Fortune Williams Music Festival

With this single event, Staunton manages to host some of the nation's top musicians for three days of non-stop entertainment.

In its fourth year, expect nothing less from the Fortune-Williams Music Festival.

Since last year, when the festival moved from downtown Staunton to the Frontier Culture Museum, festival founders Jimmy Fortune and Robin and Linda Williams have been blending their music with education and culture at the museum.

It was a natural marriage.

"When you look at the festival from the perspective of the museum, not only is it entertainment, but you can look at it and see where it came from," said John Avoli, executive director of the Frontier Culture Museum. "The focus of it lies in the roots."

With German, English, Irish and American farms, music from each of those backgrounds are featured in the festival. Appalachian music comes alive with The Gibson Brothers and Troublesome Creek, while the Blue Ridge Irish Music School brings the sounds of Ireland to the Irish farm.

"It offers a setting to explore this music from its inception to current," said Festival Director Larry Smith.

He's most impressed with how Fortune and the Williamses have donated their time to this event.

"It just goes on and on, day after day," Smith said. "They're committed to giving back to this community."

Like last year, the trio will also be a part of the naturalization ceremony that takes place at the museum annually.

Coincidentally, the festival fell on the same weekend before, and they participated. Now, the naturalization performances have become routine.

Robin Williams will be the speaker this year at the ceremony, and all three will perform patriotic songs.

Both Smith and Avoli encourage everyone to visit. A limited number of reserved tickets are still available for Friday and Saturday, and general admission tickets are still available for Saturday and Sunday.

"It's a wonderful opportunity to locally hear professional musicians," Smith said. "Jimmy, Robin and Linda know these musicians personally, and it adds a wonderful flavor ... and how often will Garrison Keillor be visiting Staunton, Virginia?"