Welcome to the Great Smoky
Mountains and Jackson County, North Carolina
42nd annual Mountain Heritage Day is Sept. 24 at WCU
Photo courtesy of WCU/Mountain Heritage Day
The 42nd annual Mountain Heritage Day will be Saturday, Sept. 24th on the campus of Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C.
Mountain Heritage Day is a combination old-fashioned mountain fair and showcase for Southern Appalachian music, arts, dance and song, with the atmosphere of a big family reunion. Visitors to will find three stages of traditional old-time, gospel, and bluegrass music and dance, with plenty of fiddles, banjos, and clogging. Festival-goers are invited to join in workshops at the Circle Tent and participate in shape-note singing, one of the mountains’ sacred traditions.
Admission and parking are free so bring your family and experience all that our rich heritage has to offer. For more information, visit the website at http://mountainheritageday.com/.
Eighth annual Colorfest brightens up Dillsboro Oct. 1
Photo by Kelly Donaldson/Jackson County Chamber of Commerce
As the blazing colors of autumn fall on the Blue Ridge Mountains, the town of Dillsboro, N.C., once again will host the annual ColorFest, now eight years old. This popular Dillsboro Fine Arts & Crafts Fair will be held on October 1, 2016 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The setting for the fair is the walk-about, old railroad town of Dillsboro, which flourishes with authentic works of the hand in studios and galleries—pottery, weaving, painting, sewing and more. Drawn by the town’s old-fashioned charm and gracious hospitality, visitors are many times surprised by not only the art, but by the skill tucked away in these mountains. Thus, this 128-year-old town, located just a few miles off of the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is a perfect place to showcase authentic works of the hand in the fair appropriately named, ColorFest.
Over 40 selected artisans will gather on Front Street (the street closest to the railroad tracks of the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad), where they will be demonstrating their techniques and skills, displaying and selling their works of art. This juried show will also include the 2015 Best of Show winner, Gina Thompson from Black Mountain, offering her fused glass and copper art.
Entertainment, mixed with the aroma of exceptional food, will liven the festive environment of the day. The entertainment stage will be centrally located at the foot of Church Street. Most musicians have a need to perform/compose through their strong love of music, and this certainly shows with the fine array of local performers lined up for daylong entertainment at ColorFest. Entertainers include Twelfth Fret (husband and wife duo), the fabulous J. Creek Cloggers, Appalachian singer Betty Brown, and singer of Vintage show songs, Kim Shuler.
Besides the festival food offered, exceptionally fine food can be found spread throughout Dillsboro's restaurants.
For more information visit www.visitdillsboro.com.
Waterrock Knob Park first major "pearl" on Blue Ridge Parkway in 60 years
Photo by Kelly Donaldson/Jackson County Chamber of Commerce
On Tuesday, Aug. 23, The Conservation Fund and the National Park Service hosted an event to commemorate the National Park Service's centennial and to celebrate the protection of lands surrounding Jackson County's own Waterrock Knob, a major scenic destination located at 6,292 feet in elevation on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
An effort to conserve more than 5,000 acres in the Plott Balsam Mountains and much of the spectacular views from Waterrock Knob will be achieved through collaborative efforts led by the Conservation Fund, the National Park Service and significant donations by the Nature Conservancy, Conservation Trust for North Carolina and the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy. This was made possible in part by $16.9 million in funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, Fred and Alice Stanback, Brad and Shelli Stanback and other private supporters.
This creation of Waterrock Knob Park is the first major "pearl" along the Blue Ridge Parkway in 60 years, securing the largest stretch of undeveloped land adjacent to America's most visited unit of the National Park System. Now, 5,329 acres of rare Southern Appalachian spruce fir forests in both Jackson and Haywood Counties are preserved. The effort now protects headwaters of Campbell, Winchester and Scotts Creek (Jackson County), Pinnacle Park (Jackson County) as well as native trout streams, bear, elk, deer, north flying squirrels and other wildlife that thrive in the Plott Balsam Mountains.
Jackson County Commissioners, new Jackson County Manager Don Adams, Sylva's Mayor Lynda Sossamon, and other civic, government and community representatives from both Haywood and Jackson Counties were in attendance.
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.