Becky Buller Band and Mountain Heart will be the headline musical acts for this year’s Mountain Heritage Day, the popular outdoor festival at Western Carolina University to be held this year on Saturday, Sept. 24, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Bluegrass, traditional and gospel music are an important part of the event, which is equal parts of a family reunion, a harvest festival, an arts and crafts showcase, a county fair and musical jamboree — all to celebrate the wonderful diversity of Southern Appalachian history and culture.
Alongside the musical stages are arts and crafts booths, children's activities, heritage demonstrations, Cherokee stick ball games, a chainsaw competition, wagon rides and a classic car and truck show. Admission is free, as is parking and shuttle service.
Becky Buller and her band received standing ovations and outstanding reviews when they played Mountain Heritage Day in 2019. A 10-time International Bluegrass Music Association award-winner, her songs have appeared on multiple Grammy Award winning albums, and she has made history by being the first artist ever to win in both instrumental and vocal categories, as well as being the first woman fiddler of the year.
Mountain Heart has numerous appearances on the Grand Ole Opry to their credit, performing there and everywhere else with an energetic, virtuoso style of hybrid acoustic music. It will be their first appearance at Mountain Heritage Day.
The festival, which began in 1974, continues its legacy of highlighting traditional folk arts and skills, Cherokee crafts, clogging, storytelling and shape-note singing. More than 130 arts and crafts vendors will be on hand with creations ranging from furniture and jewelry to leather goods and metalwork. Vendors will offer a variety of festival food, with favorites ranging from fry bread, kettle corn and homemade ice cream to funnel cakes and barbecue. Organizers said additional musical acts, including local favorites, and clogging teams will be announced soon.
“Mountain Heritage Day is a gift from Western Carolina University to the community, and everyone from everywhere is welcome to attend,” said Chancellor Kelli Brown. “This family-oriented festival shows how much we value this incredible, beautiful region we call home and its diverse culture and history.”
Mountain Heritage Day goes on rain or shine, and everyone is invited to bring lawn chairs or blankets for comfortable seating. Dogs on leashes are allowed, with water and comfort stations provided. For more information and updates, www.mountainheritageday.com.