September 5, 2010 - Mountain Market and Heritage Festival in Blairsville, Georgia
The 2010 Mountain Market and Heritage Festival in Blairsville, Georgia was the best yet! New exhibits, demonstrations, children’s activities, live music, and other entertainment drew people from around the Southeast. Held at the Mountain Life Museum (one block south of the Blairsville Square), the festival included include everything from a working blacksmith shop to a chance to learn the game of marbles.
The Mountain Marketplace is celebration of Appalachian life from the early 1800’s to present day times. Scented beeswax candles, smoked BBQ, freshly squeezed lemonade, and kettle corn fill the grounds with enticing aromas. There are all kinds of delicious festival foods including homemade ice cream. Vendors sell a variety of artwork, photography, jewelry, pottery, wood carvings, local produce, canned goods, furniture, and other handcrafted items.
Children (and grown-ups) love petting the farm animals. Oxen, chickens, turkeys, cows, and a mule are highlights of the festival. Main attractions are the restored buildings - the 1861 Payne Cabin, the 1906 Grapelle Mock/Butt house, the Duncan Cabin, the Twiggs/Gray smokehouse, and other outbuildings.
The main house and Payne cabin contain vintage furnishings donated from local people in Union County. At the Payne Cabin, visitors enjoy watching as things are done the pioneer way. Cindy Rafter, dressed in 1800’s period costume, welcomes everyone to the festival. Willis Plott entertains guests with his mouth harp and basket weaving techniques. On the back porch, herbs are drying for winter use.
Inside the Mock House visitors will find period antiques in every room. Favorites include the kitchen where an antique refrigerator still keeps the milk ice cold. There is a lot going on including quilting, spinning, and weaving. One of the best things is the fellowship. People gather on the big porch to talk with old friends and meet new ones.
Visitors find all kinds of things to do at the Heritage Festival – from panning for gold and hatchet throwing to relaxing under the music tent. Norman Cooper displays his muzzle loaders, tomahawks, primitive weapons, and animal hides – he also demonstrates the weapons. Newcomers look around with questioning eyes when they first hear “fire in the hole.” They soon learn to cover their ears – Norm’s muzzleloader is loud and can be heard all over town!
September 5, 2009 - Mountain Market and Heritage Festival 2009 in Blairsville, Georgia
The Mountain Market and Heritage Festival gets better every year with new exhibits, demonstrations, children's activities, and other entertainment. Held at the Mountain Life Museum (one block south of the Blairsville Square ), exhibits include everything from heirloom vegetable gardening to Jeremy Denton's working blacksmith shop. Demonstrations include spinning, quilting, basket making, tomahawk throwing, wood carving, herbal medicine, and cooking. The Mountain Market is sponsored by Union County Historical Society.
The Mountain Marketplace is a treat for the senses. Sounds include bluegrass and gospel music, crowing roosters, and lively conversation. When visitors hear "fire in the hole!" they know to cover their ears. These four words herald in muzzle loader shots that can be heard throughout Blairsville.
Smells include everything from scented candles to grilled hamburgers and kettle corn. There are all kinds of yummy festival foods -homemade ice cream is a favorite. Vendors sell all kinds of artwork, local produce, canned goods, furniture, and even bonsai trees (by Judy Sabo). The vendors say, "This festival is a great place to set up. The Union County Historical Society and other volunteers make us feel really welcome. You don't get this type of atmosphere at other places."
Children (and grown-ups) especially enjoy the many farm animals. Oxen, chickens, cows, goats and a mule are highlights of the festival. David Friedly and Jack and Libby Stevens are on hand to answer questions. Visitors get to interact with the animals and petting is allowed!
Main attractions are the restored buildings - the 1861 Payne Cabin, the 1906 Grapelle Mock/Butt house, the Duncan Cabin, the Twiggs/Gray smokehouse, and other outbuildings. The main house and Payne cabin contain vintage furnishings - many donated from local people in Union County.
At the Payne Cabin, visitors enjoy watching as things are done the old timey pioneer way. Cindy Rafter, dressed in 1800's period costume, cooks beans and cornbread over an open fire. Her homemade butter is a big hit, especially when melted on a big piece of piping hot cornbread. Willis Plott, while relaxing on the front porch, entertains guests with his mouth harp and basket weaving techniques. On the back porch, herbs are drying in the breeze. After all, it is harvest season in the North Georgia Mountains .
Visitors find all kinds of things to do at the Heritage Festival - panning for gold, picking Tommie Toe tomatoes, gathering fresh chicken eggs, and petting the animals. Want to try your hand at throwing a hatchet? Norman Cooper not only has a display of muzzle loaders, tomahawks, primitive weapons, and animal hides - he also offers hands-on activities. Children and adults gather around the mountain man to try their luck at throwing a tomahawk. Parents have a hard time getting the little boys and girls to move on to the next stop.
