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Downtown Rogersville gearing up for expanded Appalachian Spring Festival

STAFF REPORT • Apr 29, 2018 at 8:30 PM

ROGERSVILLE — On Saturday, the Rogersville Arts Council will present its fifth annual Appalachian Spring Festival, which includes the usual day of music, food, dancing and crafts.

However, a Tennessee Arts Commission grant has allowed the RAC to expand this year’s festival to include workshops on Thursday and Friday as well and to add upgrades to the street event on Saturday.

All day Saturday the streets of historic downtown Rogersville will be filled with acoustic music, a chalk art contest, kids’ activities and games, folk dancing and clogging.

The Spring Festival actually opens Wednesday evening with a welcome dinner at the Price Public Community Center at 6 p.m. featuring keynote speaker Dr. Katie Hoffman.

Hoffman is a singer and scholar of traditional Appalachian ballads and was the traditional music producer for a 4-part PBS series entitled “Appalachia: A History of Mountains and People.”

The cost to attend the welcome dinner is $25.

On Thursday and Friday at the Hale Springs Inn, there will be workshops which include Hoffman’s interactive sessions on Appalachian culture including customs, art, foodways (make a fried pie) and the character of the new Appalachia.

The other workshops include:

Storytelling with Marjorie Shaefer, who has worked with Hawkins County senior citizens this winter to recollect and craft family stories. Join the Story Telling Circle on Thursday to swap and/or craft a new story.

On Saturday, join the Story Telling Circle to share a story about your pet, or a friend’s or neighbors’ pet or a pet you wish you had. The event is designed for those 14 and older.

Find out how to “puzzle your story together.”

Hear Marjorie Shaefer tell the story of the Ghost Horse!

Creating Needle Felted Critters with internationally known fiber artist Pat Pawlowicz, who annually travels to national fiber arts festivals to teach, using fiber from sheep she raises in Hawkins County.

English Folk Dance with Winnie Seals, who uses dance to give an authentic flavor to her high school English literature classes.

* Gourd Art with Melissa Sadek and her homegrown gourds. She has made and taught workshops on decorated gourds, lamp beads, and jewelry professionally for many years.

Each artist will hold three 1-2 hour workshops and you can choose to attend as many as three different sessions: $15 for one, $25 for two or $40 for three.

For more information about the festival or to sign up for a workshop, call the RAC at (423) 293-0882. You can also like the Rogersville Arts Council’s Facebook page or email rogersvilleartscouncil@gmail.com.

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