The beloved Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair, forced into a pandemic pause last August after 63 years, returns to Burnsville’s Town Square, Aug. 6-7.
The event retains its Friday-Saturday format and focus on high-quality handmade crafts. However, a new executive director brings different ideas and a fresh perspective for 2021.
“Everybody is ready to hit the road and take part in something they missed out on last year, and we’re excited to have them come to Burnsville,” says Christy Jones, who was named executive director of the Burnsville-Yancey Chamber of Commerce this past October. “Considering the struggles we’ve all endured, we hope this year’s Crafts Fair will be one of the best ever.”
The Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair has an established reputation in the crafts world as a juried event that avoids mass-produced and resale items. Jones, who oversaw a large arts and crafts fair in Kansas, plans to build on the fair’s reputation by involving more top-notch artists from the surrounding Toe River Valley.
To accomplish that, Jones and her team developed incentives to entice area artists and crafters to participate in 2021.
“Yancey County has a wealth of talent, and we want them to be a big part of the fair,” Jones says. “Local artists and crafters who set up at the fair also become ambassadors for the arts scene in Burnsville and Yancey County. We see this initiative as important for the entire area.”
The juried entry process ensures a variety of crafts, from ceramics and wood carvings to jewelry, blown and sculpted glass, metalwork, textiles and woven baskets.
Favorite traditions, such as bluegrass music and clogging underneath the shade trees on the Town Square, will continue. Food trucks will complement the offerings from downtown eateries.
Hours for the Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.