Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair Highlights Handmade Items

BURNSVILLE, N.C.– More than 200 vendors gather on downtown Burnsville’s historic Town Square for the Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair, Friday, Aug. 3, and Saturday, Aug. 4. The 62nd annual crafts fair is a juried show, and all of the items are handmade.

Colorful quilts, intricate woodcarvings, jewelry made with local gemstones, woven baskets, metalwork crafted by blacksmiths, rustic furniture, and pottery vessels in all shapes and sizes fill the booths along Main Street.

“We have a good mix of new vendors and regulars returning,” says Ginger Johnson, executive director of the Yancey County Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the event. “We’re excited to have more local crafters involved this year than we have in a long time.”

The Toe River Valley has long been a haven for artists and craftsmen. Artists of all media call Yancey County home, and the area is particularly known for its concentration of glassblowers. Nearby Penland School of Crafts draws people from all over to hone their skills. Many of them find inspiration in the solace and beauty of the surrounding mountains and decide to stay and set up a studio.

The Mount Mitchell Crafts Fair was born out of a local tradition where artists came to town to sell their wares on Town Square before the end of the summer season. Today it is one of the largest events of its kind in the region.

In addition to arts and crafts, local musicians and dancers provide entertainment. On Friday, enjoy Hot Duck Soup, Smokey Joe & Friends, Carolina Express, the WD Cloggers, and Ron and Minnie Powell. Performers from Parkway Playhouse take the stage Saturday morning, followed by Thistle Dew, Dance & Karate Express, Line Drive and Typical Mountain Boys.

A variety of fair foods, such as funnel cakes, barbecue, hot dogs, lemonade and homemade ice cream, round out the offerings.

“It’s a great two days in Burnsville, doing some shopping, listening to music under the shade trees on Town Square,” Johnson says.

Hours for the Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday. Admission to the fair is free. For more information about the crafts fair, and other attractions and lodging options in Yancey County, visit www.ExploreBurnsville.com or call (828) 682-7413.