Small Town Festivals

This past weekend, we went to a local festival that celebrated mountain culture. Our region of North Carolina is part of Appalachia and the mountain heritage runs deep in the rural counties that march along the spine of the Appalachian range.

 

Pretending to take a picture of the boys so I can snap a shot of the gentleman in overalls.


Mountain culture was an enigma to me in our first months here, but I’ve come to realize that it includes the following: a love of folk music, a love of family, a love of the land that has belonged to your bloodline for generations and above all, it’s a love of overalls. Seriously, they’re everywhere.

Since it had been raining for the past week, the Irishman convinced me that it was a good idea to wear rain boots (instead of my usual flip flops), just in case the grass was soggy.

This turned out to be a regrettable decision because (as you can see from the down-turned faces of my offspring), it turn out to be dry and blindingly hot in the sun. In other words, my feet were baking.

There were hundreds of booths that featured things like local pottery…

and handmade furniture.

There were also the usual festival food vendors and while I was dying to try Cherokee fry bread, the line was ridiculously long (like 50 people deep). Speaking of the Cherokee people, they had a huge presence in this area and there is still a sizable population of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. All throughout the festival, they put on demonstrations of traditional Native American games. Here, some teenagers are playing a game of “Stick Ball.”

After we watched the game for a while (which is a more simplistic version of lacrosse), Parker led us towards the boarding area for the hayrides. He rode on a wagon pulled by horses…

 and also on a wagon pulled by mules…

and he even rode on a wagon pulled by a tractor. I didn’t get a picture of that one as I was nursing Lexi while sitting on a bale of hay (that was a first), but I waved at him as he went by and watched him happily bounce around the not-so-stable wagon.

One of the last thing we did was to check out the classic cars that people brought in (although I’m not sure how that fits into the mountain culture) and Parker got to sit in this old Wells Fargo carriage.

While it was no Mule Day, it was definitely a nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon with the family.

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