Valle Country Fair Celebrates 40 Years on Oct. 20

Published Friday, October 12, 2018 at 11:33 am

For 40 years, and old-fashion cider press has been operated continually throughout the fair day to turn apples into refreshment for fairgoers. The sweet golden elixir is also available to take home by the gallon. Photo by Ted Moree.

VALLE CRUCIS, NC – “Fellowship” and “fun” were the catchwords in October of 1978 when the parishioners of Holy Cross Episcopal Church jumped headlong into the adventure that was the first Valle Country Fair. The little church fete has grown by an undreamt-of extent in its first 40 years, but the friendships and community built as the people of the Valle come together to put on the 2018 celebration are as strong, enduring and rooted in a sense of place as those from the first Fair. 
Alongside fellowship and fun, the Valle Crucis community is on a mission to raise funds for helping people in need. Over the past 39 years, the Fair has raised many hundreds of thousands of dollars for area charities and families in crisis.
“The Valle Country Fair is a great celebration of 40 years of helping others through community service and having fun,” said Ray Lutz, who Co-chairs the Fair with his wife, Pam Conover. 
Homemade items for sale 40 years ago included Lorena Townsend and Beulah Puckett‘s balsam pillows, Dedy Traver’s dolls and soft-bodied animals and Peggy Tester’s cases and cases of jellies. Polly Capps assigned every family in the church to bake 13 pies, and children of the church kicked in by baking 50-dozen chocolate chip cookies. Jim Hatch and Jim Tester roasted a whole hog, Bill Welch pressed apples into cider and Louise Hatch ran the Granny’s Attic rummage sale. Charlie Clement tried to auction off Al Traver’s ’65 Buick Electra, but no one would bid on it.
The Valle Country Fair is always held on the third Saturday in October (Saturday, October 20, 2018), spreading out across a large hay field on the grounds of the Valle Crucis Conference Center on NC Highway 194. Admission is free and parking is available in the adjoining field for $10 per car. NO PETS are allowed, but pet-sitting is provided for a fee by local animal rescue groups.

Exhibitors are carefully chosen to offer fairgoers the highest quality handmade crafts available and to insure that there is a wide variety of unique crafts available for the shoppers. The 160 crafters selected for the event donate 10% of their earnings back to the charitable work of the fair. Photo by Ted Moree.

One-hundred-sixty craft exhibitors set up tents along wide lanes that meander back and forth between a picturesque red barn and a field of sorghum. Bales of hay are stacked in the intersections of these walkways to offer fairgoers places to sit while they ponder which craft booths to visit next.
Exhibitors submit to a jury process designed to bring together the highest quality handmade crafts available and to assure fairgoers that there is a wide variety of unique product to choose between.  As a show of support, exhibitors donate 10% of their earnings back to the charitable work of the Fair.
Two stages host entertainment throughout the day.  The stage located near the dining tent showcases the best in local bluegrass, country and gospel music.  A second stage located near the Kids’ Activity Area features cloggers, magicians and more. Diversions offered in the Kids’ Area include games like Twister and pumpkin bowling, arts and crafts, pumpkin carving, and creating Halloween treats.
In recent years, Mason’s Snow Lodge #363 of Boone has covered the cost of the ingredients that church members simmer down into the Brunswick Stew and chili that they serve alongside barbecue and grilled sausages. United Foods kicks in by selling supplies for the Fair at cost and by providing a refrigerated truck for church cooks to safely store their culinary offerings until the food can be served to guests.
Fairgoers are encouraged to take a vacation from cooking on the night of the 20th as well, because the Brunswick Stew, barbecue and chili can all be purchased by the quart for later consumption – as can baked goods, jams & jellies, apple cider and apple butter! Plus, the food concessions operated by the church return 100% of their earnings to Fair charities!
Receiving grants from the Valle Country Fair in 2018 are Casting Bread Ministries, the Community Care Clinic, Hospitality House, Mountain Alliance, Parent-to-Parent Family Support Network, Reaching Avery Ministry, Spirit Ride Therapeutic Riding Center and W.A.M.Y. Community Action. The outreach committee at Holy Cross Church distributes all remaining proceeds throughout the year to individuals and families in crisis
The Valle Country Fair is held in a large pasture located beside NC Highway 194 between Valle Crucis and Banner Elk. Admission to the Fair is FREE and parking is available in the adjoining field for $10 per car, $25 for a small bus or van, and $50 for a motor coach.  NO PETS are allowed, but local animal rescue groups provide pet-sitting for a fee just outside the main gate.
The event is sponsored by Holy Cross Episcopal Church in cooperation with the Valle Crucis Conference Center. All proceeds are used to help people in need.  For more information, contact Holy Cross Church at 828-963-4609 or visit the Fair on the Web at



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