May 23-26, 2024 ❘ Martinsville, VA

RW Review: Appalachian Jamwich Magazine

Dancers at RW5

Rolling down highway 220 towards Martinsville, VA, a honeysuckle breeze swirls through the windows leaving an intoxicating taste of spring lingering in the air. Surrounded by rolling green hills and hugged in the safety of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Martinsville is the last place one would expect to find quality music and entertainment. But low and behold—turning onto Cooper’s Mountain Road, the sound of twanging banjos and a singing fiddle can be heard in the distance. Stepping out into the beaming sunshine, the Blue Mountain Festival Grounds show obvious signs of the party-life: straw is trampled deep into the muddied earth and bare footprints lead the way to the camping grounds.

Rooster Walk 5 is an impeccably organized festival. Creators—Johnny Buck and William Baptist—have clearly worked out the kinks; thanks to previous years of experience. Buck and Baptist founded Rooster Walk in memory of their two friends, Edwin Penn and Walker Shank. Penn and Shank were Martinsville natives with a sincere passion for music, unfortunately the two passed away far too soon. The money raised at RW5 goes toward the Penn-Shank Memorial Scholarship at Martinsville High School.

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