072806floydfest1.jpg 072606floydfest1.jpgFloydFest 5 kicked off a day early this year, starting at 5 p.m. on Thursday rather than noon on Friday and it did not open with fog or rain as in many previous years.

Still, the crowd really started coming in on Friday afternoon and, as usual, the festival drew a collection of young (left) and old.

When FloydFest started five years ago, some gave the event, staged just off the Blue Ridge Parkway just across the Floyd-Patrick County line, little chance for success.

Festival organizers Erika Johnson and Kris Hodges have have hit a few speed bumps fut the festival turned the corner last year and they hope to draw a record crowd of about 10,000 this year to the music, arts, crafts and folklife event that features more than just music, although many admit they come for the weekend in the Blue Ridge Mountains to see festival favorites like Donna the Buffalo.

This year’s event also features Los Lobos in a Saturday night concert.

The sun came out on Friday as Tim O’Brien (above) brought out a crowd of traditional music lovers on Friday afternoon. As always at FloydFest, people are the show (below).

FloydFest continues through Sunday night. Bring sunscreen, comfortable clothes and a hearty appetite.

The food alone is worth the visit. I’ll be there most of the weekend shooting stills and video and will try to feature a bit of both here. 072806floydfest3.jpg