SPERRYVILLE, Va., Feb. 24, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- If you are driving through the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia in mid August, don't be surprised if you see scores of 'General Lees,' the orange 1969 Dodge Charger which has become the most recognizable car in the world. And don't be surprised if you see a gal that looks like Daisy Duke, because Catherine Bach, who played Daisy in the hit TV series "Dukes of Hazzard," will be there among the several thousand fans gathering for the First Annual 'Hazzard Homecoming' in Sperryville, Virginia.
Ben Jones, the former Congressman who is surely better known as 'Cooter' from the show, is presenting the event along with his better half, Alma Viator, who has become known to Dukes fans as simply "Miss Alma."
The couple has propelled the Dukes' craze to unbelievable heights. They own and operate two popular Dukes themed store/museums called 'Cooter's Place,' located in Gatlinburg and Nashville, Tennessee. Fans have also demonstrated their love for the popular show through the years by gathering for an annual festival Jones and Viator created that began in Sperryville in 1999. Sperryville is nestled in bucolic and scenic Rappahannock County, adjacent to the Shenandoah National Park and the Skyline Drive.
"We started the event here and called it 'DukesFest' ten years ago," says Jones. "But, it outgrew Sperryville and eventually ended up with nearly 100,000 fans in Nashville at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds & Music City Motorplex. The event continued to grow, and in 2007 we bequeathed it to John Schneider (Bo Duke)." Jones adds, "John has been too busy to continue 'DukesFest' for the last couple of years, and we want to get back to our roots here."
Fans near and far are expressing interest in attending. "People from several states away have already contacted us about coming to the event, as well as folks from Canada, France and England," says Viator. "They love the 'Dukes' and they know all about the Blue Ridge Mountains and Southern hospitality."
Front and center are the stars, and Hazzard Homecoming will feature personal appearances from many cast members including Bach, Jones, the great James Best, who played Rosco P. Coltrane, as well as deputies Enos (Sonny Shroyer) and Cletus (Rick Hurst). Jones notes, "I'm hoping that stars Bo and Luke, John Schneider and Tom Wopat, can drop in, but John is doing a TV series, and Tom is starring in a new Broadway musical, but you never know."
In addition to the popular meet & greets, there will be a car show featuring an estimated 50 General Lees, a small stunt show, two days of music, great food and family fun. Events at Hazzard Homecoming will feature festival style seating, and attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets. "Back when we started 'Cooter's' here some years ago, we would have country music on Saturdays, and gospel and bluegrass on Sundays," says Jones. "I think we'll stick with that for the Hazzard Homecoming. I've already booked country star T. Graham Brown and some others. There is no tellin' who might show up."
The "Dukes of Hazzard" series, which originally aired 1979 through 1985, is once again getting top ratings, now 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."
Discount tickets for Hazzard Homecoming are on sale now at www.cootersplace.com. Advance tickets are $15 for Saturday and Sunday, or $10 for one day, plus a $2 handling charge. At the gate, a weekend pass is $20 and a single day ticket is $15. Children 10 years and younger are free, as well as seniors 65 and over and U.S. service men and women with proper military ID.
Hazzard Homecoming will be held at 12018 Lee Highway, Sperryville, Virginia, 22740. For more information about the festival, call (615) 872-8358 or visit www.cootersplace.com.
SOURCE Cooter's Place