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Hillbilly Days
Hillbilly Days
Crowd on Hambley Blvd.
Observed by Pikeville, Kentucky, U.S.
Type Event
Date 15–17 April 2021
Celebrations Around 100,000

Hillbilly Days is an annual festival that takes place in Pikeville, Kentucky. The festival is hosted by Pikeville it can be as early as the 11th of April and as late as the 21st of April. Each year it brings in over 100,000 people, from all across the continent of North America, who line the streets of the City of Pikeville. Each year this festival raises money for the local Shriners Children's Hospital. According to WYMT Mountain News in Hazard, Kentucky, this event, "gives hillbillies of all ages a chance to have a little fun.....And it lets them embrace the hillbilly lifestyle." This event continuously grows and according to the Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, "Hillbilly Days 2013 will be bigger and better than ever.".

History

Hillbilly Days was first founded in 1977 by a group of Shriners as a means to raise money for the Shriners Hospital. Two shriners from the Hillbilly Clan Outhouse No. 2, Howard "Dirty Ear" Stratton and "Shady" Grady Kinney, decided to start the festival in 1976 after visiting a festival in Portsmouth, Ohio. They got a group of shriners together and they began the festival in 1977. It has continued ever since. In 2011 this festival was able to raise $72,000 dollars for the Shriners Hospital. Over 100,000 people come once a year experience the event and culture of Appalachia. Participants wear overalls and other rural attire while roaming the streets of Pikeville to help raise money for a cause. The planning committee for this festival usually starts meeting around September and then work on their plans each workday up until the festival begins in mid-April. April 2020 was the first cancellation of its 44-year career.

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