Festival helps revive small town

Festival helps revive small town

DYESS, Ark. (KAIT) - The eighth annual Johnny Cash Heritage Festival, which began Thursday, Oct. 17, has evolved throughout the years.

The first four festivals were concerts held at Arkansas State University.

Then, the event grew to a three-day festival in Dyess, the boyhood home of country music star Johnny Cash.

Money raised by the concerts allowed his family to restore the home. They insisted on moving the festival back home.

“The whole family is emotional to be back in the home and to be back at the family’s homeplace and to get to see a lot of family,” said Adam Long, director of the Heritage Sites program.

This year, hitting the main stage is Marty Stuart and Johnny’s daughter, Rosanne Cash.

Long says Rosanne is highly involved in the festival and the town itself.

“Capturing the roots of the music and her family’s legacy is very important to her,” says Long.

The festival has been able to restore the Cash home, administrative building, and an old movie theater, which serves as a visitors’ center and museum.

Long hopes the festival will continue to grow and shed more light on the small town of Dyess.

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