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Avery County Heritage Festival to be Held Saturday, June 29 in Newland’s Town Square

By Tim Gardner

The Avery County Heritage Festival, a popular and family-oriented annual function, will be held Saturday, June 29 on the county square across the road from the courthouse (200 Montezuma Street) in downtown Newland.

There is no admission charge to the event.  It 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 in the county. Visitors can also view demonstrations of homesteading skills from pioneer days.

Nationally renowned genealogists, artisans from a variety of media, war battle reenactors, and traditional mountain singers and musicians will appear to collectively help celebrate Avery County’s history, which spans 113 years.

The genealogists will come from all across Western North Carolina and join numerous local authors at the festival to share information from the past. 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 wood turning, corn husk dolls, and other specialties.

The Overmountain Men reenactors will share stories of the Revolutionary War’s Battle of Kings Mountain, considered the pivot of the war’s revolving stage, which swung the British from their succession of victories toward their surrender at Yorktown (Virginia), leading to their eventual loss to America in the war. Various American soldiers traveled through what would become Avery County during the Revolutionary War.

Additionally, Southern Gospel, Bluegrass, and Country music will be performed.

Food and drink will also be available for purchase from various vendors.

Aneda Johnson, Director of the Avery County Historical Museum, a sponsor of the Heritage Festival along with the Avery County Genealogy Society, said in quotes to High Country Press: “Avery County has an extremely rich cultural heritage that the festival highlights. Our county is the youngest in North Carolina, but our ancestors were here long before it was named Avery County. Our historical museum and genealogy society workers look forward to sharing that history with the visitors of the Heritage Festival. We invite all who want to and can to attend.”

The Avery County Historical Museum is housed in the old jail, only a short distance from the county square.  It will be open for tours throughout the day on June 29 as will the Linville Train Depot and Caboose—both adjacent to the historical museum.

The historical museum contains exhibits highlighting military history, medical, sports, education, cultural themes relating to mountain music and dance, and many other topics about Avery County and its natives and residents.

Books related to Avery County can also be purchased at the historical museum as well as at the Heritage Festival.

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 (averymuseum@gmail.com); logging onto its web site at: averycountymuseum.org; or on Avery’s Genealogy Society’s Social Media Facebook page (facebook.com/AveryCountyGenealogySociety).

During spring, summer, and fall months, the Avery County Historical Museum is open from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. each Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, excluding holidays. During winter months, it is open from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday except holidays.