By Nathan Ham
The long-running Brushy Mountain Apple Festival in downtown North Wilkesboro is sure to bring a big crowd out on the street this Saturday for the 42nd straight year.
The first Saturday in October always marks the special occasion each year. While the weather can be unpredictable this time of year, this weekend’s edition of the festival looks like a warm, clear day in the foothills.
Events get underway on Friday evening with the “Apple Jam” music show that takes place at the corner of 10th and Main in downtown North Wilkesboro. Music starts at 6 p.m. and will continue until 9 p.m. Be sure to bring your favorite lawn chair and prepare to relax and enjoy some great music as the sun goes down.
The main event fires up at 8 a.m. Saturday morning with what is considered one of the largest one-day arts and crafts festivals in the southern United States with an average of over 160,000 people coming to the festival. The event also sets up as a major fundraiser for a lot of social organizations, church groups and non-profit organizations.
More than 425 arts and craft vendors and 100 food concession vendors line the streets with four different music stages offering bluegrass, country, folk, gospel and Appalachian Heritage music.
The festival will be open until 5 p.m. on Saturday evening.
Free parking for the festival in town is fairly limited and is on a first-come-first-served basis, however, there are several lots around the festival that will be managed by church groups, civic organizations and fire departments that will be charging a small fee that they will use to benefit their programs.
There is a shuttle service to take the hassle out of worrying whether or not you can find a parking spot at the festival. The shuttle parking area will be located at the West Park Center, near Wilkes Regional Hospital and fairgrounds. Shuttles will arrive at West Park Center every 20 minutes and will drop festivalgoers off at the event. The shuttle service will begin an hour before the event starts on Saturday morning.
Festival brochures, regulations, vendor lists and parking information can be found online at the Brushy Mountain Apple Festival website.