By Tim Gardner
The highly-popular Avery County Heritage Festival will be held this year on Saturday, June 26 on the Avery County and Town of Newland Square, located across from the Avery County Court House in downtown Newland.
Admission is free to the event, which will start at 9:00 a.m. and end at 3:00 p.m. Those attending can visit booths and vendors while tracing their ancestral roots from the county.
“Excitement about the Heritage Festival is extremely high and I hope all who can will attend the celebration as it will offer displays, exhibits and many other interesting and fun things about, and related to Avery County and its heritage and history,” said Virginia “Tense” Banks of the Avery Historical Society.
Nationally-renowned genealogists, artisans in a variety of media and traditional mountain musicians will gather on the square to collectively help celebrate Avery County’s rich and storied history, which spans 110 years.
Those genealogists will come from across Western North Carolina and join numerous local authors at the festival. Various arts and crafts vendors will offer their works for sale. Those will include: blacksmithing, quilting, wood turning, corn husk dolls and other related specialties.
A raffle will also be held and food and drink vendors will be available.
The Avery County Cloggers will be featured at the festival. Southern Gospel, bluegrass and country music will also be performed.
Among the others scheduled musical activities are live jam sessions on the square and a street dance at Carolina Barbeque in Newland immediately following the festival.
Additionally, vintage children’s games will be featured during the festival.
The Avery County Historical Museum, located just a short walking distance from the Square will also be open for tours throughout the day as will the Linville Train Depot and Caboose—both located adjacent to the historical museum.
The historical museum is housed in the original county jail. Located inside are exhibits highlighting military history, medical, sports, education, cultural themes relating to mountain music and dance and many other topics of Avery County interest.
Various books about Avery County, its personalities and happening as well as others written by its natives or residents can be purchased at the historical museum.
More information about the Heritage Festival and Avery County Historical Museum may be obtained in person at the Avery County Historical Society and Museum, 1829 Shultz Circle, Newland, NC 28657 or by calling its office at: (828) 733-7111.