“Real Roots” fans from across the nation will celebrate the folkways of the Blue Ridge at the Blue Ridge Folklife Festival, Oct. 28, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on the Ferrum College campus, Ferrum, VA.
Now in its 44th year, the festival brings together traditional musicians, craftspeople, cooks, antique tractor and engine buffs, car builders, horse and mule teamsters, dog handlers, moonshiners, tale tellers, slingshot masters, and much more. The New York Times has called the festival “thoroughly authentic.”
Special this year at the Blue Ridge Folklife are four music showcase workshops exploring the diversity of the region’s musical heritage. “A Buffet of Banjo Styles” will highlight various playing styles heard in central and western Virginia. “Songs I Learned at Home” will follow the family roots of area ballad singers. “The Music of the Legendary Carter Family Lives On” presents the artistry of A. P. Carter’s grandson and his longtime friend. “African American Gospel in the Blue Ridge” presents four distinctive styles of black voices in praise.
Other Blue Ridge Folklife Festival highlights include:
- Three Music Stages—21 solid hours of old-time dance tunes, bluegrass, gospel, blues, and early country.
- Slingshot Masters—Hotshot shooters plus plenty of slingshots for the public to try.
- Wheat Threshing and Rock Crushing Demos—The power and beauty of vintage tractors, engines, and machinery at work.
- Working Animal Contests and Demos—Sheep herding, coon dog water races and treeing contests, horse/mule log skidding and pulling contests.
- The Virginia Championship Coon Mule Jumping Contest—Mule jumping as only mules do.
- Real Blue Ridge Folk Crafts—From quilting to guitar making, sales and demonstrations by over 50 heritage artisans.
- Country Foods—From pinto beans to funnel cakes, over 20 traditional foods.
- Children’s Folk Games—Old-time play, no battery needed.
- Moonshine Still and Tales—The cats and the mice together on stage trading stories from the heyday of Blue Ridge “spirits.”
Held rain or shine, the Blue Ridge Folklife Festival is a one-of-a-kind event and a full day of family entertainment.
Priced with the family in mind, admission is: Adults–$10; Youth (6-15)–$5; and Senior Citizens (60 and over)–$5. Advance tickets can be purchased by check or credit card at 540-365-4412. Parking is free.