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Rogersville hosts sixth annual Appalachian Arts Festival

Jeff Bobo • Jun 5, 2019 at 3:00 PM

UPDATE: Due to rain Saturday's Appalachian Arts Festival which was originally going to take place at Crockett Springs Park in Rogerville has been moved to the commons area at Cherokee High School due to rain. All concerts, food and arts and crafts demonstrations are the same, except they're now indoors at the high school.

ROGERSVILLE — Mountain artisans and performers will put their talents on display Saturday at Crockett Spring Park as the Rogersville Arts Council (RAC) hosts its sixth annual Appalachian Arts Festival.

This year's headline performer is "fusion folk/bluegrass" performer Beth Snapp, who will put on a free concert in the park 1-3 p.m. sponsored by Holston Medical Group.

Leah Ross, executive director of the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion, described Snapp as a "local jewel".

Musician Cris Griffin will also be performing from 11 a.m. to noon.

The festival begins at 10 a.m. and includes a variety of arts and crafts demonstrations featuring an Appalachian flare.

"We're trying to keep it Appalachian and authentic, and we've brought in a good handful of demonstrators," said Rogersville Arts Council president April Albright. "We have some wood carvers. We have people who will be selling homemade jams and jellies. We have a lady who does honey, and she's going to be bringing a demonstration hive. We have Tonya Strunk, who is a (RAC) board member, and she has a tent and a setup where she dresses in period clothing and has a really great presentation about homesteading and pioneer life in Appalachia."

There are also folk artists, yarn spinners, herbology and plants, a variety of other arts and crafts and children's activities such as face painting and a scavenger hunt.

There's also some good food available, including a booth operated by Mike and Connie Reeves, proprietors of the former Ms. Bea's restaurant, as well as Mel's Riverside Grill, which will feature wings and cocktail shrimp.

Although the live music and festival are free, there are two workshops available for a fee, including a poetry workshop at 10 a.m. with Winnie Seals and a storytelling workshop at 11 a.m. with Hannah Gillenwater.

Each workshop is $15 or they're $25 for the pair, and they do count as teachers' outside in-service hours.

Following the workshops, there will be "open mic" poetry and storytelling from noon to 1 p.m.

There's also a festival kickoff dinner Friday at 6 p.m. at the Price Public School Community Center in Rogersville featuring ham and soul food by Sweet Tooth Cafe and a presentation by keynote speaker Katie Hoffman.

Hoffman is a college professor and founder of Appalworks, which is focused on helping others understand the "beauty, depth and substance" of Appalachian people.

The dinner is $25 per person and proceeds benefit the RAC and the festival.

Tickets for the dinner can be purchased in advance by visiting the RAC website at http://www.rogartscouncil.org/

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