The Cove Ridge Center Foundation sponsors this festival to promote the musical heritage of Appalachian Mountains. It honors the tireless work of "Papa Joe" Smiddy, a well-known old-time musician, entertainer and educator. In addition to being an old-time banjo picker, "Papa Joe" is known as Dr. Joseph Smiddy, Chancellor Emeritus at the University of Virginia's College at Wise. Money raised will go to scholarships for local students. Festival tickets are general admission and may be purchased for $10 in advance or $15 at the gate. Children 12 or younger are admitted free with a paying adult.