Uncle Pen Fest
Founded in 1974, Uncle Pen Days began as a tribute to Bill Monroe's maternal uncle, James Pendleton Vandiver. "Uncle Pen" played the fiddle and Monroe later said that he was the "fellow that I learned to play from." Bill Monroe's parents had both died by the time he was 16, and Monroe lived part of the time this his uncle, where he would play mandolin while his uncle played fiddle at local square dances and social events.
Greatly influenced by Vandiver, Bill Monroe wrote a song about him, Uncle Pen, in 1950 — a song that went on to be a hit for Porter Wagoner (1954) and Ricky Scaggs (1984).
Today the Uncle Pen Fest presents some of the best in bluegrass music in the country, featuring four full days of entertainment. Attendees can look forward to vocal, music and instrument workshops, jam sessions, camping, food vendors, and the induction of renowned songwriters into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame.