FloydFest 8 opens its four-day run today just off the Blue Ridge Parkway and just inside the Patrick County line. The long list of performers include perennial favorites like Donna the Buffalo (above) and Railroad Earth along with a familiar mix of music, arts, crafts and events.

With luck, we won’t see a repeat of the disaster of 2007 when the Blue Ridge Parkway unleashed its Gestapo-like Criminal Interdiction Team (CIT) on visitors and turned their trip to the festival into a nightmare. With luck, we won’t see signs like the one below that signaled a traffic stop where rights were ignored. The Parkway disbanded the CIT after the 2007 debacle and Virginia State Police will handle much of the traffic enforcement.

FloydFest continues to evolve into a more of a family event and less of a Woodstock light. It’s not cheap. Tickets at the gate are $140 each for the four-day event while single-day admission ranges from $40 to $60. Advance tickets were cheaper but the cost has gone up over the past eight years. Local arts and crafts vendors hope for a successful four-days in a struggling economy while area restaurants, hotels and businesses gear up for spillover from the event.

Weather forecasts call for rain today and tonight, clearing on Friday and a possibility of rain on Saturday and Sunday so Friday may be the best day to visit the festival with decent weather.

I have other commitments this weekend and will miss this year’s FloydFest but Don Johnson will provide coverage for The Floyd Press.

Have fun. Stay dry.