The annual Mountain Heritage Day serves as a community and campus celebration of Southern Appalachian culture presented by Western Carolina University since 1974. Mountain Heritage Day takes place on the last Saturday of September from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The festival is known for bluegrass, old-time, and traditional music; a morning 5K race; chainsaw and timber sports competitions; an antique and classic car and truck show; and Cherokee stickball games. In addition to musical performers on two stages, there are opportunities on the grounds for everyone to join in singing, with a shape-note singing and ballad singing circle. The Mountain Heritage Awards, given in honor of achievements in historic preservation and outstanding cultural contributions in the region, are presented in a ceremony mid-day.
Visitors to the festival can also enjoy dozens of food and craft vendors and family-friendly activities including an interactive kids’ area, tractor rides, and sing-alongs. The folk arts demonstrations include Cherokee basketry, wood and stone carving, blacksmithing, corn shuck crafts, quilts, and working horses and mules. More than 150 arts and crafts vendors also will be on hand with creations ranging from furniture and jewelry to leather goods and metalwork. With its performances and demonstrations, the festival is equal measures county fair, craft guild exhibit, and traditional handicrafts display.
September 25, 2021