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Folk festival Western N.C.

Festival celebrates Appalachian heritage

Authentic mountain music, dancing and tradition take center stage at the 37th annual Smoky Mountain Folk Festival, Friday and Saturday at Stuart Auditorium on Lake Junaluska in Haywood County.

Each night, the festival features open tent shows on the lawn beginning at 5, with main stage performances at 6:30. Many of the region's top fiddlers, banjo players, string bands, ballad singers, buck dancers and square dancers will perform. They include Larry Watson, the Queen Family Band, Phil and Gaye Johnson, Trever Stuart, Shelia Kay Adams, the Dixie Darlins (Dance Team), Mountain Valley Cloggers, Rough Creek Cloggers, Cole Mountain Cloggers and the UNC Asheville Smooth Dancers. Visitors will also hear the regional sounds of the dulcimer, harmonica, Native American flute, bagpipes, spoons and a bowed carpenter's saw.

Tickets are $10 at the door; $7.50 in advance; free for 12 and younger. Advance tickets can be purchased at the Haywood County Arts Council, 86 N. Main St., in Waynesville, or at the Administration Building at Lake Junaluska. Details: www .smokymountainfolkfestival.com.

Ethnic festival Eastern Tenn.

Popular festival features Celtic culture

The Sycamore Shoals annual Celtic Festival, featuring entertainment and events for all ages, is Sept. 5-7 (Friday-Sunday) at Sycamore Shoals State Historical Park in Elizabethton, Tenn.

Highlights include the opening Torchlight Ceremony and Calling of the Clans on Friday; Saturday's costume contest, Best Legs in a Kilt contest, Appalachian British Car Show, military re-enactments, the Jericho Highland Pipe Band and weapons demonstrations. The day's events will culminate with the concert known as the Ceilidh (pronounced “kay-lee”), featuring acts such as Celtic Air, Naomi's Fancy, Coyote Run and special guest Gretchen. Sunday's activities include a morning church service, musical entertainment and the Irish Brigade 5K Run. The festival also features vendors, workshops, a kid's area and plenty of food.

Admission: $7 per day; free for 12 and younger; free parking on site; $18 for a weekend pass; $12 for Saturday's concert. The park is at 1651 W. Elk Ave. Details: 423-543-5808; www.shoals celtfest.com; www.sycamoreshoals.org.

Vegetable festival Raleigh

N.C. Gourd society promotes the versatile veggie

The N.C. Gourd Society holds its 67th annual N.C. Gourd Arts and Crafts Festival, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 6 (Saturday) and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 7 (Sunday) in the Scott Building of the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh.

The vegetable-celebrating events features up to 80 competitive categories covering gourd growing, gourd crafting and creations by gourd artists from around the state.

Vendors will sell gourd seeds, dried gourds, gourd crafts, art and supplies. Workshops will be offered in wood burning, basket weaving, beading, pen and ink, oil paints, acrylic, colored pencil, pine needle weaving, and application of preserved leaves and flowers. There will be demonstrations on gourd growing, cleaning and crafting, and a children's crafting table.

Admission: $3; $2 for ages 12-17; $2 for 55 and older; free for 11 and younger. Details: www.ncgourdsociety.org. Rochelle Reynoldson

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