The colors, flavors, sights and sounds of harvest season in the Blue Ridge Mountains all come together at the Valle Country Fair in scenic Valle Crucis, North Carolina on Saturday, October 15. Started 38 years ago as a fundraiser for a little country church, it has grown into an annual happening that attracts thousands and raised more than $40,000 for High Country charities in 2015.
Always held in Valle Crucis, North Carolina, on the third Saturday in October, the Valle Country Fair takes over the grounds of the Valle Crucis Conference Center at the intersection of NC Highway 194 and Dutch Creek Road from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Admission is free and ample parking is available in the adjoining field for $10 per car. Pets are not allowed. ATM machines are available in two locations.
“This year we are pleased to see an expanded children’s area under the leadership of Caroline Gandy and the Valle Crucis Park with the help of the PTO and the 8th graders from Valle Crucis Elementary School,” said Fair Co-chairman Bernie Keele. Activities for the younger crowd will include a pie eating contest, pumpkin bowling, ring toss, a cake walk, tattoos, tic tack toe boards painted on the grass and much more.
The Fair takes place in a huge meadow between a picturesque red barn and a field of sorghum. The tents of 160 craft exhibitors line wide lanes that meander back and forth across the grounds. Bales of hay are stacked in the intersections of these alleys to offer fairgoers a spot to sit as they ponder which craft booths to visit next.
Exhibitors are juried to find the highest quality handmade crafts available, and to insure that there is a wide variety of unique products available for the shoppers. Two exhibitors returning for the 38th annual Fair, Chrissie Callejas (pottery) and John Dean (poplar bark berry baskets), are the only exhibitors to participate in every fair since its inception. All exhibitors selected for the event donate at least 10% of their earnings back to the charitable work of the Fair.
Shoppers will also want to be sure to visit the Young Artists’ Market where artists 17 years and younger will offer original artwork and handmade crafts for sale.
Two stages are set up to provide entertainment throughout the day. The stage located near the dining tent features the best in local mountain music. The youth stage feature cloggers and other younger performers.
Eat all you want at the Valle Country Fair because almost all of the food concessions are operated by the church or by other non-profit organizations that return 100% of their earnings to local charities. Tables and chairs are provided under a large tent next to the music stage so that fairgoers can enjoy the entertainment while they dine.
Food concessions include Brunswick Stew, barbecue, chili, hot dogs and hamburgers, corndogs, sausages with onions, ham biscuits, ice cream, funnel cakes, baked goods, jams and jellies, freshly-pressed apple cider and apple butter cooked on the grounds.
The 2016 Valle Country Fair grant recipients are the Appalachian Senior Program, the Children’s Council of Watauga County, High Country Caregivers, Hospitality House, Hunger and Health Coalition, Mountain Alliance, Parent-to-Parent Family Support Network, Quiet Givers, Spirit Ride, W.A.M.Y. Community Action, the Watauga County Library and the Western Youth Network, The outreach committee at Holy Cross Church distributes all remaining proceeds to individuals and families in crisis.
Admission is FREE and parking is available in the adjoining field for $10 per car, $25 for a small bus or van, and $50 for a motor coach. NO PETS are allowed. Holy Cross Episcopal Church and the Valle Crucis Conference Center sponsor the event with al proceeds going to help people in need. For more information, contact Holy Cross Church at 828-963-4609 or visit the Fair on the Web at www.vallecountryfair.org.