By Jessica Isaacs | [email protected]
Let’s get back to our roots this weekend at the annual Boone Heritage Festival!
Sponsored by the Southern Appalachian Historical Association and the Town of Boone, the free festival will take place on the grounds of the Hickory Ridge Living History Museum at Horn in the West.
The fun will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 9 and a variety of performances, activities, demonstrations and more guarantees a good time for friends and family of all ages. The festival follows the mission of the nonprofit museum and aims to highlight the history, heritage and culture of life in Appalachia over the years.
Watch as local vendors, volunteers and neighbors demonstrate 18th century skills like hand-sewing, basket weaving, traditional Appalachian toy making, flintlock rifle firing, campfire cooking, blacksmithing and spinning wool.
Kids and adults alike can get in on the fun with activities including scarecrow building, cornhusk crafts, foil “tin-punch” lanterns, tomahawk throwing and pumpkin and gourd bowling.
Shop local products and get to know vendors like Bee Kind Farm, reed basket maker Nancy Duffie, Civil War historian and author Michael C. Hardy, Long Family Farm Soaps, Trinkets by Lucia, A Purpose Again Metal Jewelry, Unique, Inc. Hand Woven Hemp and Hand Pyrography Wood Bookmarks, Kettle Bear Kettle Corn, My Life Designs, MommaCat’s Crochet, Appalachian Candle Company, The Farmer’s Wife, Three B’s Farm, bgoodstudio and Stinging Nettle Food Truck.
In addition to the food offered by local vendors, concessions will include chili with beans, scotch eggs, candy bars, lemonade, Coca-Cola products and bottled water.
Special guests known as “tradition bearers” will be on hand to demonstrate the traditional artistry for which Appalachia is known. Those folks will include:
- Leniavell Trivette, crafts
As the daughter of North Carolina Folk Heritage Award recipient Elsie Trivette, Leniavell is one of seven sibling and grew up in the Beech Mountain community and began working under the direction of their mother on various projects, particularly fiber crafts. She’s a master of traditional handicrafts, dyeing fibers with natural elements and spinning wool yarns. Colonial knotted bedspreads, pieced quilts, dolls and sock animals are among the things you’ll find her making lately.
- Rick Ward, old-time banjo player, ballad singer, instrument maker
Ward brings his grandfather Tab Ward’s “double-knock” banjo picking, along with the songs and ballads of Watauga County’s storied past. He crafts and builds dulcimers and mountain-style fretless banjos using his grandfather’s patterns and groundhog hides for the head of the banjos.
- Charlie Glenn, traditional fretless mountain banjos
Raised in the Bethel community, Glenn learned to build instruments from his wife Shirley’s uncle, Stanley Hicks, a well-known character in these mountains. He’s been perfecting his designs since his first creation in 1968 and enjoys sharing his vast knowledge of local history.
- Orville Hicks, storyteller
Telling tall tales is the name of the game for Hicks, who weaves local stories, jokes and history together to build connections within the Appalachian community. Laughter and joy are in no short supply when he’s around, and he’s become a regular performer at mountain festivals across western North Carolina.
- Mary Greene, dulcimer player, shape note and ballad singer
Greene’s childhood in the Blue Ridge Mountains coupled with graduate level study of Appalachian music and culture make her a wealth of knowledge and understanding when it comes to the traditions of the High Country and surrounding communities. A strong sense of place means her identity as an artist and musician is intertwined with the mountains she calls home.
Festival goers will also enjoy live music and performances throughout the day on the Cabin Stage from banjo maker and musician John Peterson, Rick Ward, Orville Hicks, Elkville String Band, The Sheets Family, Native American storyteller Joe Candillo and Mary Greene.
Are you a musician, too? Grab your favorite instrument or come prepared to sing a song with William Ritter and Mike McKee during local music jams between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on the grounds.
For more information, call the museum at 828-264-2120.