By Tim Gardner
The highly-popular Avery County Heritage Festival will be held this year on Saturday, June 25th on the Avery County/Newland Town Square, located across from the Avery County Court House in downtown Newland.
This is a family-oriented event and admission is free. It will start at 9:00 a.m. and end at 3:00 p.m. Those attending can visit booths and vendors while tracing their ancestral roots in the county. Visitors can also view demonstrations of homesteading skills from pioneer days.
Nationally-renowned genealogists, artisans in a variety of media and traditional mountain musicians will gather on the square to collectively help celebrate Avery County’s history, which spans 111 years.
Those genealogists will come from all across Western North Carolina and join numerous local authors at the festival and share information from the past. Various books about Avery County, its personalities and happenings as well as others written by its natives or residents can be purchased at the festival.
“Excitement about the Heritage Festival is extremely high and I hope all who can, will attend the celebration as it will offer displays, exhibits and many other interesting and fun things about, and related to Avery County and our rich and storied heritage and history,” said Tense Banks of the Avery Historical Society.
Various arts and crafts vendors will offer their works for sale during the festival. Those will include: blacksmithing, quilting, wood turning, corn husk dolls and other related specialties.
A raffle will also be held and food and drink will be available for purchase from various vendors.
The Avery County Cloggers will be featured at the festival. Southern Gospel, bluegrass and country music will also be performed.
The Avery County Historical Museum, located just a short distance from the Square will also be open for tours throughout the day as will the Linville Train Depot and Caboose—both located adjacent to the historical museum.
The historical museum is housed in the original county jail. Located inside are exhibits highlighting military history, medical, sports, education, cultural themes relating to mountain music and dance and many other topics of Avery County interest.
Books related to Avery County can also be purchased at the historical museum.
More information about the Heritage Festival and Avery County Historical Museum may be obtained in person at the Avery County Historical Society and Museum, 1829 Shultz Circle, Newland, NC 28657 or by calling its office: (828) 733-7111.