The Feastival at Historic Dinwiddie Church : Faith, Food, Community, and Music


Dinwiddie Presbyterian Church

2698 Homestead Rd, Hillsville VA

Central ZONE
Crooked Road Concerts
Cultural Food Event


12:45 PM

It’s an all-day singin’ an’ dinner on the grounds! Well, maybe not all day. But this Feastival will certainly be a wonderful afternoon of traditional Appalachian hospitality and music, hosted by historic Dinwiddie Presbyterian Church in Hillsville. As you drive in from Interstate 81, you’ll be surrounded by the lush greenness of Southwest Virginia’s farm country—the very land from which our Feastival food will be sourced. Perched high atop a mountain in the Mitchell’s Crossroads community, you’ll enjoy fabulous food, excellent music, genuine Appalachian hospitality, and extraordinary views of the surrounding mountains.
Radiating its own rustic, hand-hewn charm, Dinwiddie Presbyterian Church was founded in October of 1837 and named for an early Presbyterian evangelist. The present-day stone church was built in 1946, under the guidance of Reverend R. W. Childress. Childress led the building of six rock churches in Carroll, Floyd, and Patrick counties from 1919-1954. His story was captured in a 1970 book, The Man Who Moved a Mountain by Richard C. Davids. The rock churches still function with active congregations but have also become popular sites to visit for tourists because of their beautiful scenic locations and artful construction. Feastival-goers will soak in the scenery as they enjoy local food, music, art, and hospitality.
This dinner-on-the-the-grounds style Feastival will feature a menu inspired by tradition. (Expect cornbread!) You’ll grab a plate and fill it to brimming with all kinds of “church-lady” food, prepared at the nearby Crossroads Institute by Mark Davis, owner of Squealers Café and Catering. The groaning tables will reflect the abundance of Appalachian farms and the tradition of hospitality and generosity that keeps this kind of after-church fellowship vital across Southwest Virginia. As guests take their places at tables in the open-air pavilion, members of the Dinwiddie congregation will serve as church ambassadors, ready to answer questions about the history and heritage of their community.
Special artists and speakers will help celebrate local culture. Ronni Lundy, nationally acclaimed author of Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes (2016) will be on hand, sharing her warmth, humor, and wit. She’ll join forces with Libby Bondurant, co-author with the late Betty Skeens of Grazing Along the Crooked Road. Ronni and Betty will share insights about the region’s foodways and the stories behind the recipes they’ve collected in their respective travels. You’ll notice strong connections between the recipes in their books and the food that graces the tables at Dinwiddie! And you’ll take home a beautiful handcrafted plate from ‘Round the Mountain juried artisan, Hannah Martin of HeartMoss Pottery.
Traditional music is alive and well in Southwest Virginia, and this Feastival will introduce you to some of our very best. Changing Lanes, a bluegrass band with close ties to Dinwiddie Church, features an 11-year-old bass player. But don’t be fooled by their relative youth. These musicians are quickly becoming seasoned professionals, having played The Crooked Road’s Youth Music Festival, the Floyd Country Store, Primland (a nearby resort that’s the site of another 2017 Feastival), and WPAQ radio. In 2016, this self-described “hard driving bluegrass/gospel band from the heart of Appalachia” took first place in the Virginia Folk Music Association’s State Championship. Joining the youngsters are a couple of the region’s musical sages, Mac Traynham and Edwin Lacy. Traynham is a master banjo maker whose virtuosity as an old-time banjo picker has been featured on The Crooked Road’s Mountain Masters tour. He also sings and plays dobro and fiddle. His pastor, Edwin Lacy, is a banjo player and songwriter who offers an Appalachian-grounded ministry at the Wild Goose Christian Community in Floyd County. Through traditional music, dance, food, and comfortable rocking chairs, Lacy brings the gospel and a shared sense of community to his flock—not to mention serving communion in a Mason jar! Traynham and Lacy will demonstrate old gospel music traditions such as shape-note singing and lining out hymns, and audience participation will be welcomed.
Event craft sponsors are Dinwiddie Presbyterian Church, Draper Mercantile, and Mill Creek Creative.