Mountain Heritage Day promises just as much food and fun

It’s right around the corner folks! Can you hear the music, smell the Cherokee fry bread, feel the festive atmosphere? If not, you may be in the wrong part of the country. A celebration of mountain culture and Southern Appalachian history, Mountain Heritage Day draws in people from all over the country. Alumni and friends of WCU are sure to make an appearance as young and old gather together to enjoy some of the richest and most dear traditions of the region. As we count down the days to the 33rd Annual Mountain Heritage Day, here’s a preview at what you can expect.

Sam Bush and his band begin the Mountain Heritage Day weekend with a concert in WCU’s Ramsey Center. The “King of Newgrass” will be sure to get the weekend started right with his acoustic melodies and toe-tapping rhythms. Tickets prices are $18 (arena) and $23 (floor) and are available at the Ramsey Center box office.

Bright and semi-early at 8:30 am, MHD will begin with a gunshot as runners and walkers line up for the 5K footrace and the 1-mile Fun Run sponsored by the Sport Management Association. There’s still time to sign up for the race; forms are available on the MHD Web site.

The runner’s “buzz” will lead into another type of buzz when the woodcutting competition begins at 9:30 am. Tear your eyes away to check out the folk artists beginning at 10:00 am, but be cautious to cover your ears at 10:30 am, when the black powder shooting exhibition starts. Allow your ears to take a break by enjoying the “Sacred Harp” shape-note sing and Cherokee ball, commencing at 11:00 am.

From 11 am-1 pm, let yourself be a kid again by enjoying the Hands-on Children Heritage activities. Stick around for story-telling at 1 pm, or head over to the Norton Music Stage for Balsam Range. You can stay there for great music, or come back at 2:45 pm to watch the Rough Creek, and then the Mountain Valley, Cloggers. And please don’t miss WCU student group Cullowhee Creek at the stage at 3:45 pm.

During that last hour, go visit the craft booths if you haven’t already. Local artists are always excited to tell you about what they do. You can also stop by to see who won the coveted traditional food contests, a returning competition that always draws a lot of participants. Make sure you watch out for the drool all over the ground.

Phew! I know that was a fast run-through, but there are more events than those. Check out the entire schedule by visiting the Mountain Heritage Day Web site at