Lunsford Award

Lunsford Award

Loretta Freeman holding the Lunsford Award

Freeman holding her award at the 2019 Lunsford Festival

Because the festival is cancelled for 2020, we are going to wait until 2021 to award the next Lunsford Award, as we want the recipient to be able to fully enjoy the moment and all that goes with it.

Congratulations to Loretta Freeman, recipient of the 2019 Lunsford Award!

Freeman’s roots are deep in Appalachian culture. She comes from a long line of dancers¬†and traditional musicians, and she is known for developing her own style of Appalachian dance that combines buck dancing, flatfoot, and traditional clogging. She has danced with Mars Hill University’s Bailey Mountain Cloggers and the Southern Mountain Fire Cloggers, among other teams. She serves as chair of the Folk Heritage committee, a group of volunteers who’ve kept the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival (founded by Bascom Lamar Lunsford in 1928) going for 92 years and Shindig on the Green for its 53-year run.

Loretta Freeman comes from a long line of dancers and traditional musicians. Her father (Gordon Freeman),¬†uncle (Arvil Freeman), and brother (Terry Freeman)¬†are all prior recipients of the Lunsford Award, and Loretta is helping to make sure those family traditions continue. Her daughters Lynsey and Lauren also clog, and son Dexter plays the guitar. Both Loretta and Lynsey have been recognized by America’s Clogging Hall of Fame as All-American Cloggers.

The Lunsford Award will be presented on the main stage of the Lunsford Festival on Oct. 5, 2019, at 11:00 am.

The Bascom Lamar Lunsford Award has been given out since 1980 to individuals who have made significant contributions to the folk, musical, and/or dance traditions of the southern mountain region.


Past Winners

2018 Brian Hunter

2017 Jeff Atkins

2016 Carol Rifkin

2015 Peter Gott

2014 Nick Hallman

2013 George Banks

2012 Boyd Black / Kathryn Parham (Lunsford Youth Award)

2011 Paul Crouch

2010 David Shelton

2009 Leonard Hollifield

2008 Laura Boosinger

2007 Vernon and Ruth Riddle

2007 Doug Phillips

2006 Jerry Sutton

2005¬†Joe Penland / Donna Ray Norton, Denise Norton O’Sullivan , & Melanie Rice (Lunsford Youth Award)

2004 Bobby McMillon

2003 Marilyn McMinn-McCredie

2003 Mrs. Nelia Hyatt

2002 Terry Freeman

2002 Marvin Faulkner

2001 Ralph Lewis

2001 Vickie Hensley

2000 R. Kirk Randleman

2000 Buddy Davis

1999 Lena Jean Ray

1999 Roger Howell / Josh Goforth (Lunsford Youth Award)

1998 Bailey Mountain Cloggers


1998 Don Pedi

1998 Jerry Adams

1997 Sheila Kay Adams

1996 Gary Spence

1996 Hilary Dirlam

1995 Luke Smathers

1994 Johnny Rhymer

1993 Richard Dillingham

1993 Wayne Pressley

1992 Ralph Fox

1991 Danny Johnson

1990 Carroll Best

1989 Arvil Freeman

1988¬†Ernest ‚ÄúRed‚Ä̬†Ivester

1988 Ray Hutchinson

1987 Dellie Norton

1987 Mack Snoderly

1986 Thelma Parham

1986 Chub Parham

1986 Lamar Lunsford

1986 Quay Smathers

1985 Gordon Freeman

1984 Obray Ramsey

1983 Ed Howard

1982 Carl Chandler

1981 Byard Ray

1982 Betty Smith