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Mountains of Music & Community: Celebrating at Bluff Mountain Festival

The 27th Bluff Mountain Festival was held on the grounds of Hot Springs Resort and Spa in Hot Springs, NC. This event is a fundraiser for the Madison County Arts Council (MCAC) and other local nonprofits; however, 27 years ago, it began as a way to save Bluff Mountain’s wilderness. The US Forestry Service was going to begin logging, but the area was saved thanks to the festival’s popularity.

Musicians gathered to play bluegrass and old-time music while clogging groups performed in front of the stage. Some attendees even came prepared with their own clogging shoes to tap around. Local artists and organizations had booths. Art included woodworking, metalworking, soapmaking, and more. Some organizations present included Teens of Madison County, the Appalachian Barn Alliance, and MCAC.

Performers included:

  • MCAC Junior Appalachian Musicians
  • Appalachian Heart Strings
  • Madison County Ballad Singers
  • Dillen & Reeves
  • Newfound Gap
  • Green Grass Cloggers
  • Stoney Creek Boys
  • Southern Appalachian Cloggers
  • Sourwood Ridge
  • White Rock Revival
  • Rhonda Gouge
  • Roger Howell

This year’s festival was dedicated to Betty Smith, who passed away on December 1, 2023. Betty, a ballad singer and talented musician, founded the festival and performed yearly.