Mountain Heritage Day brings Appalachian culture to WCU

The 39th Mountain Heritage Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 28, at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee. The event will be preceded by a 5K foot race at 8 a.m.

WCU’s free celebration of Appalachian culture also will feature a full schedule of mountain music, fun activities, about 100 booths of the region’s finest arts and crafts, and 25 vendors offering ethnic, heritage and festival food. Balsam and Blue Ridge stages and the Circle Tent will offer continuous mountain music, storytelling and clogging. 

Other areas will be active with demonstrations of Cherokee stickball and other Cherokee games, shape-note singing and an antique auto show. The Children’s Tent will provide entertaining activities for younger visitors throughout the day, and kids also will enjoy free wagon rides and hayrides.

The festival also offers a variety of demonstrations and contests centered on authentic mountain folk arts and skills: competitions for best beards and mustaches, period costumes and chainsaw woodcutting. Apples are the key ingredient in this year’s entries for the annual Best of the West award in the Mountain Heritage Day “A Gathering In” Traditional Food Competition. Contest rules, categories and entries are found at

The Mountain Heritage Center’s exhibits of Appalachian culture and history will be open all day. Festival attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and/or blankets for comfortable seating. Shuttles will operate throughout the day, with stops at designated parking and attraction location. or 828.227.7129.

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