Beech Mountain’s own Ward Family is set to be honored with the Community Traditions Award by the NC Folklore Society, on Saturday, February 4, at the 9th annual Fiddler’s Convention. They are being recognized for their dedication to the traditions and engagement of folklore culture in the high country.
This engagement is somewhat of a family tradition, as several generations of the Ward family, which settled on Beech Mountain around the time of the Revolutionary War, have been documented by local folklorists who recorded their talents for ballad singing, storytelling, playing music, dancing, herbalism, textile arts, woodworking, and even making instruments. Today, ninth-generation local family member Rick Ward is known in the Boone area as a bearer of several of the family’s skills, including his grandfather N.T. “Tab” Ward’s double-knock banjo style playing.
Since 1970, the NCFS Brown-Hudson Folklore Award has recognized individuals who make significant contributions to the transmission, appreciation, and observance of traditional culture and folklife in North Carolina. In 1992 the NC Folklore Society gave out the first of its Community Traditions Awards, and now it is being recognized years later in the High Country.
This award, in particular, honors the organizations and groups who engage in or support folklife and traditional culture in North Carolina. The 2016 BHFA recipients Max Woody of Marion and Fred Douglas Parnell of Tyro and Lexington were recently recognized at events in their home communities, and NCFS stated that they were looking forward to presenting the 2016 CTA for the Ward Family of Beech Mountain at the 2017 Fiddler’s Convention in Boone.
Anyone can attend this event and support the Ward Family, and if you do, make sure to stay and check out the other family-friendly events going on! The 9th Annual Fiddler’s Convention will take place on Saturday, February 4, 2017, from 10:00am-5:00 pm in the Plemmons Student Union with an evening concert at Legends starting at 7:30 pm.