BRISTOL, Tenn. – Fans of "The Dukes of Hazzard" (search) came from as far away as Australia to meet cast members, buy T-shirts and listen to country music at a festival marking the 25th anniversary of the television show's first season.
Hundreds of people showed up Saturday for the first day of the two-day DukesFest 2004. The show, which critics loved to hate, aired from 1979 to 1985 on CBS, ranking No. 1 for its time slot each season.
Catherine Bach, now 50 but still with long brown hair, wore a low-cut pink sun dress — not the trademark short-shorts made so famous by her Daisy Duke (search) character that such sexy attire is often referred to simply as "Daisy Dukes."
Fans lined up for more than two hours to have Bach sign posters, T-shirts and other "Dukes" paraphernalia and have their pictures taken with her.
"We love our fans as much as they love us," Bach said.
Fans loved to watch characters Bo and Luke outrun Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane and his deputies by jumping their orange 1969 Dodge Charger — dubbed the General Lee — across creeks and off dirt ramps. They were the good guys, outwitting the corrupt Boss Hogg.
John Schneider and Tom Wopat, who played Bo and Luke Duke, were not able to attend because they were performing elsewhere.
Besides Bach, other actors on hand were Ben Jones (Cooter the mechanic), James Best (Rosco), Rick Hurst (deputy Cletus) and Sonny Stroyer (Deputy Enos). Sorrell Booke, who played Boss Hogg, and Denver Pyle, who played Uncle Jesse, are deceased.
Fans watched stuntmen jump cars and listened to country music. Nearly 50 1969 Dodge Chargers made up to like the car dubbed the "General Lee" in the show were on hand.
Jones organized the first DukesFest in 2001 in Sperryville, Va. The celebration outgrew the site and moved to the grounds of the Bristol Motor Speedway.
Elaine Fallon and Leslie Harvey of Ireland were attending their second DukesFest. They said they believe they will have the only "General Lee" in their country after recently buying a Charger in Los Angeles and having it shipped home.