Big Stone Gap — Mountain Empire Community College has announced the 49th Annual Home Craft Days Festival will be held as a virtual video-cast celebration with on campus events cancelled in 2020 due to concerns related to COVID-19. The video-cast will feature current and past music performances, craft demonstrations, and vendor highlights.
The College is adhering to state guidelines related to large group gatherings. Although this is a painful decision that impacts many vendors, Home Craft Days Festival Director Dr. Michael Gilley said the cancellation is in the best interest of public health.
“Since the festival’s beginning in the fall of 1972, Home Craft Days has become an annual gathering place, as the festival’s originator, Roddy Moore called it a ‘homecoming’, an event to draw people back home to their traditional roots in the old ways of living in our area of southwestern Virginia,” said Dr. Gilley. “To keep this homecoming available to our communities on the third weekend of October 2020 and to maintain the safety of our participants and guests, we will plan a virtual festival for this year and come back strong for a great homecoming on our 50th Anniversary in October 2021.”
Celebrating the rich music, culture, and artistry of Southwest Virginia, the Home Craft Days Festival, held annually on the third weekend in October, features two full days of concerts, craft vendors, and demonstrations of weaving, pottery making, grist milling, wood crafting, basket weaving, broom making, quilting, tatting and more. Approximately 20,000 people attend the festival annually, which includes a standing-room only Friday night kickoff concert.
The festival will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2021, with special activities already being planned. An announcement will be made at a later date regarding the upcoming 2020 video-cast special event. For additional details regarding Home Craft Days, or for information on becoming a vendor or sponsor, visit www.homecraftdays.org.