The annual "Hee Haw & Howdy" fundraiser to benefit the American Cancer Society Relay For Life runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Harris Middle School.
The long-running revue, done in the style of the "Hee Haw" television program, combines cornpone humor with top local musicians and vocalists.
Show time will be 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, April 20 and 21, 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 22. Advance tickets are $10 and are available from cast members, Relay For Life committee members, or The Hair Company, 616 East Lane St.
Those who purchase luminaria to be displayed at the Relay For Life or sign up cancer survivors to participate in the Relay's survivor lap can get discount tickets for $5.
The show has been around since 1976. According to a 2000 feature story by Kay Rose on the occasion of the show's 25th installment, original "Hee Haw" television cast member Archie Campbell was honorary chair of the American Cancer Society in 1976, and he gave the organization the rights to produce local shows inspired by Hee Haw. The "& Howdy" part of the name was meant to distinguish these local programs from the TV show that inspired them.
The American Cancer Society uses the funds raised for research and for assistance programs, including Hope Lodge, a network of facilities where out-of-town cancer patients and their caregivers can stay overnight while undergoing treatment. The Hope Lodge facility in Nashville has served a number of Bedford County residents. Other ACS programs include "Look Good, Feel Better," which gives beauty advice to women undergoing chemotherapy as a way of boosting their mood and self-esteem.
"Hee Haw & Howdy" is now held in cooperation with the Relay For Life, the American Cancer Society's community fundraising and awareness campaign. The funds raised by the "Hee Haw & Howdy" show go into the pot for Relay, as do a number of other year-round fund-raisers, some of them held by individual Relay teams and others, like "Hee Haw & Howdy" or the upcoming "Cancer Sucks! Crawfish Festival," with the backing of the Relay organizing committee. The Relay For Life itself will be held from 6 p.m. June 1 until noon June 2 at Bedford County Agriculture and Education Center.