BRISTOL, Tenn./Va. - Rhythm and Roots gets into full swing on Friday, but we're really not saying whole title of the event. It's the Rhythm & Roots Reunion event.
We went in search of the reunion part of the festival and didn't have to go far. The Tennessee High Class of 1977 is having their 35th reunion right in the middle of the action.
The third "R" on the welcome banner spanning State Street for the weekend's festivities is just as important as the rhythm and the roots -- it's 'reunion.'
For the second time since the festival's conception there's a storefront that's dedicated to a high school reunion.
The 35th reunion for the Tennessee High Class of 1977 is in the perfect spot. "We found like five years ago when we did [our reunion] that a lot of people like to come downtown Bristol and listen to the music. It gave us something else to do. We visit with our classmates and go in and out for the music, it was great," Beverly Fanning of the class of 1977 said.
Physically their old high school still looks the same, the Stone Castle remains pretty much the same, but the graduating class of 1977 has changed and so has Bristol.
"The more people that can come back to Bristol and enjoy what Bristol's becoming is really good. 35 years ago we didn't have anything like this. So now people can move away, come back and see Bristol has really grown and we have grown," class of 1977 member Dawn Wright says.
"We've got a great turnout coming in this year. We've got classmates from Wyoming, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Washington, D.C., all over. it's exciting," Beverly Fanning added.
It may be all about the music, but chances are good for those walking up and down our streets this weekend that there will be a lot of reunions too.