Mountain Heritage Day returns to Cullowhee

Mountain Heritage Day gets under way Sept. 29 at Western Carolina University with a variety of arts and crafts, music, clogging, folk arts, contests and other activities.

Balsam Range will present two shows at this year’s Mountain Heritage Day, one at 10:45 a.m. on the Balsam Stage and 3:15 p.m. on the Blue Ridge Stage. Mountain Heritage Day activities, including stage performances, will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the exception of the 5-K race, which begins at 8 a.m. and registration for the chain saw contest, which starts at 9 a.m.

The Snowbird Stickball Team will demonstrate the sport of stick ball at 11 a.m. At 1 p.m., team members will join with their female associates in playing the courtship game of “Fish.” The team also will demonstrate the use of Cherokee blowguns at 3 p.m.

Performers on the Balsam and Blue Ridge stages will include the Queen Family, the Roan Mountain Hilltoppers, Mountain Faith, Whitewater Bluegrass Company, the Tried Stone Gospel Choir, the Deitz Family, Phil and Gaye Johnson, and the Jeff Little Trio, among others. Clogging fans will want to check out performances throughout the day by the Bailey Mountain Cloggers, Cole Mountain Cloggers and J Creek Cloggers.

The museum also will host a free performance of “The Liars Bench” Southern Appalachian variety show at 1:30 p.m. The show cast will present “Osley Saunooke: Colorful Chief of the Cherokees,” featuring Cherokee storyteller Lloyd Arneach, singer-songwriter Barbara Duncan, claw-hammer guitarist Paul Iarussi and the Boys from Tuckasegee.

Mountain Heritage Day will go on rain or shine. Admission and parking are free. Pets are not allowed on festival grounds, but service animals are welcome. Festival attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets for comfortable seating during stage presentations. Shuttles operate throughout the day.

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