, yeah, but we’re cool. We’re mountain people. We love four-wheeling, fishing, hunting, and we love our guns.”

Amber Johnson says she’s overjoyed to bring her two kids, 5 and 6 years old, back to the event.

“The kids came once before,” she said. “They loved it. They told us they loved it better than Disney World.”

In the 45-year history of the event, they’ve raised around $3 million for Shriners Hospitals for Children.

The event runs through Saturday.

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