Haywood County touts summer music events and festivals

Here’s the press release from the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority:

WNC Celebrates Generations of Mountain Grown Music

Bringing People Together to Indulge in the Areas Unique Musical History Through a Series of Concerts and Festivals

Haywood County, NC – Western North Carolina is flourishing with unique musical events throughout the year, which commemorate generations of musicians that have settled in the Smoky Mountain region since the 1800’s.

Haywood County is located at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains National Forest, and is home to the towns of Maggie Valley, Canton, Waynesville, Lake Junaluska, and Clyde.

“The live mountain music gives visitors a chance to experience musical traditions that date back centuries,” Explains Lynn Collins, Director of the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority (HCTDA). “Our festivals and concerts bring together people from all types of backgrounds to share a common interest – a love for Appalachian music.”

Appalachian style music is played on acoustic instruments, generally centering on a combination of fiddle, guitar, and banjo. The areas culture has maintained many of the music traditions over two centuries of living in coves, small towns, and mountain communities. It is a legendary hotbed of traditional music and dance with Scotch-Irish roots, creating an inviting atmosphere for tourists.

Concerts and festivals are held throughout the year to commemorate the music of the Smokies. Here are a few events that will be going on during the summer months:

Old Fines Creek Dance & Music

Every Saturday Night

The Old Fines Creek School will have music every Saturday night along with dancing starting in January. Bands will be different throughout the month. Event will be taking place from 7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults and children 12 and under free. Concessions will be available, along with cake walks, 50/50, and door prizes.

Music and Dance at the Stompin’ Ground

Friday and Saturday nights, April – October

If you want to see a variety of Appalachian and other country dance styles performed in one place and at the same time‚ the Stompin’ Ground is your spot. The dance floor is enormous, with seating for nearly a thousand people. The Ivy Hill Band plays a variety of mountain and popular music‚ from old-time fiddle tunes to contemporary country hits.

Mountain Bluegrass Music at the Maggie Valley Opry House
Every night, May – October

Maggie Valley Opry House is a handsome but modest building with a seating capacity of 300. Most of the visitors at the Maggie Valley Opry House are tourists and visiting bluegrass music fans. Guests can experience bluegrass and mountain music by the legendary banjo picker Raymond Fairchild. He is touted by some as the fastest banjo player in the world and has five consecutive Master of the Banjo Championships.

Pickin’ in the Park

Every Friday, from June – Labor Day
One bluegrass or old-time band, and one clogging team are hired to perform for Pickin’ in the Park. Several hundred people come to listen‚ setting up their lawn chairs a distance from the stage. The band performs songs and tunes and provides the music for the clogging team that performs on stage.

Appalachian Lifestyle Celebration
Saturday, June 8th

This festival will be a full day celebration of mountain heritage, music, dance, craft, and Appalachian life skills. Educational and entertaining, the event features craft demonstrations such as basketry, wood carving, quilting, along with storytelling, traditional mountain music, clogging, and old time food vendors.

Mountain Street Dance:
Every other Friday, late June – August

Put on your clogging shoes and enjoy an old fashioned mountain hoe down. Live mountain music, demonstrations by local clogging teams, and square dance instruction will be provided. Refreshments and limited bleacher seating will also be available.

Folkmoot USA – State International Festival
July 17th – 28th

Folkmoot USA, The State International Festival of North Carolina, is a two-week celebration of the world’s cultural heritage through folk music and dance. Held each summer across the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina, Folkmoot features performances, a parade and workshops by up to 300 performers from about nine countries.

Singing on the Mountain in Fines Creek
Sunday, August 18th
For over sixty years‚ an annual gospel singing has been sponsored by the Salvation Army in Fines Creek in Northern Haywood County at the Shelton Laurel Mission. Following a morning service in the church building‚ the singing takes place in the surrounding mountainous setting.

43rd Annual Smoky Mountain Folk Festival:
August 30th & 31st

The 43rd Annual Smoky Mountain Folk Festival will feature two nights of the finest traditional Southern Appalachian music and dance. The Smoky Mountain Folk Festival is held Labor Day weekend in the Stuart Auditorium at Lake Junaluska, NC.

Lots of exciting events are happening throughout the year, so be sure to check the event calendar to keep up to date on happenings in the area for 2013. Haywood County is a beautiful place to visit, and with each season brings new and exciting opportunities to experience this delightful Smoky Mountain region.

The HCTDA represents more than 900 accommodations in the community, from bed and breakfasts, cabins, campgrounds, cottages, country clubs, inns, hotels, lodges, motels, resorts, vacation rentals, and villas, and provides annual funding to Haywood County for promotions, events and festivals.

About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

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