Cowboys and Indians coming to Sparta

Staff report

September 8, 2012

Kelley and the Cowboys return to headline the entertainment at the Sept. 15, 2012, Mountain Heritage Festival.

The Festival begins at 10 a.m. and is presented by the Alleghany Arts Council. The festival is organized by the Alleghany Chamber of Commerce.

From 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the Festival spreads over a half-mile section of Sparta. Traffic will be closed for a four-block section of downtown for some 100-plus vendors to sell food, art and crafts. This is the 18th year of this day of craft and entertainment in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Sparta is a short drive from the North Carolina Piedmont and I-77.

Take exit 83 (northbound traffic only) or exit 85 (southbound traffic) and follow US 21 North approximately 28 miles up the Blue Ridge Mountains.. For more information go to CoolSparta.com/heritage or call 800-372-5473.

This year’s entertainment and craft festival on Sparta, North Carolina’s Main Street is joined by another big heritage event: the 2012 Native American Powwow just 1.5 miles north of the Festival at the County Fairgrounds. With this Friday through Sunday gathering, Sparta hosts a double dose of heritage experience for visitors.

The Powwow is a production of Jay Blackheart and Ridge Runner Pow Wows and features Rolling Thunder, Head Lady Dancers Mayola Maize and Woman Brave Spirit, and musician Tony WalkingStick.

It opens Friday at 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m. Admission is $7. Kids under five are admitted free. More information available at CoolSparta.com/powwow or call 336-428-4395.

Saturday begins with a 5/10K run over the rolling hills in and around Sparta opens the day. Registration for the Blue Ridge Christian School fundraiser begins at 7:30 a.m. at Crouse Park. Details at BlueRidgeChristianSchool.org or call 336-363-4984.

Several thousand visitors are expected to come up the mountain to enjoy a day of music and dance, and shop for handmade crafts as well as experience our native culture. Visitors will can enjoy antique tractors and cars, chain saw carving, horseshoeing, corn-grinding and other demonstrations and displays that illustrate the mountain heritage.

There will be entertainment at the Main Stage throughout the day. In addition to the Cowboys, the Rise and Shine Band, a popular bluegrass musical group and house band for the Alleghany Jubilee, performs. Festival entertainment includes local dance and closes with the ever popular crowning of the Possum Queen beginning at 4 p.m. There is no charge for admission.

Roger Sharp with his Bearfoot Chainsaw Art is returning. This Sherrills Ford, N.C. artist distinguishes himself by the surgical precession with which he handles his chainsaw when carving bears and other animals, but also because he prefers to work barefoot.

The Alleghany Jubilee will be open Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. featuring the Crooked Road Ramblers on Friday and the Rise and Shine Band on Saturday. Admission Is just $4. Details at AlleghanyJubilee.com or call 336-372-4591.

Also, at the Blue Ridge Music Center, located just 17 miles from Sparta at Mile Post 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, features the Round Peak Ramblers and special guests to honor banjo master Kyle Creed at 7 p.m. A display of Creed’s banjos will be on display at the Center noon to 7 p.m. Details at BlueRidgeMusicCenter.org or call 276-236-5309 ext. 112.

The festival is presented by the Alleghany Arts Council with help from an N.C. Arts Council Grassroots Grant.

The entertainment is sponsored by Miles Companies (336-372-5646). VIP sponsors include Alleghany Inn, Alleghany Memorial Hospital, Blevins Building Supply, Food Lion, Halsey Drug Store, and Mountain Dreams Realty.

Rounding out the list of sponsors are: Alleghany Care and Rehabilitation, Blue Ridge Electric Membership Cooperation, Carolina Farm Credit, G&B Energy, Grayson National Bank, Kathy Shore Nursery, LifeStore Insurance, Scott’s Landscapping, Skyline-Skybest Communications, Tri-State Components, and United Country Foxfire Realty.