Festival of the Mountain Masters

Published 10:09 am Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Festival of the Mountain Masters 2017 is slated for Nov. 24 and 25 at the Village Center Mall.

This is year 33 for the festival, presented by the Harlan Chamber of Commerce and Harlan Tourism.

Harlan Tourism Director Brandon Pennington said this year’s festival will again feature vendors, artisans and musicians from all over the region.

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“We’re very excited about the 33rd Festival of the Mountain Masters,” Pennington said. “It’s one of our favorite events, because everything that comes to this festival is hand-made, hand-crafted or home-baked. We refer to it as the “Authentic Appalachian Experience.”

According to Pennington, there will be an additional aspect to the festival this time around.

“This year, in partnership with Harlan 20/20, we’re adding a festival of trees,” he said. “They’ve got about 100 trees they’re going to set up in the old Hospice store front. Each tree will have a theme. For example, there may be an education tree, a Harlan County tree and a coal miner themed tree.”

Pennington explained the trees will be on display throughout the festival and may be available for purchase.

There are a large number of vendors expected for this year’s festival.

“We’re currently up to 50 vendors,” Pennington said. “We’re projecting we’ll have more vendors than we’ve ever had.”

Most of the vendors will be close to home, including local favorites Taco Holler and Hog Heaven BBQ.

“We will also be doing our photography contest again,” Pennington said. “Last year, we had more submissions than the previous year, and we’re hoping to get even more this year.”

For those wishing to enter the photography contest, bring your photographs to the festival.

“We start accepting entries at 10 a.m. the first day of the festival,” Pennington said. “We’ll take them all through the day and they’re judged after the festival closes for that day. The following day, you can come and see if you’ve won a ribbon.”

The photography awards will include three divisions: amateur, accomplished and children.

“We also have awards for our demonstrators,” Pennington said. “This year we’re also adding awards for our vendors.”

The festival always features music and dancing, and this year is no different.

“The Kudzu Killers will be closing the festival,” Pennington said. “Brooklyn Collins will be performing, as well as Sunrise Ridge and Lawana Blevins. We also have the Rosspoint Elementary Pee Wee Dancers, they always do a really great show.”

The crafts expected to be on display include quilts, baked goods, horseshoe art, birdhouses, jewelry, candles, homemade soap, handmade knives, signs, brooms and other such items. Displays of basket weaving, chair caning and stained glass making are also planned.

For more information on the photography contest, contact Ashley Bledsoe at 606-573-4495.

For information on becoming a vendor or demonstrator, contact Brandon Pennington at 606-573-4156 or Aimee Blanton at 606-573-4915 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Information may also be obtained at the Harlan Center.