The High Country was historically isolated from the conveniences of city life. People here sustained homesteads through hard work, and learned to utilize what they harvested to create what they needed. Many of those arts and crafts developed long ago are still being produced by local artisans and craftspeople. In the heart of every town and hamlet here, you’ll find shops and co-ops, galleries and studios, and festivals as well as art supply outlets where you can watch demonstrations of authentic crafts and original artwork, sign up for a workshop or purchase a one-of-a-kind treasure as a gift, or for yourself.
An Appalachian Summer Festival
Presented by Appalachian State Universityâ€™s Office of Arts & Cultural Programs, this annual celebration of the performing and visual arts is held every July in venues across the university campus, and features a diverse mix of music, dance, theatre, visual arts and film programming.
The festival has risen in stature to become one of the nationâ€™s most highly respected summer festivals, acclaimed for the breadth and quality of its artistic programming.
The festivalâ€™s roster of notable artists has included: The Beach Boys,Brian Stokes Mitchell, Jennifer Nettles, Sutton Foster, The Avett Brothers, Kelli Oâ€™Hara, Pat Benatar, Melissa Etheridge, Pink Martini, Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers, Jerry Douglas Band, Chris Botti, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Patti Lupone, Ralph Stanley, Doc Watson, Willie Nelson, Dierks Bentley, Bruce Hornsby, Chicago, The Doobie Brothers, kd lang, Sheryl Crow, Triad Stage, the Eastern Festival Orchestra, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Pilobolus, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Lily Tomlin, Garrison Keillor and Idina Menzel, among many others.
A global film series, lectures and workshops, and a world-class visual arts program featuring two national, juried competitions and a dynamic exhibition program are also key components of the festivalâ€™s distinctive programming mix.
The 35th season of An Appalachian Summer Festival will be announced in spring 2019!
Grandfather Mountain Highland Games
The Annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games and Gathering of Scottish Clans brings the color of hundreds of tartan plaids and the clamor of hundreds of pipers and drummers to the North Carolina Highlands every second full weekend in July.
The Highland Games begin Thursday afternoon with a sheep dog demonstration, Celtic entertainment, the running of The Bear, and the opening ceremonies. The opening ceremonies begin at dusk with a Torchlight Ceremony where representatives of each of the 85 clans announce their family's participation in the gathering.
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are filled with competition in heavy-weight Scottish athletic events; highland dancing competition; bagpipe band parades; piping, drumming and harp competitions; sheep herding demonstrations by Scottish border collies and concerts featuring a wide variety of Celtic music.
On Friday night, the Celtic Jam highlights traditional and contemporary Celtic music at MacRae Meadows and on Saturday night the Celtic Rock Concert serves up encore performances from some of the higher energy bands.
Adult tickets are $15 Thursday, $20 Friday, $30 Saturday and $15 Sunday (all days are $5 for children age 5-12, under age 5 is free). The tickets cover all activities in the meadows, which on Friday and Saturday last from early morning to midnight. Tickets are $5 each day for children ages 5-12 with children under five free. Tickets are available at the field on the day of the event. Four-day tickets are also available online at www.gmhg.org. Adult 4-day passes are $75 and children's passes are $20. These 4-day passes now include shuttle bus service Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Committed to producing a high quality diversified American roots based musical experience that attracts a broad audience and reunites guests, supporters and performers in an annual celebration of Americana music.
Todd Community Preservation Org.
The Todd Community Preservation Organization was established in 1999 and its mission is to preserve our community's history, natural beauty and culture while creating a sustainable community.