The weather may seem unseasonably warm for a celebration of Christmas, but that’s just what the excitement is all about.
Christmas in July Festival, which began as a way to help market the trees, is a celebration of that marvelous greenery blanketing the hillsides – and all that makes Ashe County such a special place.
The 26th annual festival opens 9 a.m. Saturday, but you can come early for an evening of music and food from 6-10 p.m. Friday. Enjoy a Street Party featuring music, food vendors and Civil War re-enactors. An opening ceremony will take place on the main stage at 6:45 p.m. followed by music from the Buck Haggard Band 7-8:30 p.m., and Wolf Creek 8:30-10 p.m.
A skirmish between the North and South will take place on the streets Friday evening just after the opening ceremony. Camp opens 8 a.m. Saturday morning in the town park behind the library where visitors can meet and talk to re-enactors and view demonstrations.
Saturday, July 7
Main stage music:
9 a.m. Southern Accent
10 a.m. Heritage
11 a.m. Crooked Road Ramblers
12 noon Becca Eggers and Amantha Mill Band
1 p.m. Wayne Henderson and Friends
2 p.m. Jeff Little
3 p.m. Freeman and Williams
4 p.m. Leona Williams
5 p.m. The Toneblazers
6 p.m. Carolina Crossing Band
Community Stage schedule:
9 a.m. JAM Junior Appalachian Musicians
10 a.m.–1 p.m. Dancin’ Debbie’s
1 p.m. Sons of Pitch – Acappella Quartet
1:30–3 p.m. April’s School of Dance
3–4:30 p.m. Fleet Feet Cloggers
4:30–7 p.m. Tonya Halsey’s Voice Students
Roving street performers include Chaz the Magician,10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Dale Brook, the Magical Minstrel of Music and Mayhem, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; InterACTive Theatre with Jef, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; plus Off the Wall inflatable units, Creation Station with hands-on arts and crafts, and Santa Sam offering photos at Creation Station 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
There will be competitions among the Christmas tree farm workers in the Backstreet Park sponsored by West Jefferson Chevrolet, Ashe County Christmas Tree Association and NC Cooperative Extension: fertilizer backpack relay 9 a.m., one-ton fertilizer relay 10 a.m., tug of war 11 a.m., tree baling at noon, and wreath making demonstrations 9 a.m. to noon.
The annual Livestock Show for Ashe County Extension will take place on Saturday, July 7, at the Ag Expo site off NC163 in West Jefferson. Weigh-in starts at 9 a.m. and the show starts at 10 a.m.
Sponsors for the festival are: Ashe Arts Council, Ashe County Chamber of Commerce, Town of West Jefferson (West Jefferson North Carolina – A Friendly Mountain Town), SSSink., Ashe Civic Center, Dr Pepper, Mountain Aire, Ashe County Cheese, Libby’s, Fleet Feet Cloggers, SkyLine/SkyBest, and Ashe Mountain Times.
Handicap-accessible parking available in front of the Jefferson Post on the Backstreet.
For more information, go online to www.christmasinjuly.info, call the Ashe County Chamber at 336-846-9196 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.