BIG STONE GAP, Va. (WJHL) — The Blue Highway Fest returned to Big Stone Gap Wednesday.

The bluegrass festival runs Oct. 11-14 with performances lasting all day and into the evening.

Things officially got started at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Downtown Stage as Sycamore Hollow opened the festival. A songwriting workshop also started at noon for festival goers.

Photo: WJHL

Organizers said the weather proved perfect for the start of the festival Wednesday, and they are excited to see people continue to come visit and experience the musical acts.

“It is really exciting, and we’ve got the best songwriters here,” Blue Highway Fest organizer Larry Roberts said.

The Blue Highway Fest was named the International Bluegrass Music Association Industry Event of the Year in September, indicating the festival’s growing popularity. Roberts said the festival is a draw to people because of the down-home feel of Big Stone Gap and Southwest Virginia.

“That’s exactly why it’s getting national attention is because it is small-town living, small-town hospitality,” Roberts said.

Big Stone Gap Town Manager Stephen Lawson told News Channel 11 the festival is only possible because of local efforts.

“This is a community event,” Lawson said. “When you look around, this is Big Stone Gap employees and people that are volunteering for the community. There’s no outside help.”

Each day of the festival features multiple unique musical acts. Performers will take the stage in downtown Big Stone Gap through Thursday before moving to Bullitt Park for Friday and Saturday. A complete festival lineup and more information can be found online.