The Oddfellas Cantina logo sums up the town 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 wearing overalls and holding a hoe; a Jerry Garcia look-alike and a businessman in a suit sporting a bowler hat. Coexisting happily in Floyd are the farmers who have worked the land for generations, the hippies who started arriving in the ’60s, and the businessmen who keep Floyd’s economy humming. Retail stores in Floyd seem to cater to all three cultural cohorts: There’s a hardware and produce store, a mix of real estate companies and banks, a health food store, bookstores, coffee shops, and enough clothing stores that sell clothing. -dyes to equip a hippie army.
If you’re looking for a quiet, laid-back break from city life, nothing better than 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 might add). However, Floyd has become a de facto mountain cultural center. Annually, it hosts the Floydfest World Music Festival, the Floyd Fandango Beer and Wine Festival, and the Floyd County Arts and Crafts Festival. There are regular music and cultural events at both of Floyd’s wineries, and weekly events at Sun Music Hall and the Floyd Country Store.
Every time we have guests over, we go to Oddfellas for dinner. I have never been disappointed with a meal at Oddfellas, and I am a food snob. The restaurant’s decor is eclectic: the furniture, artwork, and crockery are all “mix & match.” The chef describes the cuisine as “Appalachian Latin,” and the food is absolutely wonderful. Oddfellas’ live music will range from Irish to Old Time to Jazz.
One warm Friday night, Jill, I, and our guests ate dinner at Oddfellas and then spent several hours wandering the shops and streets of Floyd. On Friday nights, when the weather is warm, Floyd fills with bluegrass musicians who play on street corners. If you stand on the corner of Main & Locust, you can hear banjos and violins coming at you from various directions.
The hub of all this bluegrass activity is the Floyd Country Store, where the Friday Night Jamboree draws bluegrass players from various states. We walked into the store and browsed through his collection of bluegrass CDs, listening to performers on stage and watching dancers “go flat” on the dance floor.
Our guests from Los Angeles were experiencing culture shock, and I found that amusing. Between the bluegrass music, the mountain roads, and my truck, they wondered aloud if I hadn’t been an undercover hillbilly all my life. What they didn’t realize was that here at Floyd, we all get along great, no matter where we come from.