A week from tonight the Backstreet in West Jefferson will be alive with music and the revelry of Christmas in July. The 24th annual festival comes back to town on Saturday, July 3, with a kickoff celebration of music, food vendors and a visit from Civil War re-enactors on Friday night, July 2.
Christmas in July Festival welcomes the return of members of the 1st Virginia Cavalry Company D and guests next weekend to provide a real-life camp and re-enactments of Civil War events. The members will set up in West Jefferson Town Park for three days. Everyone is welcome to come and tour the camps and talk with the soldiers. The company will have artillery, including two or three cannons, infantry and cavalry units present.
Their schedule is as follows:
Friday, July 2
6:30 p.m.: Salute in town at the main stage
7 p.m.: Skirmish in the streets
8 p.m.: Camp open to visitors
Saturday, July 3
8 a.m.: Camp opens to public
10 a.m.: Civil War games between the units - Load and Fire Contest, Fallen Comrade Contest, Captains and Sergeants
11 a.m.: Ladies fashion show and meet the Rhea County Spartans only all Female Cavalry unit during the war.
12 p.m.: Meet the Generals (Lee, Stuart, Jackson, Armistead, Hamilton, Breckinridge, and Grant)
1 p.m.: Maj. Monte Baker talks on the three best kept secrets of the Confederacy
3 p.m.: Battle of Boone
6:30 p.m.: Battle of Killian Creek
Sunday, July 4
10 a.m.: Church Service (given By Gen Lee, David Chaltas) “Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees.”
Music on Friday night will be from Crossroads at 7 p.m. and Blue Country at 8:30 p.m. Festival food vendors will be set up, and the festival officially opens on Saturday at 9 a.m. with craft vendors, children’s activities, roving street performers, dance groups, the Ashe County Farmers Market, 4-H Livestock Show, lots more music, food and plenty of family fun.
A special WiFi area will be available, courtesy of SkyLine/Skybest Communications, in the area around the main stage.
Sponsors for the festival this year include: Ashe Civic Center, Ashe County Arts Council, Ashe County Chamber of Commerce, AEV, Dr Pepper Bottling Company, SkyBest Communications, the Town of West Jefferson, Mountain Music Jamboree, Fleet Feet Cloggers, and SSSink.
For more information, go online to www.christmasinjuly.info or call 846-9196. Look for our Christmas in July Festival special section in the Tuesday, June 29 edition of the Post.