MORRISTOWN (press release)—Mountain Makins is a weekend folklife festival celebrating the traditions of Appalachia through music, dance, fine art, juried crafts, storytelling, demonstrations, regional authors, children’s activities, food and more. The event draws approximately 7,000 visitors. The festival is housed in and around Rose Center, an 1892 school building, which now serves Morristown, Tennessee as a cultural arts center and historical museum.
With the dogwood trees already turning red, and cooler weather in the forecast, it’s not hard to believe Rose Center’s Mountain Makins Festival is only a few days away.
The 39th Annual Mountain Makins Festival will be celebrated at Rose Center Saturday, Oct. 25 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 26 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The festival kicks off with a Preview Party on Friday, October 24, from 6:30 – 9pm. Guests will be treated to a gourmet buffet, beverages, and a first chance to purchase the handcrafted artwork. Entertainment for the evening will be Another Roadside Attraction, a high-energy band playing an eclectic mix of Zydeco, blues, and mountain music. Advance-only tickets for Friday night are $35 and also serve as weekend passes to the festival.
For those new to town or just learning about this family-friendly event, Mountain Makins is a weekend folklife festival centered around a juried fine art and craft show. But unlike many craft shows, this one includes a host of other activities, with two stages of music, storytelling, prize-winning dancers, regional authors, children’s activities, and plenty of good food.
“The whole festival committee works hard each year to bring in new and interesting crafts, music, food, and other features,” comments Beccy Hamm, festival director, “and this year that has been especially true.”
The historic building and grounds are filled with arts and crafts. Visitors will find the best of regional crafts, including folk art, pottery, baskets, woodworking, bath products, stained glass and blown glass, jewelry, decorative painting, metalwork, candles, and other handcrafted items as well as fine art and photography.
Two stages in the back yard will host non-stop mountain music, featuring old time, bluegrass, Celtic, and more. Some favorite bands are returning, along with several new entertainers. Prize-winning clogging teams, line dancers, and the ever popular Tsoyaha Indian Dancers will perform on West Second North Street in front of the building.
A very special feature of this festival is the live demonstration of traditional crafts such as blacksmithing, hide tanning, basket making, beekeeping, broom making, wood turning and and apple butter making. Visitors will find these also out in front of the building.
The Storytelling Tent is a place to sit down, get comfortable and let yourself be carried away to other times and places. This year a Story Slam will be held both Saturday and Sunday, so that visitors can take their turn at the microphone in hopes of winning a spot at next year’s event.
More stories, the written kind, can be found at the Authors Corner. Local and regional writers bring their latest work in mysteries, humor, novels, young adult, children’s stories and nonfiction.
New craft projects are planned for the Children’s Tent. Pumpkin decorating, face painting, and games will be there as well. And this year there will be train rides for the kiddies.
As always, there will be plenty of great food, from barbeque to jambalaya. The Country Store will be selling beans ‘n’ cornbread, homemade baked goods and lots more.
The award-winning Mountain Makins Festival is housed in and around Rose Center, an 1892 school building, now a cultural arts center and historical museum. All proceeds support Rose Center and its many arts, historical and educational programs. Rose Center is grateful for the support of local businesses and many volunteers, which ensures the success of this cherished autumn celebration.