Welcome to the Great Smoky
Mountains and Jackson County, North Carolina
Ninth season of Concerts on the Creek scheduled through Labor Day
These mountains are known as much for the music that comes out of them as they are for their picturesque vistas, cascading waterfalls and alluring trails.
Some of the world’s finest musicians have come from Western North Carolina and that rich tradition carries on today.
Here in Jackson County, the Town of Sylva, Jackson County Parks and Recreation Department and Jackson County Chamber of Commerce team up to produce the Concerts on the Creek series at the Bridge Park gazebo in Sylva every Friday from 7-9 p.m., Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Concerts on the Creek events are free and open to the public with donations encouraged. Bring a chair or blanket and enjoy the shows. Occasionally, these events will feature food truck vendors as well.
Following are the scheduled dates for the ninth annual Concerts on the Creek in 2018.
May 25: Ian Ridenhour (Alternative Rock/Pop)
June 1: Train (Classic Hits)
June 8: Dirty Soul Revival (Blues/Rock)
June 15: Robertson Boys (Bluegrass)
June 22: Tuxedo Junction (Classic Hits)
June 29: Carolina Soulband (Soul/R&B/Beach/Classic Hits)
* Wednesday, July 4: Fireworks Festivities, 6:30-9:30 p.m.- Concert, Crocodile Smile, (Classic Hits/Rock/Soul/R&B) fireworks at dark.
July 6: Darren Nicholson Band (Americana/Country/Bluegrass)
July 13: The Super 60s Band (Classic Hits of the 1960s)
July 20: Andalyn (Rock/Country)
July 27: Mountain Faith (Bluegrass/Gospel)
Aug. 3: Lance & Lea (Americana/Pop/Folk)
Aug. 10: The Get Right Band (Funk/Soul/R&B)
Aug. 17: Colby Deitz Band (Rock/Americana)
Aug. 24: Geoff McBride (Pop/R&B/Soul)
Aug. 31: Dashboard Blue (Classic Hits)
(Check www.mountainlovers.com or Facebook for updates.)
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.
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.