Burnsville Invitational Showcases Southeast’s Finest Luthiers, May 24-26

Some of the finest stringed instruments in the Southeast will be on display in Burnsville, N.C. for the inaugural Mountain Acoustics Luthier Invitational, Memorial Day weekend, May 24-26. The event celebrates hand-built stringed instruments with an emphasis on the artists who craft them and the musicians who play them.
Luthiers specializing in crafting guitars, mandolins, ukuleles, dulcimers, harps, violins, basses and banjos will travel to Burnsville from North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia and West Virginia.
Throughout the day Saturday and Sunday, luthiers showcase their instruments to the public and lead workshops on songwriting, guitar and ukulele playing, and the luthier craft. Jay Lichty of Lichty Guitars in Tryon serves as host luthier.
“I have some fun projects on my bench to bring and share,” Lichty says. “Multiplying that by the 30 to 40 other luthiers doing their own fun projects — and add the natural beauty of the area and the cool mountain town of Burnsville — and you have the recipe for an epic weekend.”
On Saturday night, guitar virtuoso Kaki King headlines a concert at Parkway Playhouse. Rolling Stone named King its first female “guitar god.” Beloved local duo Ron and Minnie Powell open the evening, and Asheville artist Nick Gonnering performs second.
“This area is home to some of the finest craftsmen in the country, so to honor that rich heritage with an event that features many of the top luthiers in the Southeast is a great fit,” says Ginger Johnson, director of the Burnsville-Yancey County Chamber of Commerce. “And it’s a good time to experience Burnsville in the spring during Memorial Day weekend.”
Festivities kick off Friday at 7 p.m. with a free luthier jam at Homeplace Beer Co. The showcase and workshops take place Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Burnsville Town Center. Admission is $10 for one day or $15 for both days; workshops require an additional fee. A full list of workshops and prices is available at www.MountainAcoustics.com. For $5, attendees can purchase a raffle ticket to win a C.F. Morrison guitar.
Tickets for Saturday night’s 7 p.m. concert at Parkway Playhouse are $35. Concert tickets and a complete listing of activities are available online at www.MountainAcoustics.com or by calling (828) 682-4285.
For information about Burnsville, including lodging, go to www.YanceyChamber.com.