By Tim Gardner
One of the North Carolina’s most anticipated and highly-popular annual events—the Avery County Heritage Festival– will be held this year on Saturday, June 24th on the Avery County/Newland Town Square, located across from the Avery County Court House in downtown Newland.
This is a family-oriented function and admission is free. It will start at 9:00 a.m. and conclude at 3:00 p.m. Those attending can visit booths and vendors while tracing their ancestral roots in the county. Visitors can also view demonstrations of homesteading skills from pioneer days.
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 history, which spans 112 years.
Those genealogists will come from all across Western North Carolina and join numerous local authors at the festival to share information from the past. Various books about Avery County, its personalities, happenings and events as well as others written by its natives or residents can be purchased at the festival.
Various arts and crafts vendors will offer their works for sale during the festival. Those will include: blacksmithing, quilting, wood turning, corn husk dolls and other related specialties.
Food and drink will also be available for purchase from various vendors.
The Avery County Cloggers will be featured at the festival. Additionally, Southern Gospel, bluegrass and country music will be performed.
Aneda Johnson, Director of the Avery County Historical Museum, sponsor of the Heritage Festival, said in a quote to High Country Press: “Avery County has a rich cultural heritage that the festival highlights. Avery may be the youngest county in North Carolina, but our ancestors were here before this area was named Avery County. We look forward to sharing that with the visitors of the Heritage Festival.”
The Avery County Historical Museum, located just a short 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.
Books related to Avery County can also be purchased at the historical museum.
Information about reserving a table or booth at the Heritage Festival and further details about it and the Avery County Historical Museum can be obtained in person at the Avery County Historical Society and Museum, 1829 Shultz Circle, Newland, NC 28657; by calling its office at (828) 733-7111; via email ([email protected]); logging onto its web site at: averycountymuseum.org; or on Avery’s Genealogy Society’s Social Media Facebook page (facebook.com/AveryCountyGenealogySociety).
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