History of Site/Event: Gray McGee and the Pinnacle Volunteer Fire Department began hosting a fiddlers’ convention at the local school in the 1960s. The festival moved to Jomeokee Park in 1975 when bluegrass pioneer and legend, Lester Flatt, bought the property. Flatt held festivals there each summer until 1979, when he sold the property. In the late ’80s and ’90s, Jomeokee was site to the WTQR radio family reunion, which featured top-line Nashville country acts. In 2006, Ralph McGee began the next era of musical events at the site where Gray McGee began over 40 years ago.
Description of Site/Facility: Beautiful Pilot Mountain is directly behind the stage, which sits on a natural amphitheater. Pilot Mountain State Park is nearby. Jomeokee means “greatguide” or “pilot” from the language of the Saura Indians, who once inhabited this scenic area.
Significance of Site/Event to the Community: Jomeokee Park is a significant part of the area’s traditional music history, and over the years, some of the best bluegrass acts in the region and country have played here. With help from the Stokes County Arts Council and the current owners of the park, event organizer Ralph McGee has resurrected and preserved this important part of the region’s rich musical heritage.