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    ‘Here to have a good time:’ 2024 Hillbilly Days Festival gets underway

    By Sam DeCoste,


    PIKEVILLE, KY (WOWK) – The annual Hillbilly Days Festival is underway in downtown Pikeville.

    The festival has been held every year since 1977 as a fundraiser for Shriners’ Children’s Hospital in Lexington. The opening ceremony was held at Pikeville City Park on Thursday, and the festival will continue until Saturday night.

    The event features three stages of live entertainment, clog dancing, and men, women, and children dressed in their best hillbilly attire.

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    This year marked the 45th straight year Clarence A. Gatlin, Jr. attended the Hillbilly Days, and he said he wouldn’t miss it for anything.

    “Well it’s Hillbilly Days, and I’m a hillbilly from South Carolina. Yes sir. And, we’re all here to have a good time,” Gatlin, Jr. said.

    Gatlin, Jr. also said one of his favorite parts of the festival is the clogging performances in downtown.

    “I used to tap dance up the street, and all around. Everybody around comes back and says, Clarence, how about dance? Let me tell you, that’s old time stuff,” he said.

    The rest of the weekend lineup features the Canines in the Clouds dog frisbee show, the beard and mustache contest, the hillbilly car show and the fan favorite parade.

    Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

    For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to WOWK 13 News.

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