There’s a place off N.C. Highway 115 not far from Statesville. It’s a full-size replica of a cowboy town from the Old West and was built shortly after World War II by a guy named Andy Barker just because he wanted to and could.
These days, folks who like to dress up as cowpokes and/or ride horses go to Love Valley and hang out at the old-time saloon and other stores. They shuffle up and down the dirt main street where vehicles are verboten, and ride their steeds on the miles of trails that weave through the surrounding hills.
But Love Valley is also known for something else, at least by about 100,000 baby boomers, and that is the rock festival that took place there in July 1970. I know because I was there.
I had just graduated from Garinger High and was 18 years old when it took place. I don’t recall how I found out about it. Maybe I saw a poster at the Canned Heat head shop those of us with long hair frequented. Whatever, I decided I would go see what the buzz was all about.
I persuaded my pal Scott “Brutus” Casey to go the festival with me. We loaded up my 1960 Chevy with plenty of canned spaghetti and Boone’s Farm wine and headed out. Even before we got anywhere near Love Valley the road was jammed with cars and droves of hippies and hippie-wannabes trudging along the shoulder with but one thought: Get to the happening at Love Valley.
Brutus and I arrived and found a parking spot in a little field at the base of the hill in town. There were tens of thousands of people milling about, mostly dressed in bell-bottom jeans and tie-dyed shirts of every hue. Some folks weren’t so well clad. I recall several chaps striding along in loincloths, and hippie girls in fringed short shorts
and equally skimpy tops. One gentleman was walking around staring at the sky dressed only in white cotton briefs. Heck, it was 90-plus degrees.
Brutus and I elbowed our way to the end of the main street and at the bottom of the precipice there gazed down at the stage set up in a rodeo arena below. The sight was breathtaking. As far as you could see were flower children….
Continued via… Source: ALAN HODGE COLUMN: Freedom found in Love Valley | News | statesville.com