Big Stone Gap, VA – Mountain Empire Community College will host the college’s annual Home Craft Days Festival, October 21-23, featuring the unique music, crafts, food, and artistry of the Appalachian region.
The 51st Home Craft Days Festival will feature 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. A special free Friday night concert, with opening reception, will also be held.
Heading this year’s Friday night concert are Tommy Bledsoe, Rich Kirby, Tyler Hughes, and Todd Meade; the New River Railsplitters, and Tim O’Brien with Jan Fabricius. The concert will begin at 6:30 p.m. in MECC’s Phillips-Taylor Hall Goodloe Center. Guests are invited to join us for free Dough & Joe and Kettlecorn while supplies last from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Back Draft Bar-B-Q will also offer a paid dinner options for guests. Mountain Rose Vineyard’s wine selections will also be available as a paid beverage option.
According to festival coordinator Lee Davis, “This year’s festival should be more exciting than ever. We have several new vendors in all three areas – crafts, food, and demonstrations. The staff at MECC love seeing our community come out to enjoy the music, food, & crafts.”
Craft and food vendors will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday only. Saturday’s music schedule includes featured performers: Todd Meade and Family, Tommy & Ben, John Haywood, Empty Bottle String Band with the Center Stage Cloggers, Sarah Kate Morgan, Town Branch Bluegrass, Four State Ramblers, Scott County Boys, Whitetop Mountain Band with Center Stage Cloggers, Bill and the Belles, Square Dance with The Crooked Road Ramblers, Trinity Valley Travelers, Wise County JAM, Trevor McKenzie, Rita Quillen, Joy Branham, Hillbilly Hippies, Joy Blair, Roxanne McDaniels, Richard Hood, Rose and Vine, Danny Whited and Friends of Bluegrass, The White Brothers, and Carol Moore.
Sunday’s performers include: Rich Kirby & Nate Polly, Blue Ridge Girls, Oscar Harris, Gap Civil, Siegan, George Reynolds, Angie DeBord, Smith Family Singers, Appalachian Trail, MECC String Band, Mountain Melody School, Brandon Maggard, Richard Phillips, The Childress Girls, Travis Kern, Sulphuric Springs String Dippers, and Kelsey Rae Copeland.
MECC will also host it’s 50th Anniversary Gala, in coordination with the Home Craft Days Festival, on Saturday, October 22, at 6:30 p.m. featuring world-renowned musician and entertainer John McCutcheon. The 50th Anniversary Gala is a black-tie optional event celebrating the half-century legacy of the college. Tickets are $50 each and can be purchased at www.meccfoundation.org or by calling MECC Foundation Annual Fund Coordinator, Megan Gibson at (276) 523-9078.
Admission is FREE to all the festival events, with the exception of the 50th Anniversary Gala. MECC is located on US Route 23 just south of Big Stone Gap, Virginia. Parking and shuttles for the festival will be offered at five locations in Big Stone Gap. Shuttle rides are $1 per person, or $2 round-trip, at boarding. Locations include:
• Union High School (formerly Powell Valley High School) – Front Parking Lot
• Curbside, Wood Ave, in Front of Food City
• Curbside, Municipal Parking Lot behind Post Office/Federal Building
• Country Inn
• Comfort Inn
For more information on the event, including a detailed schedule of vendors and musicians, visit the Home Craft Days website at www.homecraftdays.org.