41st Annual Valle Country Fair Returns to Valle Crucis on Saturday, October 19

Published Tuesday, October 1, 2019 at 1:45 pm

Each year the Valle Country Fair can be counted on to showcase the very best in local bluegrass, country and gospel music. The main stage is located next to the dining tent so that fairgoers can enjoy mountain music while they savor the flavors of Brunswick Stew and barbecue. (Photo by Ted Moree)

Mountain music, handmade crafts, barbecue, Brunswick stew, apple cider, apple butter, and peak autumn color all come together in a huge hay field at the heart of Valle Crucis, NC, on Saturday, October 19 at the Valle Country Fair. What started as a little church bazaar in 1978 now welcomes thousands and has raised more than $1 million for local charities over its first 40 years.

Always held on the third Saturday in October, the Valle Country Fair takes over the grounds of the Valle Crucis Conference Center on NC Highway 194 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Admission is free and ample parking is available in the adjoining field for $10 per car. Please note that NO PETS are allowed.

The tents of 160 craft exhibitors line wide lanes that meander back and forth across the grounds. Bales of hay are stacked in the intersections of these alleys to offer fairgoers a spot to sit as they ponder which craft booths to visit next.

Artisans submit to a jury process designed to bring together the highest quality handmade crafts available, and to ensure fairgoers that there is a wide variety of unique products to choose between. As a show of support, craftspeople participating in the event donate at least 10% of their earnings back to the charitable work of the Fair.

Two stages are set up to provide entertainment throughout the day. The main stage is located near the dining tent and features the best in local mountain music.

New in 2019 is the participation of the Junior Appalachian Musicians program. The award-winning New River JAM band, made up of teens from northwest North Carolina and southwest Virginia, is joining the list of popular local bands preforming on the main stage.

A second stage located near the Kids’ Activity Area features cloggers and other younger performers. Diversions offered in the Kids’ Area include games, pumpkin bowling, arts and crafts, and face painting. Kids can also interact with ponies from Spirit Ride Therapeutic Riding Center and alpacas from the Apple Hill Farm!

Eat all you want at the Valle Country Fair because almost all of the food concessions are operated by the church or by other non-profit organizations that return 100% of their earnings to local charities. Tables and chairs are provided under a large tent next to the music stage so that fairgoers can enjoy the entertainment while they dine.

Food concessions include Brunswick Stew, barbecue, chili, hot dogs and hamburgers, corndogs, sausages with onions, ham biscuits, ice cream, funnel cakes, baked goods, jams and jellies, freshly pressed apple cider and apple butter cooked on the grounds.

Guests are encouraged to take a vacation from cooking on the night of the 19th as well, because the Brunswick Stew, barbecue and chili can all be purchased by the quart for later consumption – as can baked goods, jams and jellies, apple cider, and apple butter!

The 2019 Valle Country Fair grant recipients are the Children’s Council, the Creative Peacemaker Center, Hunger and Health Coalition, Mountain Alliance, Parent-to-Parent Family Support Network, Spirit Ride Therapeutic Riding Center, W.A.M.Y. Community Action, and the Watauga County Schools Extended Learning Centers. The outreach committee at Holy Cross Church distributes all remaining proceeds to individuals and families in crisis.

Admission is FREE and parking is available in the adjoining field for $10 per car. Please, NO PETS are allowed. Holy Cross Episcopal Church and the Valle Crucis Conference Center sponsor the event with all proceeds going to help people in need. For more information, contact Holy Cross Church at 828-963-4609 or www.vallecountryfair.org.

Face painting is just one of the diversions offered for youngsters at the Valle Country Fair. Other activities include games, pumpkin bowling, pumpkin carving and getting up close with ponies and alpacas! (Photo by Ted Moree)

The Apple Butter Boys start the fire under their big copper kettles before dawn, stirring the bubbling hot apple sweetness throughout the morning. The delicious condiment is ready to dip into mason jars by early afternoon. (Photo by Scott Sharpe)

Two stages are set up to provide entertainment throughout the day. The stage located near the dining tent features the best in local mountain music while the youth stage near the Kid’s Activity Area features square dancers, cloggers and other younger performers. (Photo by Scott Sharpe)

“Jelly Queen” Dedy Traver and the ladies of Holy Cross Church can all summer to prepare hundreds of jars of jams, jellies and pickles for guests who are looking for flavors they remember from their grandmothers’ kitchens. Says Traver, “Making jams and jellies to sell is fun, but the important thing is that the Fair brings the church community together to help those less fortunate in our area.” (Photo by Catherine Morton)

The Valle Country Fair offers lots of distractions for every member of the family. There is an activity area where young’uns can play games, carve pumpkins, visiting with live alpacas, get their face painted, or clap hands along with local clog teams. (Photo by Ann Gerber)

Crafts sold at the Valle Country Fair are all handmade by regional artists. Organizers have a jury process that ensures that no two craft booths sell exactly the same product and that a broad range of artistic expressions are presented. (Photo by Catherine Morton)

Kathy Cole of Boone demonstrates the art of spinning at the Valle Country Fair. Several of the 160 exhibitors on hand at the Fair will demonstrate the techniques that go into producing the quality handmade crafts they offer for sale. (Photo by Scott Sharpe)

 

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