On up at the big house, there are lots more activities. The Misty Mountain Quilters, Shirley Walker working on rag rugs, the Historical Society's gift shop, live music (organized by Music Man Sam Ensley), and a house full of antiques draw a large crowd. A complete period bedroom is new this year. With authentic furnishings, it is really like stepping back in time a hundred years. Visitors exclaim, "Oh, it's just like my Great Grandmother's house. Look at that old parlor pump organ!"The Mountain Market Heritage Festival is a Labor Day Weekend tradition in North Georgia that continues to delight visitors with its hometown atmosphere and friendly faces. Proceeds benefit the preservation and enhancement of the historic property where the event is held. The Mountain Life Museum is a great asset to Blairsville, Georgia and is open to the public on a regular basis.
August 31, 2008 - Mountain Marketplace and Heritage Festival in Blairsville, Georgia
When visitors of the 2008 Mountain Marketplace Heritage Festival hear "Fire in the Hole!" they know to cover their ears. These four words herald in muzzle loader shots and cannon fire that can be heard throughout downtown Blairsville. The sounds of fiddles, guitars, roosters, oxen, and friendly conversation add to the atmosphere of the event.
Hosted by the Union County Historical Society and sponsored by United Community Bank, the Mountain Marketplace Heritage Festival celebrates the old-time mountain ways with authentic demonstrations, interesting displays, live music, good food, and plenty of shopping opportunities.
Held at the 1906 Grapelle Mock home, demonstrations include spinning, quilting, basket making, chair caning, tomahawk throwing, and wood carving. There are oxen, chickens, cows, and a mule. Visitors get to walk through the 1861 Payne Cabin where homespun quilts and vintage furnishing are on display. There are Civil War reenactments, a real live frontiersman with axes and primitive weapons, ladies in period costumes, and a vegetable garden.
New to the festival this year is a quilt show featuring quilts made in Union County . Many colorful examples are hung throughout the restored Grapelle Mock House. New additions to the grounds include the Duncan Cabin, the Twiggs/Gray smokehouse, and other structures. Antique lovers get a close up look at farm implements, heirloom plants, and examples of pioneer handicrafts.
The Mountain Marketplace in Blairsville, Georgia is well known for its quality vendors. Visitors enjoy shopping for home-canned foods, fresh honey, jewelry, photography, pottery, wood crafts, hand painted glassware, herbal products, and other fine art and crafts. Most everyone stops long enough to enjoy homemade ice cream, candy corn, chicken on a stick, or freshly made, ice-cold lemonade.
The Mountain Market Heritage Festival is a Labor Day Weekend tradition in North Georgia that continues to delight visitors with its hometown atmosphere and friendly faces. Proceeds benefit the preservation and enhancement of the historic property where the event is held. The Mountain Life Museum is a great asset to the community and is open to the public on a regular basis. For more information call the Union County Historical Society at (706) 745-5493.
Mountain Marketplace Heritage Festival in Union County Continues Tradition
The Mountain Marketplace Heritage Festival continues its tradition of showcasing the mountain way of life. Organized the Union County Historical Society the event is a family orientated two-day event.
Children find lots to see and do. The live animals, including a mule and two Jersey calves, enchant everyone with their antics. Youngsters especially enjoy the hands-on-activities. This year's festival includes hatchet throwing lessons and a chance to pan for real gemstones.
Parents enjoyed lots of shopping for beautifully handcrafted items. Vendors reported that most people were buying and sales were up after a slow spell due to Saturday morning rain showers. Of course, Margaret Payne's booth was popular due to her homemade cupcakes and freshly brewed iced tea.
Rain did not hamper the spirits of the participants. Umbrellas came out, the crowds gathered on the front porch of the Mock House, and many congregated under the large bluegrass music tent.
Music was a highlight of the event. Sam Ensley did a great job of keeping the music going throughout the festivities. Another highlight was the Butt Mock House. Demonstrations such as quilting, spinning, and singing attracted a large audience. The front porch was the place to be for good conversation and a rest in one of the comfortable rocking chairs.
Willis Plott was once again at the Payne Cabin. He entertained crowds with his mouth harp and chair caning. Inside the Payne Cabin, a lone confederate soldier cooked a meal in the fireplace. As smoke curled up from the chimney, the old bed with homespun quilts looked really cozy.
There is not much time for napping with so much to see and do. Good people and a friendly atmosphere make the Mountain Marketplace Heritage Festival a special destination. Thanks to the Union County Historical Society, community members, and businesses that make this festival possible.