NICKELSVILLE — Fall is in the air in Scott County, and that means the return of the Bush Mill Day festival to the Nickelsville area.
The 22nd annual event, which is being held by the Nickelsville Ruritan Club, is set to take place from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday at the 113-year-old grist mill. Admission is free.
Event co-organizer Judy Flanary said the one-day festival is held to celebrate not only the history the mill represents, but the community surrounding it as well.
“It’s a festival that anybody can come to,” Flanary said. “If you like history, we’ll have information on that and people there to answer questions. It’s just a community event, and we also have it to make people aware of the Bush Mill and the history behind it.”
As in years past, Flanary said Bush Mill Day will feature crowd favorites like apple butter, freshly ground cornmeal and a soup bean dinner, as well as a variety of craft vendors and musical acts.
“We’ll have the cornmeal that’s ground there and soup bean dinners like we have every year. We’ll make apple butter, and we have a blacksmith coming. Then we have crafts, and there will be singing all day, so there’s a lot to do.”
The apple butter and cornmeal can be purchased during the festival for a small donation.
Four bands — the Lee Smith Singers, Mason Dixon Boys, Billy Kilgore and Randy Kilgore — will perform a mix of country and gospel music during the festival, while Flanary said a documentary crew will be on hand to interview attendees about their memories of the mill.
“They’re going to have a film crew there interviewing people who have a knowledge of a mill,” Flanary said. “Those interviews will be held from 10 until 2. It will be a documentary, and we’re really excited about that.”
Although the Bush Mill has been undergoing renovations for the past several months, Flanary said the building will still be open to tours Saturday.
“They can still go in the mill,” Flanary said. “They’re going to have everything out of the way, so there won’t be any equipment there.”
Like last year, Flanary said festival-goers will be able to take advantage of a shuttle bus provided by Mountain Empire Older Citizens that will run from Nickelsville Elementary School to the Bush Mill site every 15 minutes.
All proceeds generated by the festival will go to fund the Ruritan’s public service work in the Nickelsville community.
“The Ruritan is a community service organization, and this is one of our biggest fund-raisers,” Flanary said. “We help people who have been burned out (of their homes) with money. We’ve cut wood for people. We give scholarships at Twin Springs High School and Mountain Empire Community College. It’s just a community service organization that tries to help anyone who needs it.”
Visit explorescottcountyva.org for more information on Bush Mill Day.