The History of Appalachian Culture Will Come to Life at Sunday’s Boone Heritage Festival

Published Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at 2:15 pm

By Jessica Isaacs


Photos from the online gallery at

Travel back in time this weekend and celebrate the roots of High Country living at the fifth annual Boone Heritage Festival at the Hickory Ridge Living History Museum from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 11.

Browse around the wooded grounds of the nonprofit museum and celebrate all things Appalachia as you soak up the glory of autumn in the mountains of North Carolina.

Brought to you by the Southern Appalachian Historical Association and the Town of Boone, this free outdoor event will lead you in commemorating the traditions, history, heritage and modern aspects of mountain living.

Michelle Ligon, festival organizer and SAHA board member, said it’s the perfect time of year to enjoy the museum.

“Daniel Boone Park and the grounds of the Hickory Ridge Living History Museum are beautiful any time of year, but they are especially beautiful in the fall. We hold the festival right as the color of the leaves is starting to peak,” Ligon said. “It’s a very relaxed and family-oriented atmosphere. It’s a good opportunity to browse the craft vendors and it may be a good idea to bring some ideas for Christmas shopping, because you can get some really nice authentic crafts there.”

Bring the whole family around to enjoy 18th century living history demonstrations and more. Let the littlest family members get it on the kids’ craft activities (for a small fee to offset costs to the museum) and make things they can take home, like tin punch lanterns, scarecrows and corn husk dolls.


Photos from the online gallery at

A variety of popular regional artists and craftsmen will be on hand during the festival to share the history of Appalachia with you through their talents. Many of them are associated with the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area.

Charlie Glenn and John Peterson will be showing off some handmade banjos. Mary Greene will be there in the afternoon with mountain dulcimers, which are beautiful to see and to hear.

Master crafts artist Leniavell Trivette will display an assortment of creations and fiber artist Jane Campbell will give spinning demonstrations and talk about the process of raising sheep, using wool and using the loom.

And let’s not forget beloved storyteller Orville Hicks, who will keep you smiling all day with his jokes and tall tales.

Peruse through a wide selection of arts and craft vendors and grab a bite to eat from a local food truck, which will offer vegan and vegetarian options, and the concession stands.

“Our concession stands will have some of our favorites. We always serve up homemade scotch eggs, which are boiled eggs encased, in this case, in spicy sausage, breaded and deep fried,” Ligon said. “They’re great with mustard or by themselves. It’s sort of a traditional 18th century food, so it’s appropriate for the era of the museum, which is, of course, the Revolutionary War. We will also have chili with beans — it’s my mom’s recipe.”

Click here to see a full list of vendors that will be featured at the festival.


Photos from the online gallery at

This year’s festival will be packed with live entertainment from awesome local and regional musicians, as well as a chance for you to get it on the fun yourself and to learn more about traditional mountain instruments.

Live music on the cabin stage will start at 10 a.m. with John Peterson and will follow with Rick Ward, The Sheets Family, Elkville String Band and Glenn Bolick and Lonnie Ward. Surefire will hit the stage at 3 p.m. to wrap up the afternoon.

The Junior Appalachian Musicians from the Jones House music program will lead the way through an exciting group jam session from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. If you’re looking for a chance to break out your instrument or your singing voice and give mountain music a try, this get-together is for you!

Stop by the hands-on instrument zoo from noon to 3 p.m. if you want to try your hand at the mountain dulcimer and other stringed instruments with help from the JAMS leaders.

Don’t forget to bring a blanket or a lawn chair!

Need to know more? Call the museum at 828-264-2120 or reach out to a staff member by email at [email protected]

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