Doc and Rosa Lee Watson

Doc and Rosa Lee Watson talk with fans during the second annual Doc Watson Appreciation Day held at the historic Cove Creek High School in 1999.

SUGAR GROVE — After a multi-year hiatus, the Doc and Rosa Lee Watson MusicFest ‘N Sugar Grove will return to the High Country on Saturday, July 18, for the festival’s 20th event.

The news came from the MusicFest ‘N Sugar Grove’s Facebook page on Dec. 28, 2019, a departure from prior years’ posts that announced that there would not be a festival in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

“Thank you for your continued interest and support throughout the years,” the post reads. “It is with great pleasure that we announce the Doc and Rosa Lee Watson MusicFest ‘N Sugar Grove will be held on July 18, 2020! ... Stay tuned for more information and musicians who will be a part of 2020’s festival!”

The MusicFest ‘N Sugar Grove festival last took place in 2016, and it was a two-day event.

On July 14, 2016, in an article titled “19th annual MusicFest ‘N Sugar Grove — The High Country honors Doc and Rosa Lee Watson,” the Watauga Democrat reported that “the festival is run completely by volunteers and all proceeds go to the next festival and maintaining the Historic Cove Creek School and the Doc and Merle Watson Folk Art Museum.”

Organizers of the July 2020 event are finalizing the ticketing system and lineup for the festival. To learn more and stay up-to-date, visit the festival’s Facebook page at

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