Ashe County’s 28th annual Christmas in July Festival will be held the evening of Friday, July 4 and all day on Saturday, July 5.
The annual festival will take place on the Back Street in West Jefferson. Admission for Christmas in July is free.
The Elkland Art Center will open this year’s event at 6:15 pm with a parade of giant puppets that will wind its way through the crowd from the Ashe County Library to the main stage. Opening ceremonies begin at 6:45 p.m. and food and music will be available until 10 p.m.
Hard Tymes Band, Becca Eggers Gryder & Amantha Mill Band and the Buck Haggard Band will perform from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m.
Food vendors will be open Friday evening and all day on Saturday. Craft vendors will open Saturday morning offering their handmade goods. Artisans in many fields will sell fine art, pottery, jewelry, photography, metalwork, woodwork, soaps and many other items.
Many of Ashe County’s local non-profit organizations will have booths offering information about their activities.
The Ashe County Farmer’s Market will be open selling crafts and locally grown foods. The market’s operating hours will be the same as the festival.
Civil War re-enactors will act out the Battle of Boone in West Jefferson Municipal Park at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m on Saturday. You’ll be able to smell the smoke from their rifles and feel the excitement of the battle.
The re-enactors will be available all during the festival for photos and to answer questions about the soldiers and the way they lived in camp. They will also have church services at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday.
Two stages will offer entertainment all day long. Dancers, singers, a puppet show and a drum circle will entertain on the Community Stage while, on the Main Stage, local musicians will play country, bluegrass and old-time music. Bring your lawn chairs and sit and relax while you listen to some great music.
The Christmas Tree Growers will sponsor a competition among teams from participating tree farms. Teams will compete in a tug of war, relay race and tree baling contest. The winning team will take home a $1,000 prize.
Sponsors of the 2014 Christmas in July Festival are Ashe Civic Center, Ashe County Arts Council, Ashe County Cheese, Best Western Eldreth Inn, Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation, Dr. Pepper, Fleet Feet Cloggers, 4 Seasons Vacations Rentals, Libby’s, LifeStore Bank, Mitch Phillips State Farm Insurance, Mountain Aire Golf Course, Mountain Town Dental, Skyline Telephone Membership Corporation and Town of West Jefferson.
For more information about the Christmas in July Festival, contact the Chamber of Commerce at 846-9550, or to get involved as a volunteer or puppeteer, contact Glenda Luther at 246-2461 Ext. 225.
Vendor information and applications can be found at www.christmasinjuly.info/.