Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion happening this weekend

BRISTOL, TN/VA (WJHL)- This weekend a musical tradition kicks off in the Tri-Cities.  The 17th annual Bristol Rhythm and Roots reunion starts on Friday and runs through Sunday in Bristol.

Dozens of artists will perform on several different stages. Scheduled performers include Dwight Yoakam on Friday night, Judah and the Lion, and “Jerry Douglas presents Earls of Leicester”.

“This is our 17th anniversary of Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunions and were really proud of what a great festival this has become. A couple years ago we did an economic impact study and it’s over 6 million dollars in stimulus for our community,” Charlene Baker with the Birthplace of Country Music Museum said.

Besides the music, there will also be a 5K road race, a chili cook-off, and a youth music competition. Even Virginia governor Terry McCauliffe will be there Friday evening.

“We’ve won international awards, but at the end of the day it’s for Bristol and it’s for our music heritage. And it’s very important to us that people get that message,” Baker said.

The event will also bring lawmakers from both Tennessee and Virginia. Virginia Democratic Senator Tim Kaine and Tennessee Republican Senator Lamar Alexander play together at the festival Friday night. Senator Kaine is a self-taught harmonica player, Senator Alexander is a classical pianist.

Then on Sunday the event will wrap up with a tribute to the 90th anniversary of the Bristol Sessions.

Organizers say it takes about 900 volunteers to put on this event each year.

You can still buy tickets at the event or in advance at www.bristolrhythm.com

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