Western Carolina University – Mountain Heritage Day Announces Award-Winning Musical Headliners
By Geoff Cantrell
Becky Buller Band and Mountain Heart will be the musical stars of this year’s Mountain Heritage Day, Western Carolina University’s popular outdoor festival being held this year on Saturday, September 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Bluegrass, traditional music and gospel music are a major part of the event, which is equal parts family reunion, harvest festival, arts and crafts showcase, county fair and a musical jamboree – all to celebrate the wonderful diversity of Southern Appalachian history and culture.
In addition to musical stages, arts and crafts booths, children’s activities, heritage demonstrations, Cherokee stick ball games, a chainsaw contest, wagon rides, and a classic car and truck show . Admission is free, as is parking and the shuttle service.
Becky Buller and her band received standing ovations and stellar reviews when they performed at Mountain Heritage Day in 2019. A 10-time winner of the International Bluegrass Music Association award, her songs have appeared on multiple albums winners at the Grammy Awards, and she made history by being the first artist to win in the instrumental and vocal categories, in addition to being the first female violinist of the year.
Mountain Heart has numerous Grand Ole Opry appearances under its belt, performing there and everywhere else with an energetic, virtuosic style of hybrid acoustic music. This will be their first appearance at Mountain Heritage Day.
The festival, which began in 1974, continues its legacy of showcasing traditional folk arts and skills, Cherokee craftsmanship, clogging, storytelling, and form-note singing. More than 130 arts and crafts vendors will be present with creations ranging from furniture and jewelry to leather goods and metalwork. Vendors will be offering a variety of festival foods, with favorites ranging from fried bread, hot corn and homemade ice cream to funnel cakes and barbecue. Organizers said additional musical acts, including local favorites, and patching crews will be announced soon.
“Mountain Heritage Day is a gift from Western Carolina University to the community, and everyone from everywhere is welcome,” said Chancellor Kelli Brown. “This family-friendly festival shows how much we appreciate this incredible and beautiful region we call home, and its diverse culture and history.”
Mountain Heritage Day takes place rain or shine, and everyone is encouraged to bring garden chairs or blankets to sit comfortably. Leashed dogs are permitted, with water and toilet blocks provided. For more information and updates, www.mountainheritageday.com.