Franklin County Moonshine Heritage

April is a Moonshine Heritage Month in Franklin County, Virginia

Moonshine Car Show Lineup

Franklin County is the ‘Moonshine Capital of the World’

You’ve heard about Franklin County, you’ve talked about Franklin County – and now here’s an opportunity to savor the flavor that’s purely Franklin County.  Mention the county just about anywhere and you’re sure to hear a story or two about our moonshine heritage.

Nestled among the foothills of the Blue Ridge, we are the Front Door to Virginia’s mountains, Virginia’s Rail Heritage Region and The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail.  Not to mention two lakes, four rivers and two historic towns.  We are your destination gateway to traditions steeped in heritage through arts, music – old and new, and culture.

Moonshine – Blue Ridge Style: The History and Culture of Untaxed Liquor in the Mountains of Virginia

Over the years hundreds of travel articles and books have been written about the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. The Blue Ridge Institute and Museum at Ferrum College has compiled an in-depth website highlighting this history. (Learn more…)

2017 Featured Events

Exciting lineup for 2018 coming soon!

Moonshine Motors: Moonshine-Themed Car Show in Rocky Mount
April 1, 2017 – Early Inn at the Grove

Moonshine Car ShowThe Blue Ridge Institute & Museum of Ferrum College has arranged for a great collection of vintage automobiles that graced the back roads and highways during the moonshine era in Franklin County. Come enjoy some nostalgia and hear tales of glory of these magnificent cars of bygone times. Enjoy learning about customizations made to outrun the law or to ship supplies to still sights around the county. These wonderfully restored and maintained vehicles are sure to turn some heads. (Learn more…)


Moonshine Madness: A Music and Moonshine Event in Rocky Mount
April 1, 2017 – Early Inn
at the Grove

Lee Palmer imageCelebrate the heritage of moonshine making in Franklin County with moonshine and entertainment under the big tent at the Grove. Enjoy live musical performances from local musicians including Canned Biskits, Roger Handy & Charlie Milliron and Friends, Monster Atlantic, and Lee Palmer & Hotwired. Savor the taste of delicious local food, regionally distilled moonshine, beer and wine. The event also features a variety of entertainment including competitions, dancing, and an opportunity to socialize with real moonshiners as they share tales of their past and celebrate veteran newspaper reporter Morris Stephenson’s 80th birthday. (Learn more…)


Moonshine Express: A Journey into Franklin County’s Moonshine Heritage
April 9, 2017 – Town of Rocky Mount & Benjamin Franklin Middle School

Moonshine Express imageHear true tales about likker makin’ in ‘The Moonshine Capital of The World.’ 80+ characters & interpreters tell the story of moonshining in Franklin County. VA. Learn how they made it and why – and some of the more amusing consequences. Tales of prohibition, antique barrooms, likker makers and drinkers. Ride a vintage tour bus, stopping at multiple scenes around the county seat – Rocky Mount. Vintage people, vehicles. Full-size replica likker still – a veteran of the trade tells you how it operated. Meet folks from both sides of the law, hear from the most famous lady rum runner of her time and hear ‘church women’ decry Demon Rum. ‘Gwakers Row’ – where you can see vehicles that hauled moonshine likker or could have. (Learn more…)


Chug for the Jug: 5K Race, Health Walk and Kids Fun Run
April 29, 2017 – Rocky Mount Farmers Market

Chug for Jug 2017 LogoJoin us at the Rocky Mount Farmers Market on for the 11th Annual Chug for the Jug 5K Race, Health Walk and Kids Fun Run. The Kids Fun Run begins at 7:30 a.m. followed by the 5K Race and Health Walk at 8 a.m. Participants will take a morning run through the rolling hills of historic uptown/downtown Rocky Mount. After the race awards will be presented by age divisions, food will be available, and door prizes will be given. Participants may register online or on race day at 6:30 a.m. Pre-registered participants will receive a race T-shirt. (Learn more…)

Franklin County’s Signature Moonshine Festival

Love signBased on its success in 2016 and public demand for a repeat performance, planning has begun to bring back this event.  Over 8,000 people attended the event in 2016.  The Franklin County Office of Economic Development – Tourism is assisting with the project.  Potential vendors and others are encouraged to submit contact information and business offering details to be added to a contact list.  Please send e-mail to: – include Moonshine Festival in the subject line.

Moonshine, Wine and Crafted Brews

In keeping with its unique heritage, Franklin County is home to a number of fine spirited establishments.




A few of the craft  brewers have even developed special moonshine-themed products which vary in availability due to season.

From Our Hands to Yours: Franklin County’s White Lightning Artisan Trail

“In textiles & wood, in metals & gems, on canvas & paper, and in glass & clay, we stir your heart and move mind.”

The heritage and pride of Franklin County with its moonshine takes many forms.  Come explore and experience such treats as world-class ice cream, to the bounty of our harvests, to the glory of our forests and flowers.  Our farms, artisans and traditional music is sure to please your senses, stir your heart and move your mind.