State Rep. Johnny Rye sponsors act establishing John R. ‘Johnny’ Cash Day

State Rep. Johnny Rye (center) discusses initiatives in support of the Johnny Cash Heritage Festival with Shane Broadway (left) and Dr. Charles L. Welch at the state Capitol.

JONESBORO — State Rep. Johnny Rye presented a framed copy of Act 916 of 2021, establishing John R. “Johnny” Cash Day in Arkansas, and a letter from Gov. Asa Hutchinson, recognizing the significance of the 2021 Johnny Cash Heritage Festival, to Arkansas State University officials.

John R. “Johnny” Cash Day will be Feb. 26 of each year, a salute to the music legend’s birthday of Feb. 26, 1932.

Dr. Chuck Welch, president of the Arkansas State University System, and Shane Broadway, vice president for university relations, accepted the items on behalf of the university.

Rye, who sponsored the legislation, represents Arkansas District 54, which includes portions of Poinsett and Mississippi counties. Historic Dyess Colony: Johnny Cash Boyhood Home is an A-State Heritage Site in Mississippi County.

The 2021 festival will be presented online, Oct. 15-16. General tickets for the virtual festival are available for $35 and includes access to all streaming sessions. VIP tickets are $75 and include the streaming sessions and an in-person event on Friday, Oct. 15, that will feature live local music, food and drink, and a watch party of a concert featuring Johnny Cash’s daughter, Rosanne Cash.

Tickets may be purchased through the festival website, JohnnyCash HeritageFestival.com.

The headline event with Rosanne Cash will include special performances by 14 of her musical friends. Those joining Cash include Marty Stuart and John Carter Cash and his wife Ana, along with previously announced artists Cedric Burnside, Jessica Coombs, Sheryl Crow, Rodney Crowell, Dailey & Vincent, Erin Enderlin, Vince Gill, Sarah Jarosz, Jamey Johnson, Keb’ Mo’, The Milk Carton Kids, Margo Price, Darius Rucker, and Chris Stapleton.

Other events on the JCHF agenda include presentations by a slate of international scholars on the festival theme, “Social Justice in the Life and Music of Johnny Cash.”

The festival is coordinated through Arkansas State University Heritage Sites and licensed through the John R. Cash Revocable Trust.

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