WISE, Va. — It’s Flingin’ time in downtown Wise.
The 35th annual Wise County Famous Fall Fling will feature well over 100 crafts booths, several demonstrators of traditional mountain arts and crafts, continuous music performances on two stages, an insane variety of foods and refreshments, and the crush of crowds that brings together friends, families and visitors from all over the place, all set against the backdrop of autumn colors splashed across the mountains.
The festival on Saturday and Sunday will feature scads of things to see and do, including the Kids Korner, a 5K race, Poker Bike Ride, pet contest, health booth, chili cook-off and much, much more. All that would be missing is you if you can’t make it.
“What sets our festival apart from others, I think, is we have so many people in Wise with community spirit. We have the town schools involved and (The University of Virginia’s College at Wise), we have two stages full of music, and we have the town full as far as vendors and spaces allotted. I don’t have any vendor spaces left,” said festival chairwoman Bonnie Aker on Thursday.
“We have been so fortunate weather-wise most years and this year looks to be glorious weather again. We’ve been blessed really and truly in that way and so many, many other ways,” she said.
“This year we have the ‘Love’ sign that (the Virginia Department of Tourism) is putting up Friday and that’s going to add to the beauty of the courthouse. It will be here for a week. It’s just an optimistic time and place, really. The kiosk is coming to fruition this weekend. But what I think what sets our festival apart is that it’s a homecoming for people who love Wise. They set this time aside every year as a good time to see friends and family.”
Big Glades Community Square, the new amphitheater near the courthouse, will be the backdrop for a number of musical groups that will include, but is hardly limited to, popular bands like Bluegrass Circle, Wolf Creek Grass, White Top Mountain Band, the Appalachian Highlands Pipes and Drums, the Dennis Cove Band, the Principles and oodles more.
Just up the street from Big Glades on a front corner of the courthouse lawn will be the always popular, festival tradition acoustic Pickin’ Porch jam session. Wayne Mefford promises this year will be the best Pickin’ Porch ever with lots of newcomers as well as seasoned performers.
“Wise is a friendly town,” Aker said. “So many from out of town love this town because of the friendliness. And what makes it so special for me, you know, is that you know so many of the people when you’re here Flingin’ and they are, too.”
There’s really too much packed into the downtown area to present only a wee bit of it here. For more information on events, offerings and performing times for favorite musical groups, check out the festival’s website at www.wisefallfling.com.