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'Mini-Mountain Heritage Day' to be held on campus June 28

Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center and Office of Mentoring and Persistence to Success are co-sponsoring a “Mini-Mountain Heritage Day” to celebrate the cultural traditions of Western North Carolina.

Cherokee cultural ambassador Jarrett Wildcat uses natural fibers to make rope. Wildcat will be among the local artists participating in “Mini-Mountain Heritage Day” on the WCU campus June 28. (Photo courtesy of the Museum of the Cherokee Indian)

Set for 3 to 5 p.m. Friday, June 28, the event is free and open to the public. It will be held on the brickyard adjacent to Hunter Library and the Mountain Heritage Center.

Traditional crafts will be demonstrated by broom maker Mickey Sizemore, weaver Mattie Davenport from WCU’s Writing Commons and natural dyer Erin Tapley of the university’s School of Art and Design. Also featured will be Cherokee musician and cultural ambassador Jarrett Wildcat and the old-time string band Cullowheezer, featuring fiddler Jenny Monfore.

An exhibit at the Mountain Heritage Center, “Unearthing Our Forgotten Past: Fort San Juan,” will be open for viewing. Ben Steere of the university’s Cherokee Studies Program will be on hand to interpret the exhibit and its story of interactions between Spanish explorers and the native Catawba and Cherokee people.

Mini-Mountain Heritage Day, a DegreePlus event for WCU students, comes three months before the university’s 45th Mountain Heritage Day, which is set for Saturday, Sept. 28. The annual fall festival regularly draws thousands to campus to enjoy traditional music, dance, food, and arts and crafts.

For more information or parking directions for Mini-Mountain Heritage Day, call the Mountain Heritage Center at 828-227-7129.

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