Welcome to the Great Smoky
Mountains and Jackson County, North Carolina
Krauss to perform at Harrah's Cherokee Sept. 21
Genre-bending superstar Alison Krauss brings her angelic voice to Harrah's Cherokee Casino and Resort on Friday, Sept. 21 for a 9 p.m. concert. For tickets, visit www.caesars.com/harrahs-cherokee/shows.
Born in Champaign, Illinois, Alison Krauss grew up listening to everything from folk to opera to pop and rock music, but quickly fell in love with bluegrass when she began playing fiddle at the age of five. Shortly after, Krauss began entering fiddle contests. At the age of 14, Rounder Records signed her to her first record deal and she went on to release her debut solo album two years later. The accomplished bluegrass musician became a member of the Grand Ole Opry at age 21.
Since 1985, Krauss has released 14 albums including five solo, seven with her longtime band and musical collaborators Union Station, and the Robert Plant collaboration Raising Sand, which was certified platinum and won five Grammys, including Album of the Year and Record of the Year. She's sold more than 12 million records to date, and her honors include 27 Grammys, nine CMAs, 14 International Bluegrass Music Association Awards, two Academy of Country Music Awards and two Gospel Music Association awards.
Mountain Heritage Day an annual highlight in Cullowhee Sept. 29
Mountain Heritage Day, the annual celebration of Southern Appalachian culture presented by Western Carolina University, has announced scheduled performers and unveiled a new website for the 2018 festival, to be held Saturday, Sept. 29.
Through www.mountainheritageday.com, visitors can get updated information to plan their day, see videos of past performances and use an interactive map to find locations for art and craft vendor areas, food service and exhibitions. Named one of the top 20 events in the Southeast, the festival on the WCU campus has free admission, free parking and free shuttle service.
The daylong event is known for continuous music, clogging and storytelling on numerous stages, and this year brings an even more extensive lineup. Among the highlights:
Soulful gospel adds a new dimension this year, with Tried Stone Missionary Baptist Choir, an Asheville-based African-American choir that has a storied legacy of generations of voices raised in faith, taking to the stage. Hollerin’ Home will bring bluegrass gospel reminiscent of country church services, and the shape note singing tradition continues, with “Sacred Harp” and “Christian Harmony” singing.
Bluegrass and old-time mountain music will have the stellar representation of talent that’s expected from Mountain Heritage Day. Balsam Range, one of the best-known and most-loved acoustic groups on tour today and a Mountain Heritage Day favorite, returns after a two-year absence while previously engaged garnering numerous International Bluegrass Music Association honors. The world-famous but still hometown Summer Brooke and the Mountain Faith Band will play two sets, and Grand Ole Opry performers Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper join the festival for the first time.
Whitewater Bluegrass Company, Ol’ Dirty Bathtub, the Dietz Family, Frogtown and the Queen Family are among the more than a dozen artists scheduled to appear. Ballad singing ― with audience participation encouraged ― is back for another year with Sarah Elizabeth Burkey, Susan Pepper and William Ritter. The Jackson County Junior Appalachian Musicians, made up of students learning and performing in the local Smoky Mountains music style, will entertain the crowds again thanks to sponsorship from the Jackson County Arts Council. And the Mountain Youth Talent Contest, a collection of winners from a series of regional youth talent shows, will be presented by the Jackson County 4-H and Catch the Spirit of Appalachia.
Rousing, “kick up your heels” clogging and dance performances includes Bailey Mountain Cloggers, Southern Mountain Fire Cloggers and Apple Blossoms Cloggers. The art and craft of storytelling will be shared this year by Freeman Owle, Ashton Woody and Tom Godleski.
The festival goes on, rain or shine. Festival attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets for comfortable seating. Dogs on leashes are allowed on the grounds. For more information and updates, go to www.mountainheritageday.com.
ColorFest celebrates 10th season in Dillsboro Oct. 6
Colors will certainly abound with the 10th annual ColorFest fine arts & crafts fair held on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., in the historic town of Dillsboro, N.C.
Located just a few miles off of the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the walk-about mountain town, now over 127 years old, is a perfect place to showcase authentic works of the hand. Dipping back into its history, Dillsboro flourished in the late 1800s as a railroad town, and is still on the route of the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad.
Within Dillsboro’s mountain landscape, over 40 juried artisans will line Front Street for ColorFest. This quaint town shares a love of art and the opportunity to showcase that art, plus enjoys a day of greeting visitors and exhibiting the fall decorations designed especially for the season. Since this is the tenth anniversary of the festival, the town will be honoring the Ammons Sisters, Doreyl and Amy, who were instrumental in founding the festival. In the beginning the ColorFest artists were covered by colorful umbrellas tucked into nooks and crannies of the town.Currently, the artists are all together under tents, conveniently located for the visitors and only a short walk from the entertainment stage. Most musicians have a need to perform/compose through their strong love of music and dance, and this certainly shows with the fine array of local performers lined up for daylong entertainment at ColorFest.Still holding true to its beginnings, 95 percent of the artisans at ColorFest are local within 75 miles, most in Jackson County. By showcasing the local artisans, it showcases the heart of the town; thus, the image of the historic town of Dillsboro has evolved into the place to come for appreciation of the arts.For more information, call Brenda Anders at Dogwood Crafters, 828-506-8331.
Jackson County has everything you need
Located in the North Carolina Mountains and right in the midst of the Great Smoky Mountains, Jackson County is the ideal location for your next mountain getaway. Whatever it is you are looking for in your trip, we have it, from great accommodations, including cabin rentals, to wonderful activities, including rafting, hiking, fishing, golf, skiing, and camping.
Once you’ve found the right place to stay, whether it is a quaint Great Smoky Mountain cabin, or a friendly bed & breakfast, you will be ready to start you adventure in the North Carolina Mountains. If you enjoy fishing, the Tuckasegee River and many lakes and streams offer superb options, or you can take in the mountain scenery and wildlife on one of the area’s many hiking trails. Maybe you want to test your golf game and you can do just that on one of Jackson County’s many classic mountain golf courses.
Journey back to the days of yesteryear as Dillsboro presents its annual Festival of Lights and Luminaries. Experience the magic as the entire town is transformed into a winter wonderland of lights, candles, laughter and song! 2500 luminaries light your way to shops and studios. Horse and buggy rides available each night from 5-8 pm (cost + tips). Shopkeepers provide live music and serve holiday treats with hot cider and cocoa. Carolers sing and children visit with Santa at Town Hall.
When you plan your next mountain vacation to Jackson County and the Great Smoky Mountains, you will want to be sure that you select just the right accommodations for your visit. The options here in the North Carolina Mountains are certainly diverse and offer something for everyone and every budget. There’s so much just waiting for you to enjoy in North Carolina’s Great Smoky Mountains.