Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The 30th annual Hank Snow Tribute will have to wait for another year. The event is being cancelled for the second year in a row due to COVID-19.
The annual Hank Snow Tribute takes place every third week in August at Liverpool's Queens Place Emera Centre. (QPEC) The four-day event attracts thousands of visitors to Liverpool and serves as the largest fundraiser for the Hank Snow Home Town Museum.
"It certainly wasn't an easy decision, and there were a number of factors that played into this," Jessica Smith, the administrator for the museum, commented in an email. "We don't feel that enough of Canada will be back to normal, or that restrictions will ease enough to host an event the size of the tribute by August. Safety is our number one concern," she added.
The Hank Snow Tribute attracts about 2,000 fans from across North America each year who come to meet up with friends, encounter new ones and listen to 30 to 35 country music acts over the weekend.
Normally open year-round, the museum was forced to close its doors last March due to the pandemic. It re-opened for a few weeks in late summer and early fall, but closed again as the second wave of COVID-19 hit the Maritimes.
Smith hopes they will be able to re-open the doors in the next few weeks.
To make up some of the lost revenue from the Hank Snow Tribute last year, the museum hosted barbecues, partnered up with another business for a 50/50 draw and co-opted fundraising efforts with the South Shore Drive-In Theatre.
Smith says they are already working on a line-up for the 2022 Hank Snow Tribute, which will feature renowned Country singer Carroll Baker. Baker now lives in Port Medway and has committed herself to the 30th annual show regardless when it takes place.
The Hank Snow Museum has been popular since opening in 1997 and welcomes an average of 3,000 visitors per year, not including visitors during tribute weekend.
The Hank Snow Tribute began in 1991 as a one-day music festival on Summerville Beach. It moved to the Queens County fairgrounds in Caledonia the following year before growing to the point where it was forced to relocate to the Bridgewater exhibition grounds. The country music festival returned to South Queens in 2013 following the construction of QPEC the previous year.
Snow, who was born in 1914 in Brooklyn, Queens County, and died in 1999, is a member of the County Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.
His website describes him as "one of the most distinctive stylists, one of the best songwriters, one of the most prolific recording artists, one of the finest guitarists, and one of the most masterful businessmen in the modern industry."
Snow's memorable hits include I'm Moving On, A Fool Such as I and I've Been Everywhere. He was a fixture at the Grand Ole Opry, where he was first introduced on stage by another iconic Country singer, Hank Williams.