By Hailey Blevins
It’s almost time for the 14th annual Elk Knob Community Headwaters Day. Scenic Elk Knob State Park will be the center of community celebration on Saturday, September 8th. This free event is centered around family fun, Appalachian heritage, and live entertainment with a touch of educational demonstrations to connect old-time culture and heritage with current generations.
The opening ceremony for Headwaters Day will begin at 11 a.m. and the event will continue until 3 p.m. Though the event is free, you’re encouraged to join in the spirit of community by bringing a covered dish to share for the communal lunch at noon.
The communal lunch is the part that many look forward to the most. “The big deal is that we have a pot luck. It’s the biggest potluck I’ve ever been to because everyone brings a dish and we’ve had up to 300 people before. It’s a really big potluck with great food,” said Amanda Perry.
In 2005, residents from the communities of Meat Camp, Pottertown and Sutherland, with the help of the ASU Sustainable Development Program, hosted an event to celebrate their relationship with the newly formed Elk Knob State Natural Area (now State Park). The organizers went on to establish the non-profit Elk Knob Community Heritage Organization (EKCHO) whose mission is “to promote the natural and cultural heritage of the communities surrounding Elk Knob State Park through natural resource protection, education and historical preservation.”
The event has continued every year under the direction of EKCHO and has become known as the largest potluck in western NC. Held on the second Saturday in September each year, Headwaters Day brings locals and newcomers alike together to celebrate the culture, traditions and land protection of the area. What makes Headwaters Day so special is the beauty that is unique to the location and the delicious home-cooked family recipes.
The afternoon will be one filled with fun as traditional tunes and modern songs are provided by Dashboard Hula Boys, Mike McKee and Friends, and George Wilson and Forgotten Country, guided trail hikes to Elk Knob’s show breathtaking views of surrounding mountains, and demonstrations and activities keep you busy and learning.
Headwaters Day will feature horse drawn wagon rides, beekeeping and grist milling.
“We have a lot of craft demonstrations. We will have spinning, weaving and knitting demonstrations, a historical camping reenactment, which is pretty cool, nature wood walk, printing, tug of war and a cakewalk,” said Perry. Pottery and corn shuck doll making will be open to hands on participation. See the flyer below for a full list of activities and demonstrations. Please note that the Bow and Arrow Demonstrations have been canceled.
The Elk Knob Community Heritage Organization Inc. gives simple directions to the Headwaters Day event: Take US 421 to NC 194 North. Turn left on Meat Camp Road. Go 5.5 miles to park. When you hear the great music, smell the mouthwatering food, and see the smiling faces, you’ll know you’re there!
Bring your favorite recipes, grab a few friends, and join the Elk Knob Community to celebrate the community’s people, history and culture in a day filled with fun for all ages.
For more information, call Elk Knob State Park at 828- 297-7261.