The Festival of the Mountain Masters is upon us again, with craftsmen, musicians and vendors from around the area displaying and selling their work in a festival atmosphere at the Village Center Mall on Friday and Saturday.
Harlan City Tourism Director Brandon Pennington said the festival is an authentic Appalachian experience.
“This year we have a few new demonstrators,” Pennington said. “In the year’s past, we haven’t had a quilt demonstrator and this year we do.”
Pennington said a lot of previous demonstrators will be returning, performing demonstrations of broom making, mandolin making, soap making, bowl making, corn shuck doll making and other crafts.
This year’s festival will also have more items for those looking for a bite to eat.
“Last year we only had one food vendor, this year we have a few more coming including barbecue and traditional fair food, burgers, funnel cake, that kind of thing,” Pennington said. “Our barbecue is going to be from a local vendor who competes across the state in barbecue festivals, so were really excited to have her coming.”
Pennington mentioned that out of approximately 60 vendors, over 40 are local folks from Harlan County.
Most of the items on display will also be available for purchase as well, and vendors will be offering merchandise ranging from knives to leather products, quilts, hand-printed T-shirts, brooms and other such pieces.
Demonstrators will be competing for top awards, including the Grand Master award (best overall), Master Display (best looking booth space) and Master of Craftsmanship (best craft). There is also a photography contest slated.
Live entertainment will be on hand on Friday and Saturday including storyteller Pam Holcomb, Brooklyn Collins, Harlan County Dance Extreme, Deric Jeffers, Jessica Bush, Sunrise Ridge, the Rosspoint Pee Wee Dancers and Tyler Smith.
The Festival of the Mountain Masters is presented by The Harlan County Chamber of Commerce and the Harlan Tourism Commission. The festival will be happening from noon until 6 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-909-4132 or on Twitter @joe_hde