By Katelyn Jenkins
The 31st annual Christmas in July Festival will be returning to the High Country in Downtown West Jefferson. The Festival began in 1987 as a celebration of the Christmas Tree Industry Ashe County, NC is known for. In 2015, Ashe County, NC was named the #1 Christmas Tree producer in the United States.
The festival kicks off June 30 at 3 p.m. with live music. From 5-10 p.m. you can enjoy the food vendors and from 5-8 p.m. you can check out all the farmers market has to offer.
On Saturday, July 1 the festival begins at 9 a.m. and will go on until 7 p.m.
You can expect live music from an array of bands on both days, food trucks, arts and crafts vendors, street performers, a civil war reenactment and the famous Christmas tree competition. There will also be plenty of activities for children to participate in, so bring the kids along for the fun!
All genres of music will be played every hour of the day from local and regional bands including Backporch Bluegrass, Amantha Mill, the Elkville String Band, Jeff Little and Never Too Late just to name a few. There will be plenty of mountain music, guitar picking and piano playing for everyone to sing and dance to.
The Christmas tree contest tradition promotes a little friendly competition among Ashe county Christmas tree growers. This year the judges will be the festival goers. This is a good way for the growers to get some feedback on what consumers are looking for in their award winning Christmas trees.
Judging is between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. with the winner being announced at 4 p.m. The winner of the contest will be awarded $1,000 and a trophy!
Any Ashe county Christmas tree farmers interested in participating can deliver their tree to Parsons Farm Fertilizer and Feed, 1 State St., West Jefferson, between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Friday, June 30.
This event is free to the public.
Thousands of people attend this festival each year, so there will be some road closures throughout the weekend.
Parking is available at a first come, first serve basis.