Greening Up the Mountains returns to Sylva

The 14th annual Greening Up the Mountains Festival is slated for Saturday, April 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in downtown Sylva.

The spring festival, named for the way spring creeps up the mountain sides, began over a decade ago as a celebration of Earth Day. Crafters, environmental groups, non-profits, local businesses, and farms and nurseries will provide more than 135 engaging booths for this year’s attendees.

The festival’s music lineup includes headliners The Freight Hoppers, Vertigo Jazz Project and Big House Radio and local favorites Marshall Ballew, the Dan River Drifters, John-Luke Carter, Total War and the Buchanan Boys. Performances by Triple Threat Performing Arts Academy students and the Cullowhee Valley Cloggers will add to the day’s festivities, as will the Heritage Alive! Youth Talent Contest sponsored by 4-H and the presentation of the Jackson County Heritage Preservation Commission’s Poster Contest Awards.

The day begins with a 5K Walk/Run at 9 a.m. from Mark Watson Park, sponsored by the Jackson County Greenways Project.

This year’s festival centers around the theme of supporting local businesses, providers and residents as the best way to create a sustainable economy. The festival will showcase demonstrations, booths and educational displays from environmental groups, “green” initiatives and those focused on learning and sustaining traditional mountain crafts and arts.

New this year, a “Market Square” will provide an open-air space for farms, CSAs, nurseries, beekeepers and others to showcase their traditional agricultural wares, and a full complement of children’s activities will encourage their participation in environmental stewardship and local economies.

The festival brings an estimated 10,000 people to downtown Sylva each year.

Sponsors for this year’s version of Greening Up the Mountains include: Howard Allman-Allstate Insurance, Pepsi, Duke Energy, Harrah’s, United Community Bank, Charles Wolfe-State Farm, Jackson County Arts Council, Soul Infusion, Bubacz, The Smoky Mountain News, Tuck Reader, WRGC Radio, McNeely Companies, Dogwood Women’s Health, Stanberry Insurance, Suntrust, Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, Western Carolina University, Annie’s Naturally Bakery, and Southwestern Community College.

For information call 828.586.1577 or visit

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