WASHINGTON, Va., June 21, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- If the ace mechanic who kept Hazzard County rolling is correct, a weekend in August in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia is going to be a turbo-charged delight for the faithful fans of "The Dukes of Hazzard."
Ben Jones, the former Congressman who played "Cooter" on the ever-popular family show is putting together another "Hazzard Homecoming" extravaganza on the weekend of August 11th and 12th in picturesque Rappahannock County, Virginia, and according to him, "Hazzard Nation is rising again!"
"Our whole cast is going to attend," he says, "and that doesn't happen very often. It's been a few years since we all saw each other at one time, and this might be the last time we get to share a stage together. John Schneider, Tom Wopat, Catherine Bach, James Best, Sonny Shroyer and Rick Hurst will all join in the fun. So this is not only special for the fans, it is also very special for us."
Jones should know these things because he and his wife Alma Viator have spent much of the last fourteen years enjoying the continuing success of all things Hazzard. They have two popular "Cooter's Place" venues in Gatlinburg and Nashville, Tennessee, and he tours annually with "Cooter's Garage Band," a Southern country-rock combo. Ben and Alma also created DukesFest, the mega-event that peaked when more than 100,000 fans flocked to Nashville in 2007.
"We kicked back after that," Viator says. "We both wanted to do something more laid-back and down-home. Something more like a county fair back in Hazzard." The result was Hazzard Homecoming, in a bucolic rural setting in the mountain county where the Joneses live.
"There are only about 6,500 folks in Rappahannock County and we don't even have a stoplight. Last year for two days the Homecoming added about 10,000 to the population here. But everything went off without a hitch, and everybody had a ball. We even had a bunch of folks from Europe."
This year the event will be held at the Ben Venue Racecourse, located at the intersection of Highway 211 and State Road 729, near historic Washington, Virginia. "It's a beautiful spot and gives us a lot more room than we've had in the past. It will make folks think they are actually in Hazzard County, says Jones. "Except that we don't really drive like that around here!" adds Viator.
Besides the cast, Hazzard Homecoming will feature two days of rockabilly, country, bluegrass, and gospel music. The entertainment will include Grammy winner
Dr. Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys, Stella Parton, Southern rockers Silver Travis, Rockabilly icons Sonny Burgess and Sleepy LaBeef, and gospel legends The Lewis Tradition. "And don't forget that John Schneider and Tom Wopat are world class country singers with a lot of hit records to their credit. The concert itself will be worth the trip," says "Cooter."
Reached on the set of "The Young and the Restless" where she is guest starring, Catherine Bach, who played the fetching "Daisy Duke," echoed Jones' sentiments. "I can't wait to get back to the Homecoming! It is just plain old fun, the kind we used to have when I was growing up in South Dakota. And it is in such a beautiful location. Even though it is a very busy event, it seems sort of like a vacation in the country. I can't wait to see my 'Dukes' family and all of the fans who have supported us for so long."
Besides personal appearances and stage performances by the cast and the other headliners, Hazzard Homecoming will feature a Dukes Stunt Demonstration, American BMX Stunt Team with Keith King, a Hazzard County Car Show including more than 50 "General Lees," wrestling with legendary WWE Champion Jerry Lawler, a Saturday night fireworks celebration, and lots of children's activities including rides, slides, and a country petting zoo.
The "Dukes of Hazzard" series, which originally aired from 1979 through 1985, continues to be a staple on Country Music Television (CMT). "Each generation that comes along falls in love with it," says Jones. "They never say 'The Dukes was a great show.' They always say 'The Dukes is a great show.'"
Tickets for Hazzard Homecoming August 11 & 12 are on sale now at www.cootersplace.com. Advance tickets are $25 for Saturday and Sunday, or $20 for one day, plus a $2 handling charge. At the gate, a weekend pass is $30 and a single day ticket is $25. Children 10 years and younger are free, as well as seniors 65 and over and U.S. service men and women with military ID.
Hazzard Homecoming will be held at the Ben Venue Racecourse, located at 38 Ben Venue Road near Washington, VA, 22747. For more information about the festival, call (615) 872-8358 or visit www.cootersplace.com.
SOURCE Hazzard Homecoming