Despite the heat Mountain Faith pulled a huge crowd at Mountain Heritage Day

Mountain Heritage Day, on Saturday, Sept. 24, was full of local music performances including Sylva-native band and national stars Mountain Faith.

“We are so glad to be here. We tried so hard to get back here last year, but our bus broke down, which is a pretty regular occurrence for us. Now we’re finally here and are so glad to be back!” commented lead singer of Mountain Faith Summer McMahan. The band played multiple times throughout the day and had no lack of audience members at any performance.

Mountain Faith band members Brayden McMahan and Cory Piatt playing to the crowd. Photo by Calvin Inman

Mountain Faith band members Brayden McMahan and Cory Piatt playing to the crowd. Photo by Calvin Inman

The audience was a mixture of families, local community members, visitors from out of town and college students all together enjoying the day’s festivities and music. Although the day was blistering hot, the audience members remained in the crowd to support the musicians on stage.

Mountain Faith itself has gained a loyal fan base that stretches across North Carolina and beyond. Appalachian State student Bethany Wagoner made the drive from Boone just for the festival. “I came all the way here because Mountain Faith was playing.”

Mountain Faith was established in 2000 and plays at Mountain Heritage Day when they can.

“Starting 16 years we’ve been doing this and we’re glad that other bands have kept up with it and that we’re here again!”  Sam McMahan, father and bass player of Mountain Faith, proudly said to the audience.

Music from Mountain Faith’s new album “Blue”.

There were 14 Bluegrass band performances that were featured throughout the festival at three main stages. The acts ranged from locally based to traveling groups. Bluegrass and mountain music have been apart of the mountain life style for years. Musical act Phil and Gayle Johnson were some of the many people who got a first hand experience with the wave of “new” music that struck the genre. “Back when you could pick up a radio and hear old country swing a lot of us would come together and listen wherever there was a radio,” reminisced Gayle “and people started to put it together into mountain music.”