Two shows by the bluegrass headliner Balsam Range and the opening of a Smithsonian exhibit highlight a full schedule of activities for Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Day, coming up Saturday, Sept. 29, on the campus in Cullowhee.
WCU’s free festival of Appalachian culture also will include 100 booths of the region’s finest arts and crafts and 30 vendors selling tempting festival food.
Activities at the 38th Mountain Heritage Day will take place between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except for the 5-K foot race, which is set for 8 a.m. Admission and parking are free.
The festival offers three stages of continuous mountain music and clogging, demonstrations of Cherokee stickball and other Cherokee games, shape-note singing and an antique auto show. The Children’s Tent will provide entertaining activities for younger visitors throughout the day, and kids also will enjoy free wagon rides and hayrides.
Mountain Heritage Day also offers a variety of fun contests and demonstrations of authentic mountain folk arts and skills. Visitors are encouraged to visit the university’s museum of Appalachian culture and history, the Mountain Heritage Center, to view its exhibits and displays, including the “Journey Stories” traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution.
The festival goes on, rain or shine. Pets are not allowed on festival grounds, but service animals are welcome. Festival attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets for comfortable seating. Shuttles operate throughout the day, with stops at designated locations.
For more information, go to Mountain Heritage Dayon the Web or call 828-227-7129.
8 a.m. – 5-K foot race begins
9 a.m. – Registration begins for chain saw contest
10 a.m. – Chain saw contest begins; festival booths open, offering arts, crafts and food; auto show begins; demonstrations of folk arts and skills begin; Mountain Heritage Center opens
10:30 a.m. – Exhibition of black-powder shooting and “Sacred Harp” shape-note sing begin
11 a.m. – Exhibition of Cherokee stickball begins
12:15 p.m. – Presentation of food contest awards, traditional attire contests for children and adults, and beard and moustache contest, all on Balsam Stage
1 p.m. – Exhibition of Cherokee courtship game “Fish” begins; presentation of arts and crafts awards, Mountain Heritage Awards and Eva Adcock Award on Blue Ridge Stage
1:30 p.m. – “Christian Harmony” shape-note sing begins; “The Liars Bench” show begins in the Mountain Heritage Center
2:30 p.m. – Exhibition of black-powder shooting
3 p.m. – Exhibition of Cherokee blowguns begins
4 p.m. – Mountain Heritage Center closes
5 p.m. – Festival closes
Rodney Sutton, master of ceremonies
10 a.m. – Boys from Tuckasegee
10:45 a.m. – Balsam Range with the Bailey Mountain Cloggers
11:30 a.m. – Queen Family
12:15 p.m. – Presentation of food contest awards, traditional attire contests for children and adults, and beard and moustache contest
12:30 p.m. – Roan Mountain Hilltoppers
1:15 p.m. – Trevor and Travis Stuart with the Cole Mountain Cloggers
2 p.m. – Hominy Valley Boys
2:45 p.m. – Heritage Alive talent contest winners
3:15 p.m. – Woolly Jumpers
4 p.m. – Deitz Family
BLUE RIDGE STAGE
Bill Nichols, master of ceremonies
10 a.m. – Mountain Faith
10:45 a.m. – Stoney Creek Boys
11:15 a.m. – J Creek Cloggers
11:30 a.m. – Whitewater Bluegrass Co.
12:15 p.m. – Jeff Little Trio
1 p.m. – Presentation of arts and crafts awards, Mountain Heritage Awards and Eva Adcock Award
1:15 p.m. – Tried Stone Gospel Choir
2 p.m. – Mars Hill Cloggers
2:15 p.m. – Stoney Creek Boys
2:45 p.m. – Phil and Gaye Johnson
3:15 p.m. – Balsam Range
4:15 p.m. – Jeff Little Trio
FOLK ARTS AND SKILLS DEMONSTRATIONS
(10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Curtis Allison and Dwayne Franks – horses and mules
Lori and Chuck Anderson – corn-shuck crafts and broom-making
Robert Craig – wood carving
Nancy Hornbuckle – river-cane basketry
Jim Long – river-cane mats
William Rogers – coppersmithing
Joe Williams – berry buckets
R.O. Wilson – logging skills
Max Woody – chair-making
LIVING HISTORY DEMONSTRATIONS
(10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Charles Brown and Bob Plott – 18th-century hunters camp
Bill Bisher – 18th-century knives
Bill Carter – powder horn carving
Earl Lanning – gunsmith
George Mathews – chair-making
Phil Jamison, moderator for musical circles
10 a.m. – “In, Out, Through and Back Again: Smoky Mountain Journeys” presented by the Jackson County Historical Society
11:15 a.m. – Fiddle Circle with Ethan Fortner, Summer McMahan, Beanie O’Dell and Trevor Stuart
1 p.m. – Train Songs Circle with the Deitz Family, Ted White, Phil and Gaye Johnson, Henry Queen and Balsam Range
3 p.m. – Banjo Circle with Junior Queen, Travis Stuart and Steve Sutton
10 a.m. – Heritage toys and activities
12 p.m. – Cherokee storyteller Lloyd Arneach
12:30 p.m. – J Creek Cloggers
1 p.m. – Balsam Range
1:30 p.m. – Jackson County Junior Appalachian Musicians Program
2 p.m. – Play party games
2:30 p.m. – Cole Mountain Cloggers
3 p.m. – Heritage toys and activities
MOUNTAIN HERITAGE CENTER EXHIBITS
(10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
“Journey Stories” – GRAND OPENING. On tour from the Smithsonian, this exhibit explores how transportation helped build the nation, how it has changed the nation’s people, and how the people’s journeys have shaped America’s cultural and economic landscape.
“Horace Kephart in the Great Smoky Mountains” – Examines the life of one of the founders of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and showcases the museum’s collection of his camping gear.
“Migration of the Scotch-Irish People” – Newly updated, focuses on early settlers to the mountains and explores the tension between religion and law.
“Western Carolina: The Progress of an Idea” – An examination of Robert Lee Madison’s “Cullowhee Idea.”
“A Craftsman’s Legacy: The Furniture of Jesse Bryson Stalcup” – Handcrafted furniture from the early 1900s.