The 25th annual Dillsboro Arts & Music Festival will be held on Saturday, June 20 in the historic downtown of Dillsboro. Notorious for its repeated celebration in the mountains, the festival combines arts and fine crafts exhibitors with live music in order to celebrate the town’s pleasant community and support its local artists. The festival has had a continuous successful turnout each year. It sends a lot of new people to the area and is popular among nearby tourists, many who have traveled from Tennessee. “This festival helps draw attention to what is so pleasant about our community and it is important that we support anything that helps promote that,” said Karen “Sugar” Barnes, a noted blues singer who has performed for the festival for many years.
Thirty four various artists and craftsmen will be exhibiting their work, including: pottery, gourd art, paintings, photography, wrought iron, wood sculpture, wood furniture, handmade jewelry, handcrafted soaps and candles, and other folk craft items.
“The festival is all about the artists and making sure they do well,” said festival coordinator Joe Frank Mckee. Live music will be played all day to accompany the featured arts and crafts.
“The music selection is smaller than it has been before,” said Mckee. “But the talent this year is some of the best we have ever rounded up.”
The music lineup will begin at 10:00am as blues singer Karen “Sugar” Barnes kicks off the event with a performance. Immediately following Barnes will be jazz sounds from the Tyler Kittle Trio as they perform at 10:30am At noon, Keith Shuler will perform, followed by Brittany Reilly and the Almost Acoustic Band at 12:30pm and at 2pm, acclaimed blues guitarist Marshall Ballew will also be playing, followed by the old time Rock and Roll band called Home Remedies performing at 3pm.
As a grand finale, Barnes will be the last to perform at 5pm and will be accompanied by the guitar sounds of Marshall Ballew as well as his band.
“I always liked being a part of the festival,” Barnes said. “Dillsboro is such a neat little place to live and the festival gives us a good excuse to be able to come visit.”
Meanwhile, an assortment of enjoyable tastes will be offered, including the town’s famous homemade kettle corn. There will also be a pleasing variety of restaurants available along the strip of the town. The walk-about community is home to over 50 studios, small shops, eateries and inns, as well as a railroad depot. The town is c located at the crossroads of U.S. Highway 441 and the Great Smoky Mountains Expressway. Festival hours are 10am to 5pm, and admission is free of charge. There will be free and paid parking available. The festival is sponsored annually by the Dillsboro Merchant’s Association.
For festival information, call Joe Frank McKee at (828) 631-5100. If interested in lodging options or other visitor information, Jackson County Tourism Authority is available via phone at (800) 962-1911.