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Countdown Begins for Johnny Cash Music Festival, Boyhood Home Opening


JONESBORO — The clock is ticking toward the weekend of August 15-16 for the fourth annual Johnny Cash Music Festival and the grand opening of the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home. The festival is Friday, Aug. 15, and the official grand opening of the home follows on Saturday, Aug. 16.

A VIP Inspection Tour of “Historic Dyess Colony: Boyhood Home of Johnny Cash” was held at Dyess Colony Circle in April. Members of the Cash family, along with invited guests and members of the media toured the area that is among Arkansas State University’s Heritage Sites.  Since the VIP Inspection Tour in April, ticket sales have soared for the concert. The grand opening is open to the public.

“I lived the first 17 years of my life in that house,” said Joanne Cash Yates, Johnny’s sister, at the VIP tour. “Little by little, every piece found its place. It has been a wonderful process. They say you can’t go back, but Tommy and I went back today and we thank everyone for that. Every item in the house is where it was then. What you see in the house is what we had. There were a whole lot of tears today, but it’s been such joy.

“Momma’s piano was such a peaceful thing for her to play. It was healing for her and to get away from the farm for a while. John would make cocoa, sugar fudge with peanuts, and sit and listen to the radio.”

The Johnny Cash Boyhood Hometown Project is expected to draw approximately 50,000 visitors annually, resulting in nearly $10 million in tourism-related income to the region.

The Johnny Cash Music Festival is presented annually by Arkansas State University, with participation by the Cash family, to benefit the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home Project. The fourth music festival for 2014 is Aug. 15 at 7 p.m. at the Arkansas State Convocation Center.

As in years past, proceeds from this year’s event will help fund the restoration project, as well as support a scholarship fund established in the international superstar’s name.

Country Music Hall of Famers Reba McEntire, Bobby Bare and Loretta Lynn will perform at this year’s festival and legendary singer and comedian Mark Lowry will host the event.

Tickets for the Johnny Cash Music Festival are available at Arkansas State’s Central Box Office and online at Tickets.AState.edu. Tickets can also be purchased by logging onto the official website of the Johnny Cash Music Festival, JohnnyCashMusicFest.com. Call to purchase tickets toll-free at 1-888-278-3267 or 870-972-2781.