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Ringing in the New Year

Mountain Valley Hee Haw celebrated New Year’s Eve in its usual style – with a potluck, live music and dancing.

Supper began at 7 p.m., and the music started at 8 p.m. and continued until midnight. Special guests included Chad Bradford, Big Joe and The Catfish Junkies.

Owner Gene Welch Jr. hosted the free event at the Mountain Valley Hee Haw in East Franklin, where similar gatherings are held on Saturday nights each week.

The tradition was started by his father, William Gene Welch Sr., in 1983. He wanted people of all ages to have somewhere free, local and safe to go to have fun.

When his father passed away, Welch said he resolved to keep the tradition going; 2020 will be the venue’s 37th year.

“I had to keep it going,” Welch said, “for my father and for the community.”

Many who attend are regulars, but newcomers are always welcome. Rows of chairs face the stage and dance floor, and special lighting helps set the atmosphere.

For more information, call 256-332-5479 or 256-810-4840.