2021 Hillbilly Days canceled

PIKEVILLE, Ky. — For the second year in a row, Hillbilly Days has been canceled.

Officials with the city of Pikeville said they could not see moving forward with this year’s festival, with the coronavirus pandemic remaining an ongoing problem.

“For so many, Hillbilly Days is an annual event that represents community and fellowship, something we have all sorely missed over the last year,” Pikeville City Manager Philip Elswick said. “Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic is not over yet, and as a City we must continue to protect every member of our community. Rest assured that we are making plans so that when health officials say it is safe to gather again, Pikeville will be the place to be for years to come.”

Health officials say the best way to make sure that the festival returns in 2022 is to do everything possible to defeat the virus.

“We encourage everyone to make a plan to get vaccinated so we can eliminate this disease’s grip on society,” Pike County Health Department Director Tammy Riley said. “The sooner we beat coronavirus, the sooner we can resume normal operations, including gathering at exciting festivals and events like Hillbilly Days.”

The annual festival in downtown Pikeville is one of the largest in the state and raises money for Shriners’ Children’s Hospital in Lexington.

Mountain Top Media has already signaled that it is in the early stages of once again hosting a virtual Hillbilly Days to raise money for the Shriners. Details of that effort will be announced later.