WCU’s 33rd annual Mountain Heritage Day was ‘resounding success’

Jackson County native David Ammons demonstrates the skill of “chair caning.” Ammons was one of 16 area artists demonstrating the authentic folk skills of the Southern Appalachians.

Jackson County native David Ammons demonstrates the skill of “chair caning.” Ammons was one of 16 area artists demonstrating the authentic folk skills of the Southern Appalachians.

The 33rd edition of Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Day on Saturday (Sept. 29) was “another resounding success,” attracting one of the largest crowds in the festival’s history.

That was the assessment of festival Chairman Scott Philyaw after he and the 22 other members of WCU’s Mountain Heritage Day Committee watched thousands of visitors enjoy continuous mountain music and dance, arts and crafts, traditional mountain food, demonstrations of authentic folk arts, and other festival attractions under bright blue late-September skies.

Mountain Heritage Day typically attracts crowds in excess of 25,000 to the WCU campus on the last Saturday each September.

“As the Sylva Herald noted in an editorial last week, Mountain Heritage Day is ‘a gift from the college to the community.’ It’s our way of saying thank you to the community that started this institution in 1889,” Philyaw said.

Philyaw said the festival would not happen each year without “a lot of hard work and dedication from Mountain Heritage Day Committee members and other volunteers.” In particular, he cited the efforts of WCU’s police force and the crew of facilities management.

“It’s one thing to work hard – it’s a lot more to work hard with a smile on your face, and that’s what our volunteers do,” he said.

In addition to Philyaw, members of the festival committee are Kevin Ayers, Carroll Brown, Lila Buchanan, Kevin Cope, Michele Glover, Mark Haskett, Debbie Higdon, Randall Holcombe, Ernie Hudson, Tom Johnson, Peter Koch, Ron Mau, Suzanne McDowell, Mike Nichols, Cindy Nicholson, Norman Parris, Jim Rowell, Zeta Smith, Tammy Sutton, Roger Turk and Leila Tvedt.

Norman Parris of Sylva (left), a community member of WCU's Mountain Heritage Day Committee, was honored at the festival Saturday, Sept. 29, as recipient of the 2007 Eva Adcock Award. The award is given to a committee member who has provided exceptional and significant service to Mountain Heritage Day. Parris has been a festival volunteer for more than a decade, and he has been in charge of the Mountain Heritage Day woodcutting contest for several years. The award, presented by festival Chairman Scott Philyaw (right), is named in honor of the late Eva Adcock, whose strong leadership and dedication to Southern Appalachian music and dance helped make Mountain Heritage Day a success from its earliest years.

Norman Parris of Sylva (left), a community member of WCU’s Mountain Heritage Day Committee, was honored at the festival Saturday, Sept. 29, as recipient of the 2007 Eva Adcock Award. The award is given to a committee member who has provided exceptional and significant service to Mountain Heritage Day. Parris has been a festival volunteer for more than a decade, and he has been in charge of the Mountain Heritage Day woodcutting contest for several years. The award, presented by festival Chairman Scott Philyaw (right), is named in honor of the late Eva Adcock, whose strong leadership and dedication to Southern Appalachian music and dance helped make Mountain Heritage Day a success from its earliest years.