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First-ever folk festival Oct. 20 at Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest

The first-ever Poplar Forest Folk Festival will take place on Saturday, Oct. 20 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The one-day festival, celebrating one of Jefferson’s favorite passions, will feature some of Virginia’s best Americana and folk music bands—blue grass, old-time and Americana—on a stage in the backyard of Jefferson’s favorite hide-away. Funds raised by the festival support the ongoing restoration, preservation and interpretation of the Founding Father’s secluded Bedford County retreat.

Spend an afternoon savoring the sweet sounds of music. Enjoy performances by the Sons of Liberty, The Crooked Road Ramblers, The Wildmans, and Morgan Wade and the Stepbrothers. Pair their foot-tapping music with local foods, shop for works by local artisans and explore Jefferson’s octagonal villa—considered his most perfect work of architecture—at a reduced rate.

“We’re excited to present the inaugural Poplar Forest Folk Festival,” Jeffrey L. Nichols, president and CEO of The Corporation for Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, was quoted as saying in a news release. “Our mission is to inspire the public to explore Thomas Jefferson’s belief in the boundless freedom of the human mind. Music played a vital role in Jefferson’s life; it was a passion that he encouraged all to share.”

Poplar Forest is located in Forest, VA., in Bedford County, west of Lynchburg.

Tickets to the Poplar Forest Folk Festival are $20 per person in advance, and $25 per person at the door. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call the Museum Shop at 434-534-8120.

One of only two homes Thomas Jefferson designed for his personal use, the Poplar Forest retreat was the place where Jefferson “came to indulge in the life of the mind and renew his personal creativity.”

Designated a National Historic Landmark by the Secretary of the Interior, and nearly lost to development, Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest plantation in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains was rescued in 1984 by a group of local citizens who sought to preserve it for the cultural and educational benefit of the public. Poplar Forest was opened to the public for the first time in 1986, in its “before restoration” state.

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