Mill Around the Village

Mill Around the Village Festival 2008



What?  Mill Around the Village Festival, Swannanoa’s 2nd annual street festival
When?  Saturday, September 27, 2008; 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Where?  In historic downtown Swannanoa, where Park Street meets the railroad tracks (on the grounds of the First Baptist Church of Swannanoa)

Live Music All Day, Arts & Crafts Booths, Food, Games and Activities for Kids
Free Admission; No Pets Please


11:00 am    Bert Brown
12 noon    Jimmy Landry
1:00 pm    Holiday Childress Band
2:00 pm    Brushfire Stankgrass
3:00 pm    Ol’ Hoopty
4:00 pm    Circle D Bluegrass Band

QUESTIONS?  Call 298-1868


Downtown Swannanoa will come alive on Saturday, September 27 from 11 am – 5 pm at the 2nd Annual Mill Around the Village Festival.  The festival will feature live music all day, arts & crafts booths and other vendors, a variety of food from Swannanoa Valley eateries, local heritage and history displays, and a Kids Zone with a free moon bounce and other games and activities for children.  Festival admission is free.   The festival will take place in the historic downtown area of Swannanoa, where Park Street meets the railroad tracks (on the grounds of the First Baptist Church of Swannanoa).  

Festival attendees will enjoy visiting over 40 vendor booths offering everything from local arts and crafts to free chiropractic exams.  Shoppers can browse the booths for pottery, jewelry, hand-turned wooden bowls, local jams and honey, paintings and photography, knitted and crocheted items, and much more.  Folks can try their hand at weaving a free bookmark on a vintage loom or they can stop by the Swannanoa Heritage Exchange booth to learn about Swannanoa Valley history and see photos and other memorabilia from the area’s early days.    

Gene Mills, author of the book Another Time, Another Place – Growing Up in Swannanoa, will be on hand to answer questions and sign copies of his book.  And Swannanoa Valley history buff Bill Alexander will once again lead festival- goers on tours of the old, historic downtown area of Swannanoa.  Residents are encouraged to bring photographs, mementos, artifacts, and stories that can be added to the Swannanoa Heritage collection.

The festival is held in the historic downtown area of Swannanoa as a way to bring the community together, honor Swannanoa’s mill village heritage, showcase local businesses and craftspeople, and generate excitement about the possibilities for Swannanoa’s future.  Last year’s festival drew over 1500 people, and this year’s event is expected to be even bigger and better, according to festival coordinator Linda Kinney.  "Last year we had people coming from all over the County," Kinney said.  "We’re looking forward to another great turnout this year."  

Six musical acts will entertain festival-goers throughout the day.  The musical lineup will kick off with local singer/songwriter Bert Brown and his crowd-pleasing mix of original songs about Swannanoa and the Valley.  Many festival attendees will know Bert from his long stint writing and performing songs for Way Back When, the locally-produced plays about Swannanoa Valley history.  

Brown will be followed by folk rocker Jimmy Landry.  Landry has been a fixture in the Asheville-area music scene for the past decade.  He has performed at musical venues around the country, sharing the stage with such notables as Stevie Ray Vaughan, David Crosby, John Gorka, and Ritchie Havens.

Following Landry, Holiday Childress will take the stage.  Childress, who now lives in Swannanoa, is a singer, guitarist, storyteller and songsmith.  He has spent the last ten years or so touring and recording with his band, The Goodies.  He is currently working on a debut solo record, and the Mill Around the Village Festival will be one of his first performances with his new lineup.  Along with his entertaining storytelling, a wide variety of musical styles – ranging from vaudeville and cabaret to rock, disco, and opera – can be expected.

Brushfire Stankgrass will keep things lively with the group’s innovative and original fusion of Appalachian mountain music, bluegrass, jazz and rock.  The "Stankgrass" sound can be heard regularly on WNCW and other local radio stations.  In addition to their performance at the Mill Around the Village Festival, the band’s 2008 schedule includes shows at the Orange Peel and the Brewgrass Festival.

The afternoon’s entertainment will continue with Ol’ Hoopty, an organ-ic soul/funk rock/blues ensemble that recently won a Mountain Xpress "Best of WNC" award.  Ol’ Hoopty performs at musical hot spots throughout western North Carolina, but band member and Swannanoa resident George Scott is looking forward to bringing the group’s eclectic brand of music to a hometown festival.  

Local Swannanoa musician Bud Bradley and his Circle D Band will close out the days’ festivities with some foot-tapping bluegrass sounds.         

The Mill Around the Village Festival is presented by the Swannanoa Pride Community Coalition, a nonprofit organization that seeks to bring the community together to become actively involved in shaping Swannanoa’s future, while honoring its unique history, heritage, and character.  The festival is generously supported by monetary and in-kind donations from over 25 organizations and businesses.    Swannanoa Pride would like to extend a special thanks to the First Baptist Church of Swannanoa for allowing the festival to be held on the grounds of the church.  

For more information, please call 298-1868.  

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