Friday night we drove from Blacksburg, Virginia into Floyd for the Friday Night Jamboree at the General Store, featuring Blue Grass, Gospel and Old Time bands. According to the Wikipedia entry for Floyd, the 2000 population was 432 and the size of the town (also the seat of Floyd county) "is 0.5 square miles (all of it land)." Judging by the size of the crowd at the Jamboree, most of the town was there, plus the seven of us tourists. Judging by the Wiki entry, downtown IS the town. It was an interesting place – a sign proclaiming “Loitering Is Allowed” hung outside the Country Store, where the Jamboree has taken place for about 100 years.
Boyfriend’s sister knew of the Country Store, where the merchandise is relocated every Friday night to make way for the dancing. And the dance floor was packed the whole time we were there. Yes, we joined the crowd in the “flat foot dancing” and a couple of us were troopers and got dragged into the square dancing. I passed that up -- too many bad memories of fifth and sixth grade girl’s gym class. We took enough pictures with our cameras and cell phones that the regulars were probably thinking, “Dang, these people don’t get out much.”
There was one boy there, about ten years old, decked out in jeans, a western shirt, cowboy hat and boots, who was one terrific little dancer, but he knew it. Thumbs hooked in his jean pockets, he’d be tapping up a storm, then pause for a sip of water, check his audience, and resume. The kid even had posing for pictures down to polished perfection. A girl, about the same age, in a multi-tiered skirt and western boots, hair French braided to one side, reminded me of my oldest niece and I just wanted to hug her, but that sort of behavior from total strangers is just creepy, and I have enough going on without becoming some creepy hugging lady.
There was a contest for who was there from the furthest distance – we figured our group had it nailed with a member from Israel, but it required a check of the old-fashioned pull down map over the stage to verify that Israel is, indeed, further from the Blue Ridge Mountains than Switzerland, scoring Sagi a new cap embroidered with “The Floyd Country Store” for his Appalachian birthday celebration. (A couple hours later, he got to wear the Birthday Sombrero at El Charro Mexican Restaurant, a few doors down from the Country Store, where we had dinner after flat foot dancing up hearty appetites.)
The Jamboree at The Floyd Country Store is clearly the best $4 entertainment investment I’ve made in a long time. It was really fun. And where else could I see the delectable, albeit inedible “Canned Creamed Possum with Sweet Potato Garnished in Coon Fat Gravy” with the grossest ingredients list imaginable. (It bears a warning on the label that it’s a novelty item and should not be eaten.) It had potential as the perfect gift for my Scrapple-eating, Mountain Oyster-sampling brother, but I passed, knowing he's never been the one to follow instructions and might actually eat it, and I don’t want to be responsible for that.