Fried food and sounds of the mountain music – Mountain Heritage Day is here


Visitors at The 39th Annual Mountain Heritage Festival. Photo by Tyana Johnson

Visitors at the 39th Annual Mountain Heritage Festival. Photo by Tyana Johnson

WCU will be hosting its 41st annual Mountain Heritage Day festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 26 at the campus intramural field.

Each year, thousands of people visit the Mountain Heritage Day festival from various places in North Carolina and surrounding states. An estimated 15,000-20,000 people are expected to attend the festival this year, according to a phone interview with Pam Millard, administrative support for the Mountain Heritage Center.

Mountain Heritage Day offers attractions for people of all ages, including music, workshops, hayrides and cultural demonstrations. Millard says people are drawn to the festival for the craft vendors and music.

“There will be demonstrations of heritage skills such as salt making, banjo making, pottery and canning,” said Millard. “Two stages will give people a chance to experience cultural music rather than the typical bands you might normally hear.”

The festival offers a variety of unique contests, such as a beard and mustache contest, chainsaw contest, costume contest and food competition.

“Each year there is a different focused ingredient for our ‘Best in the West’ recipe contest, and this year’s ingredient is squash because it is an ingredient that would typically be used in traditional mountain foods,” said Millard.

Some of the other festival attractions include a 5k and fun run, food booths, Cherokee stickball game and a car show. The festival puts a strong emphasis on Appalachian traditions using storytellers and live clogging. See the full schedule here.