Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hazzard Homecoming hits the high notes

Well, they went and threw a little "Dukes" shindig, and a few people done showed up. OK, more than a few. Make that thousands. "Dukes of Hazzard" fans from all over the country and even other countries (that's you, Paul and Zealand!) made it out to Sperryville, Virginia, today for the first day of the Hazzard Homecoming at the Thorton Hill Hounds Raceway. Guess us fans were just craving a big "Dukes" event -- it's been a while. And rain? Yea, there was a little rain. In fact, it lightly rained for a half-hour or so. Did anybody notice? Maybe. Did anybody stop what they were doing? Not even a little.

The spacious, hilly grounds off Highway 522, with the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains rising up in the distance, provided the perfect setting for Hazzard's fans to come "home" to this city where the very first Dukesfest occurred back in 2001. Everything from General Lees to Hazzard County sheriff's cars to Boss' big long white convertible to Cooter's tow trucks and more covered the landscape. Stella Parton, who guested on one episode of the original series, took to the stage in the afternoon, even doing a little "church" with "This Little Light of Mine." And Cooter's Garage Band performed later on.

Much of the original "Dukes" cast was there: Sonny Shroyer, Catherine Bach, host Ben Jones, James Best and Rick Hurst. Stella Parton signed autographs as well as her new book, "Tell It Sister, Tell It: Memories, Music and Miracles," just released a couple months ago and with proceeds supporting domestic violence shelters.

Lines were loooooong -- one lady told us she waited in Bach's line for five and a half hours! Tomorrow, John Schneider is scheduled to arrive for the meetin' and greetin,' and we can only imagine how long his lines will be.

It was nice and warm (not as deadly hot as it has been up here in the greater D.C. area) with a strong, cooling breeze a-blowin'. And BRBTV got to chat with a lot of good folks we only see every so often, like Miss Jo McLaney, below, who traveled all the way from our beloved Covington, Georgia, to say hello to her "Dukes" pals.

Weary, grimy, a little sunburned and definitely wind-blown beyond recognition, we didn't stick around for the fireworks tonight, but we're going back tomorrow! We'll be posting more photos to Facebook, and look for full video coverage of the event on the BRBTV YouTube channel in the next week or two.


Photo by Billie Rae Bates / BRBTV 
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