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Blue Ridge Mountain Fair in Sparta’s Crouse Park Features Original Artisanal Arts and Local Jams

July 19, 2012. Friday afternoon and all day Saturday, July 27 and 28, the Blue Ridge Mountain Fair brings one-of-a-kind art and crafts to Sparta. The Fair is held in the heart of this small mountain community in Crouse Park and features a variety of local entertainers and food vendors.

The Fair begins Friday at 2 p.m., continues until 7 p.m., and is open Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is no charge to attend. A few vendor spaces are still available. To apply, visit www.Sparta-NC.com/BlueRidgeMountainFair.

“Crouse Park is one of the most complete public parks for such a small town and a great location for such an activity,” said Bob Bamberg, Chamber of Commerce Director. “It has lots of shade so that fair-goers can browse vendors’ booths all day with little concern for the July sun.”

The event is sponsored by the Friends of The Blue Ridge Mountain Fair in and around Alleghany County. Many are artisans that will be vendors in the fair, as well as other artists from neighboring mountain towns. All items are original and reflect the talent of their creators.

The Crouse House is in the center of the Park and home of the area’s longest running jam of local musicians. Every Monday evening for the past two decades, bluegrass and old-time musicians have gathered at 6 p.m. to play traditional bluegrass and old-time tunes. Friday evening and Saturday, the new stage will be the primary venue for scheduled entertainment that draws on the musical traditions of these mountains. In addition, musicians are invited to play informally at the jam tent. Line dancers and clogging teams — traditional dance of the mountains — round out the entertainment.

Crouse Park is located two blocks north of the Courthouse in Sparta and is bordered by East Whitehead (NC 18 north), and Grayson and Cherry streets. Parking is available on East Whitehead Street in the lot east of the Park.

Sparta is the hub of community life in North Carolina’s most eastern mountains on the border with Virginia and is easy to reach from I-77. Take exit 83 (northbound traffic only) or exit 85 and follow US 21 North 28 miles up the Blue Ridge to the town. Visit www.Sparta-NC.com or call the Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center at 800-372-5473 or 336-372-5473, for information on this and other area activities.

Music is a big part of the Fair with entertainment from Sparta and surrounding communities. Friday, July 27, the doctors of sound, Dr. Jack Cahn on fiddle and Keith Oliver, AKA the Drones, kick off the entertainment at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 28, Walter Frank Osborne Jr. Det. 298 Marine Corp League and Wes Brinegar warms up the crowd. The Crouse House Pickers start music at 10 a.m. at 11:15, the Jubilee Line Dancers kick up their heels. At 12:15 p.m., the Rise and Shine Band perform followed by the Crooked Road Band at 1:30 p.m. Zephyr Lighting Bolts winds up the entertainment with more fantastic music beginning at 2:45 p.m.