Dillsboro to celebrate 125th anniversary with Heritage Day

Dillsboro will celebrate the 125th anniversary of its founding on Saturday, September 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with live entertainment, demonstrations, vendors, exhibits, a special celebration train and the release of a new book, The Guide to Historic Dillsboro.

Heritage Day will feature old-time arts and crafts and will provide attendees a glimpse into life in the past.

Artisans/crafters will demonstrate a variety of heritage skills, including basket making, leather products, pottery, corn shuck dolls, needle crafts, soap making, books, chair caning, spinning, candle making, herbs/teas, beekeeping, stained glass/jewelry, gourd art, and more.

The demonstrations will be in tents along Front Street (by the railroad tracks).

Dillsboro vibrant atmosphere

Dillsboro vibrant atmosphere

Catch the Spirit of Appalachia’s “Traditional Heritage Walk” will encircle the courtyard across from the vendors.

This area will include nature and mural art, an apple butter exhibit, a “Wash Day of Old” exhibit, quilting on a rack, sewing on an 1866 peddle-sewing machine, and making crepe paper roses for decoration day.

The Smoky Mountain Quilt Guild will line the front porch area with knitting, rug hooking, quilting, piecing, dolls, puzzles, chicken scratch quilting and a hand-crank sewing machine demonstration.

The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad will be running a special celebration train on September 6. The train will depart the Bryson City Depot at 1 p.m. and return to Bryson City at 5:15 p.m.

Passengers will enjoy the Tuckasegee River Excursion route and will arrive in Dillsboro at 2:15pm for a two-hour layover where they may enjoy the Heritage Day festivities.

For more information about the special train event, visit: http://www.gsmr.com/events/dillsboro-celebration-train/dillsboro-celebration-train

The Guide to Historic Dillsboro will go on sale on September 6. A project of the Dillsboro/Western Carolina University Partnership Committee, the Guide is written and produced by WCU communication/public relations students Tyler Cook, Michael Lovett and Susan Shelton with Dr. Betty Farmer, professor of communication and public relations and leader of the Dillsboro/WCU partnership.

The Guide to Historic Dillsboro highlights the town’s unique history, profiles its award-winning artisans and crafts people, features current businesses, and showcases the wide variety of events and attractions in Dillsboro.

The 140 plus page book will sell for $10, and all profits will be donated to the Appalachian Women’s Museum. The authors will be on hand to autograph the books during Heritage Day.

The Sons of the Confederate will camp out on Friday night before the celebration, and will be in full dress on Saturday. Area choirs will perform throughout the day at Jarrett Memorial Baptist Church, and the church will serve tomato biscuits as long as they last.

The church will be decorated with old photographs of the town and area, with locals knowledgeable of “old times” on hand to talk to visitors. The Appalachian Women’s Museum will also have a display in the church.

Old time games and sack races for the children will be located in the area behind Indulgence Beauty Shop.

The Victory Baptist Church youth group will provide an old-fashioned cakewalk every 30 minutes by Town Hall. The music for the cakewalk will be live, authentic 1889 dulcimer music. There also will be a bake sale.

An old-time lemonade stand will be located near Tree House Pottery, and other handmade food/drink items will be located on Front Street, including Heinzelmännchen Brewery’s root beer, kettle corn, jams and pickles, oven baked goods, and more.

Country Traditions is conducting a “Best Traditional Pie Contest,” with prizes for most original, most traditional, and best in show. To register, stop by or call Country Traditions (828-586-1600) before noon on September 5.

Promoting Appalachian art and heritage, the mural of the establishment of Dillsboro by Doreyl Ammons Cain is located between Nancy Tut’s Christmas Shop and the Jarrett House on Haywood Road.

The mural images portray William Dills, his wife Alice, and the then Principal Cherokee Chief, Nimrod Jarrett Smith (Tsaladihi), along with how the town looked in 1889.

Also promoting art will be the first official Barn Quilt Walk of Dillsboro. Comprised of a series of barn quilt squares painted by a local artist, Tyler Watras of Signs and Designs of Sylva, the trail will lead visitors throughout the town to view the block patterns chosen by each participating merchant.

Traditional music will be playing on a stage near Church Street, throughout the afternoon, including Heartstring from 1- 2 p.m. and Mountain Faith from 2:30-4 p.m.

For more information about Heritage Day go to http://visitdillsboro.org/index.html or contact Brenda Anders at 828-506-8331.

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