Organizers pleased with turnout at WCU’s Mountain Heritage Day festival

If you hold Mountain Heritage Day, they will come.

Despite a gasoline crunch and forecasts for a rainy day, a healthy crowd turned out Saturday (Sept. 27) for the 34th edition of Mountain Heritage Day, Western Carolina University’s annual celebration of Appalachian culture.

Festival organizers said they were elated with the turnout at the event, reporting that attendance was down just slightly from the past years’ average of about 25,000. “The crowd was especially good considering the recent gas shortages in the region and the fact that forecasters had called for showers throughout the day,” said festival Chairman Scott Philyaw.

The rain never came and the clouds created comfortable temperatures for visitors on the Cullowhee campus, he said.

Among the day’s activities was the presentation of WCU’s Mountain Heritage Awards for 2008 to the musical duo of Gar Mosteller and Doyle Barker, and to the Green Grass Cloggers.

To see a photo gallery from the festival, go to