Mt. Mitchell Arts & Crafts Fair
Nearly 250 artists will fill Burnsville’s Town Square for the 66th Mt. Mitchell Arts & Crafts Fair on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 4-5.
Considered the granddaddy of art shows in Western North Carolina, this juried event focuses on quality, handmade wares from local artists in the Toe River Valley and regional artisans across the southern Appalachians.
“This is the second straight year we will be at capacity following the pandemic,” says festival director Christy Wood of the Burnsville-Yancey Chamber of Commerce. “All spots are filled and there is a waiting list for vendors.”
Booths encircling the square will showcase a variety of crafts, from ceramics and wood carvings to jewelry, blown and sculpted glass, metalwork, textiles and woven baskets. Burnsville is considered a center for studio glass in America and the fair will have five glass artists displaying their work.
“We continue to improve the quality of the art and craft, striving for the best of the best,” Wood says. “Fortunately, many of the best live and work right in our midst.”
The fair, which began in 1956, retains its traditional Friday-Saturday format, with one small change. Friday will feature an extra hour, beginning and 9 a.m. and running through 6 p.m. Saturday’s hours remain 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“It will be nice to have an extra hour Friday afternoon for people who want to come after work or for those who would like a little more time to shop,” Wood says.
A variety of bluegrass, country and gospel bands will perform on the main stage each day. Those acts include Asheville Junction Band, featuring an Americana/bluegrass sound; Tall Boys, a country/blues band from Asheville; Americana folk duo Admiral Radio of Columbia, S.C.; and the well-known gospel sounds of The Edwards Family of Burnsville.
Appalachian Performing Arts of Burnsville will provide a clogging demonstration Friday.
Returning for a second year is a children’s performance by the Parkway Playhouse at noon Friday on the main stage: “The Tale of the Pig.” It’s part of the Playhouse’s Reading is Alive program and all children present receive a free craft item from the Penland School of Craft.
Photo: Dennis McAvoy Pottery.