By: Nathan HamSports Writernham@jeffersonpost.com
September 14, 2012
Kelley and the Cowboys return to headline the entertainment at the Mountain Heritage Festival in Sparta.
Kelley Breidling’s voice has been compared to Patsy Cline and the group’s touch of Texas swing was a big hit with last year’s festival crowd.
The festival begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, and presented by the Alleghany Arts Council and is organized by the Alleghany Chamber of Commerce.
From 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the festival spreads over a half-mile section of Sparta’s Main Street. Traffic will be closed for a four-block section of downtown for some 100-plus vendors to sell food, art and crafts. This is the 18th year of this day of craft and entertainment in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
This year’s entertainment and craft festival is joined by another big heritage event: the 2012 Native American Powwow just 1.5 miles north of the festival at the county fairgrounds.
The Powwow is a production of Jay Blackheart and Ridge Runner Pow Wows and features Rolling Thunder, Head Lady Dancers Mayola Maize and Woman Brave Spirit, and musician Tony WalkingStick. It opens at 4 p.m. Friday and at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $7. Kids under five are admitted free.
Saturday begins with a 5/10K run over the rolling hills in and around Sparta. Registration for the Blue Ridge Christian School fundraiser begins at 7:30 a.m. at Crouse Park. Details at BlueRidgeChristianSchool.org or call 336-363-4984.
Visitors will also enjoy antique tractors and cars, chain saw carving, horseshoeing, corn-grinding and other demonstrations and displays that illustrate the mountain heritage.
There will be entertainment at the main stage throughout the day. In addition to the Cowboys, the Rise and Shine Band, a popular bluegrass musical group and house band for the Alleghany Jubilee, performs. Festival entertainment includes local dance and closes with the ever popular crowning of the Possum Queen beginning at 4 p.m. There is no charge for admission.
The Alleghany Jubilee will be open at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday featuring the Crooked Road Ramblers on Friday and the Rise and Shine Band on Saturday. Admission is just $4. Details at AlleghanyJubilee.com or call 336-372-4591.
Also, at the Blue Ridge Music Center, located just 17 miles from Sparta at Mile Post 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, will be the Round Peak Ramblers and special guests to honor banjo master Kyle Creed at 7 p.m. A display of Creed’s banjos will be on display 12-7 p.m. at the center. Details at BlueRidgeMusicCenter.org or call 276-236-5309 ext. 112.
The festival is presented by the Alleghany Arts Council with help from an NC Arts Council Grassroots Grant. The entertainment is sponsored by Miles Companies (336-372-5646). VIP sponsors include Alleghany Inn, Alleghany Memorial Hospital, Blevins Building Supply, Food Lion, Halsey Drug Store, and Mountain Dreams Realty. Rounding out the list of sponsors are Alleghany Care and Rehabilitation, Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation, Carolina Farm Credit, G&B Energy, Grayson National Bank, Kathy Shore Nursery, LifeStore Insurance, Scott’s Landscaping, SkyLine-SkyBest Communications, Tri-State Components, and United Country Foxfire Realty.
For more information go to CoolSparta.com/heritage or call 800-372-5473.