Spring has settled into the High Country and summer is not far away. That means not only warm sunshine and the packing away of coats, but the welcome arrival of festival season. Ashe Countys biggest event of the year Christmas in July Festival is coming on Saturday, July 3 to downtown West Jefferson. The festival sets up on the Backstreet with craft and food vendors, music of the mountains, childrens activities, and a whole lot of fun for the entire family. A big attraction for local residents and visitors at the festival is the Civil War era camp and re-enactment battles provided by the Washington Rifles of 1st Virginia Cavalry Co. D from Abingdon, VA. The re-enactors set up camp in the town park for three days and conduct both a skirmish in the streets on Friday evening, July 2, and a re-enactment of The Battle of Boone in the town park along with living history talks and period music in the camp. The group is led by Captain Monte Baker. The holiday weekend in Ashe kicks off with a street dance on Friday, July 2 at 7 p.m. with music from Crossroads at 7 p.m. and Blue Country at 8:30 p.m. along with food vendors. The festival opens at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 3 with a day of music & dance, food, arts & crafts, childrens activities, and lots more including a 4-H youth livestock show just outside town at the Agricultural Expo Center on NC 163. The festival is also a showcase for the Ashe County and North Carolina Christmas Tree Associations exhibiting beautiful examples of the popular Fraser fir tree growing in abundance all across the High Country. Saturday, May 15 is the early bird discount deadline for vendors. Vendors interested in participating in the festival can download entry forms from the festival website at www.christmasinjuly.info. Prices are as follows: Food Vendors 12x12 booth, $200 by May 15, $250 afterwards; 12x24 booth, $250 by May 15, $300 afterwards; $50 for 240v electrical power. Prices include 120v electric and West Jefferson town privilege license fee. Health department inspection fee to be paid by vendor upon inspection. Prices vary for Specialty Foods Vendor for snack foods or foods prepared off-site. Vendors must clearly display prices for all items. Arts & Craft Vendors 12x12 booth, $100 by May 15, $150 afterwards; 12x24 booth, $150 by May 15, $200 afterwards. Arts & crafts must be the artists original work and executed by the applicant. Commercially produced merchandise, works produced from patterns or kits, and items cast from pre-manufactured molds are not accepted. Electrical service for craft vendors is not available. Non-Profit Vendors 12x12 booth, $50 by May 15, $75 afterwards; 12x24 booth, $100 by May 15, $150 afterwards. Ashe County non-profit organizations are invited to participate in the festival. Items must be pre-approved by the festival committee. Soft drink and water sales are the exclusive concession of the festival (provided by Dr Pepper Bottling Co.) If planning to sell or give away food or drink items, contact the festival for information regarding health department regulations and approval. Forms for vendors can be downloaded from the festival website at www.christmasinjuly.info. For additional information, contact the Ashe County Arts Council at 846-ARTS or the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce at 846-9196. Sponsors for the festival this year include: Ashe Civic Center, Ashe County Arts Council, Ashe County Chamber of Commerce, AEV, Dr Pepper Bottling Company, SkyLine Telephone Membership Corporation, and the Town of West Jefferson.