Celebrate mountain heritage at the ‘Cradle’

Celebrate the heritage of Western North Carolina during the annual Forest Festival Day on Saturday, Oct. 1 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is the Cradle of Forestry’s largest event of the year.

This event commemorates the traditions of mountain living and craft in a unique and beautiful setting. More than 30 traditional craftsmen, exhibitors, and musicians will line two paved trails at the Cradle of Forestry to help celebrate. During the event, five colleges will compete for a trophy in the 16th Annual John G. Palmer Intercollegiate Woodsmen’s Meet, organized by Haywood Community College. STIHL is the presenting sponsor of the festival.

At the corral along the Biltmore Campus Trail, festival-goers can cheer as college forestry students compete during the Woodsmen’s Meet that has the flavor of an old-time lumberjack competition. Students from Haywood Community College, Penn State Mont Alto, Montgomery Community College, Virginia Tech, and North Carolina State University will test their skills in a number of events including archery, axe throwing, crosscut sawing and pole climbing. If you plan on spending a couple of hours at the Woodsmen’s Meet, you may want to bring a chair or blanket to sit on.

Also along the Biltmore Campus Trail, visitors can see traditional crafts demonstrated including weaving, open hearth cooking, blacksmithing, and creating corn husk dolls. Wash clothes the old way at the wash place. Learn about efforts to restore our native chestnut tree from The American Chestnut Foundation.

Live music in the amphitheatre features QuarterHouse bluegrass band at 11:45 a.m., followed by a music program for all ages, Songs of Forest Folk, until 1:30 p.m. The music continues with roving musicians around the trails. Food will be available for purchase during the event.

The Cradle of Forestry is located four miles south of Parkway Milepost 412 on U.S. 276 in the Pisgah National Forest, six miles north of Looking Glass Falls.

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