Rhododendron Festival this weekend will feature music, crafts, and food

Published 1:33 pm Wednesday, June 14, 2023

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From Staff Reports
The 76th Rhododendron Festival, a two-day festival which will be held this weekend at Roan Mountain State Park, is hosted by the Roan Mountain Citizens Center. The festival, which will be held Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, will feature handcrafted vendors, music/entertainment and food. As always this event is free to the public and all proceeds collected by volunteers are put back into the Roan Mountain community.
June 1947 saw the first of the Rhododendron Festivals, conceived and carried out by the Roan Mountain Citizens Club as a two-day celebration to memorialize and perpetuate the most gorgeous display of natural beauty on the North American continent. The festival has continued uninterrupted for over 60 years.
Originally the festival was held at the top of Roan Mountain.
In recent years the festival has been held in Roan Mountain State Park, located at the foot of Roan Mountain, and not only features handmade crafts, food, and a variety of traditional music, but also an array of old-time folkway demonstrations.
The schedule of entertainment for the weekend is as follows:
– 10 to 11 a.m., Simply Scott
– 11 a.m. to 12 noon, Trailblazer Cloggers
– 12 to 1 p.m., Jim and Cheri Miller
– 1 to 2 p.m., Moonshiners
– 2 to 3 p.m., Sound Traveler
– 3 to 4 p.m., Mike McKinney
– 4 to 5 p.m., Fiddling Leona and J.P. Mathes
The Sunday entertainment lineup includes:
– 10 a.m. to 12 noon, Open Mic
– 12 noon to 1 p.m., Rock Creek Ramblers
– 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., Bright In the Corner
– 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., Greater Glory
– 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., Stemwinder.
According to a spokesman at the Roan Mountain State Park, there is some bloom on the mountain and is approaching its peak. To get the best views of the bloom, take an easy, scenic drive to the balds through the state park or hike through Carvers Gap on the Appalachian Trail.
Also, North Carolina is having its Rhododendron Festival this weekend.
Roan Mountain is famous for its spectacular natural gardens of Catawba rhododendron (Rhododendron catawbiense). The peak bloom time for the sea of purple-magenta is usually mid June, plus or minus a week depending on weather. The area is located on the North Carolina / Tennessee state line – the Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina and Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee.

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