Vance Birthplace announces schedule for its virtual Appalachian Folk Festival

Press release from the Vance Birthplace: 

Our annual Appalachian Folk Festival celebrates the traditions and cultures of the people who called the North Carolina mountains home in the early 1800s. This year’s virtual event will have three components bringing the visitor experience right into your home.

Virtual Festival: From 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, at the top the hour, the site will go live on Facebook and Zoom with special demonstrations. You can join us for free on Facebook, @VanceBirthplaceNCHS or pre-register for each session separately through Eventbrite to receive your free Zoom invitation.

10:00 am – Behind the scenes tour of the 1790s slave dwelling. Learn about a mountain plantation and the eighteen enslaved people that lived and worked on the land.

11:00 am – Storytelling with Dr. Delanna Reed. Dr. Reed, a member of the Jonesborough Storytellers Guild, is a professor with the Department of Communication and Performance at East Tennessee State University. Join us as we bring folk tales of southern Appalachia to life through spoken word.

12:00 pm – Weaving on an 1800s loom. Learn about the loom on the Vance property, where did it come from, how does it work?

1:00 pm – Tool demonstration! Our tools may be old, but they work just as well as they did 200 years ago! Join us as we go live at the tool house. Learn about Jim, the blacksmith enslaved by the Vances, and how some of the tools on display would have been used.

2:00 pm – Join board member, Jenny Webb, as she turns pottery. One important component of our Folk Festival are the demonstrations from our crafts people. A local of Madison County, Jenny will be turning pottery and talking about her craft.

3:00 pm – Do you know what a witness tree is? Join us at 3:00 pm to learn about the witness trees at the Vance Birthplace.

Digital Exhibit: One of the most important components of our annual Appalachian Folk Festival are the crafts people. To celebrate them, on October 17th, we will be launching a free online Story Map, “Falling for Appalachia.” This virtual experience highlights the demonstrations that typically happen at our Folk Festival, but also the people that make it possible. Visitors can learn about blacksmithing and watch a video to meet local blacksmith, Doc Cudd. Or learn about spinning and dyeing with Dede Styles. This is an ongoing project. Staff at the Vance Birthplace will continue to add to this from year to year.

Virtual Silent Auction: The Mountain History and Culture Group, a 501c3 non-profit, relies on donations gathered during this event to pay for programs such as our annual holiday program, Venus and Vance: An Appalachian Christmas Carol. Our holiday program follows the story of Venus, an enslaved woman on the Vance plantation. The silent auction will go live at 10:00 am and close at 4:00 pm. The link will be found on all of our social media outlets. Many of our crafts people have donated beautiful pieces in an effort to support the educational initiatives of the non-profit. Participants will have the opportunity to bid on locally made items such as Native American style flutes, lace tatted Christmas ornaments, and pottery.

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