77th Rhododendron Festival planned June 22 & 23

Published 10:03 am Wednesday, June 5, 2024

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The 77th Annual Rhododendron Festival will be held June 23 and 24 at the Roan Mountain State Park.

In recent years the festival has been held in Roan Mountain State Park, located at the foot of Roan Mountain, and features handmade crafts, food, and a variety of traditional music, plus an array of old-time folkway demonstrations. The festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

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.

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This festival has continued uninterrupted for over 60 years.The festival is held annually in June. Originally the festival was held at the top of Roan Mountain and included the Miss Rhododendron Pageant. It has been attended by national, state, and local officials as well as celebrities.

Parking by donation to local civic groups, admission, demonstrations, and entertainment all day both days. There will be over 100 arts and crafts vendors. A variety of food will be available.

The Citizens Club will have Roan Mountain cookbooks, auto tags, and T-shirts available for purchase at the festival. See them at the tent under the big oak tree. Club members will also be selling ice-cold canned drinks and bottled water. All proceeds go to Roan Mountain community projects at schools, fire department, etc.

A Mini-Auction for Scholarships for Cloudland High School Graduates will be conducted between performances. Festival vendors and local businesses have donated items.

The Roan Mountain Recreation Area will be closed for the 2024 season, however, the closing will have no effect on Roan Mountain State Park or this year’s festival.

Areas that are closed for public safety include the Recreation Area, the road to the Recreation Area, Cloudland trail, Rhododendron Gardens, and Cloudland site. The Appalachian Trail and Carvers Gap remain open, but parking is extremely limited at Carvers Gap.