Two events are coming up in our area that might interest you if you’re visiting early this month:

Downtown Swannanoa will hold its first ever street festival on Saturday, September 8, from 2pm to 6pm. The Mill Around the Village Festival will feature live music, arts and crafts booths, food from Swannanoa restaurants (all food items will cost $1 or less), activities for kids, contra dancing, and Swannanoa heritage and history displays.

The Mill Around the Village Festival is presented by the Swannanoa Pride Community Coalition, and is generously supported by over 30 businesses and organizations. Admission is free. Please note, it is requested that pets remain in the comfort of your home rather than be taken to the festival.

The festival will be held in the historic downtown area of Swannanoa, where Park Street meets the railroad tracks (alongside the First Baptist Church of Swannanoa). Frank Blankenship, a long-time Swannanoa resident and one of the festival organizers, came up with the idea of holding the festival in the downtown “mill village” area of Swannanoa as a way to bring the community together, showcase local businesses, and generate excitement about the possibilities for revitalization. Local artist Ken Pittman designed the logo.
Music at Mill Around the Village will kick off with Desperado, a local rock and blues band that has pleased crowds at Black Mountain’s Sourwood Festival and other venues for years. Victory 5 will entertain festival-goers with gospel music, and local favorite Bud Bradley and his Circle D Bluegrass band will close out the evening with bluegrass tunes and contra dancing. Folks can bring a chair and enjoy the music, kick off their shoes for some old time dancing, or browse the 30 vendor booths.

Festival attendees can also stop by the Heritage Exchange Booth, co-sponsored by the Swannanoa Valley Museum and the Swannanoa Pride Community Coalition, to see photos and other memorabilia, learn about Swannanoa Valley history, and share their Swannanoa stories. Walking maps of the old downtown will be available, and long-time residents will have the opportunity to help map Swannanoa’s history by filling in the names of businesses remembered from years past.

For more information about Mill Around the Village, please call 828.337.7545.

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A new date for a great event: Taste of Black Mountain, originally scheduled for June, will take place Thursday, September 13. Over a dozen local restaurants will offer samplings of their best dishes at this annual event, now in its 8th year. Mark your calendar for an evening of fun, festivity and food! For more information, contact the Black Mountain Chamber at 828.669.2300.

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