An adventurous spirit is all you need to spice up your weekend. In fact, a unique, fun Friday night is just 30 minutes away.
Neighboring Floyd County is home to the Floyd Country Store, which, by day, is a quaint store and lunch counter; by night, however, it transforms into a hotspot for music and dancing.
Every week, the Floyd Country Store hosts a Friday Night Jamboree, which gathers musicians, dancers and visitors to listen and dance to bluegrass music.
According to its website, many who attend the Jamboree are regulars, but they also receive new visitors every week — sometimes, from all over the country and even the world.
I was a newcomer a few Fridays ago and had no idea what to expect from this bluegrass Jamboree. I am not much of a dancer to begin with, so I was apprehensive about country dancing. The drive to Floyd was not too long, but gave my friend and me plenty of time to prepare ourselves for the country tunes.
Driving into Floyd was an experience in itself. It was dead quiet, but all of the streets and parking lots were full of cars, presumably for the Jamboree. After finally finding a parking spot, we walked through the quaint town to find the store. The sound of the music, chatter and laughter were audible from the sidewalk, drawing us inside.
Upon entering the store, I was surprised to see how big and how filled with people it was. On the left there is a lunch counter, which mostly serves dessert during the Jamboree, and on the right side there are some booths to sit in and buckets of old-fashioned candy. All down the right side of the store there are aisles of country merchandise including jams, hand lotions and kitchen utensils.
After paying the $5 admission fee, the first thing I noticed were the aisles backed up with people. As we slowly made our way through the aisles, I noticed the entire store was lined with people listening to the live bluegrass music.
Three sections of chairs outlined the dance floor, and every seat was filled; not only that, but every space between the chairs was filled too. I could not believe how many people there were, and I was surprised to see the variety in types of people as well. It is evident the Jamboree is not for just one age group. There were elderly people, families with children and lots of young people.
After receiving some dancing advice from a regular, we decided to move to the dance floor. At first, we were just tapping our feet and clapping our hands to the music, trying to fit in. Slowly, we got the hang of the dancing, which we learned is called “flatfooting.”
Often during a song, a chorus of “yee-haws” would break out amongst the dancers. By the end of the song, I could not tell if I was out of breath from dancing or laughing.
The music was lively and the band had a great sense of humor, as it told jokes in between each song. Everyone at the Country Store was so friendly and willing to help us learn the dance. You definitely do not have to be an experienced flatfoot dancer to attend or even dance at the Jamboree.
You do not have to be a huge bluegrass music fan, either, to have a great time — the atmosphere and the people make it inevitable. It is quite an experience and definitely worth trying.
For more information visit the Floyd Country Store’s website at www.floydcountrystore.com.