The Oddfellas Cantina logo sums up the city of Floyd, VA. Drawn in the style of Grant Wood’s American Gothic painting, the logo graphic shows three men standing side by side: a farmer in bib overalls, holding a hoe; a look like Jerry Garcia, and a businessman in a suit and bowler hat. Happily coexisting in Floyd are the farmers who have worked the land for generations, the hippies who began arriving in the 1960s, and the entrepreneurs who keep Floyd’s economy alive. The retail stores in Floyd seem to cater to all three cultural cohorts: there is a Hardware & Farm store, a mix of real estate companies and banks, a health food store, bookstores, coffee shops, and enough clothing stores selling tie dyes to outfit a hippie army.
If you’re looking for a break from city life, city life, give yourself a stomp and a deep breath, nothing beats Floyd, Virginia.
Floyd has a resident population of only about 500 people. There is a traffic light in the center of town (the only traffic light in the county, I should add). However, Floyd has become a de facto mountain cultural center. Annually, it hosts the Floydfest World Music Festival, the Floyd Fandango Beer & Wine Festival, and the Floyd County Arts & Crafts Festival. There are regular music and cultural events at both Floyd’s wineries, and weekly events at Sun Music Hall and Floyd Country Store.
Whenever we have guests, we go to dinner at Oddfellas. I’ve never been disappointed in a meal at Oddfellas, and I’m a foodie snob. The decoration of the restaurant is eclectic: the furniture, the works of art and the dishes are all “mix & match”. The chef describes the cuisine as “Latin Appalachian”, and the food is absolutely wonderful. Oddfellas live music will range from Irish to old fashioned music to jazz.
One warm Friday night, Jill, myself, and our guests dined at Oddfellas and then spent several hours wandering the shops and streets of Floyd. On Friday nights, when the weather is warm, Floyd is filled with bluegrass musicians playing on street corners. If you stop at the corner of Main & Locust, you can hear banjos and violins coming your way from various directions.
The center of all this bluegrass activity is the Floyd Country Store, where the Friday Night Jamboree draws bluegrass musicians from various states. We went to the store and flipped through their collection of bluegrass cd’s, while we listened to the performers on stage and watched the dancers “flatfoot it” on the dance floor.
Our guests from Los Angeles were experiencing culture shock, and I found that fun. Between bluegrass music, mountain roads, and my truck, they wondered aloud if I hadn’t been a closet hillbilly all my life. What they didn’t realize was that here at Floyd, we all get along, no matter where we come from.