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Home Craft Days Festival serves up traditional favorites, new features

Submitted by Mike Gilley • Oct 20, 2018 at 7:30 AM

The 47th annual Home Craft Days Festival continues today and Sunday (Oct. 20-21) on the Mountain Empire Community College campus in Big Stone Gap, Virginia.

This year’s festival brings more and new vendors with 106 craft vendors, including 32 demonstrators, five authors, three antique dealers, three artists, 10 information vendors, 22 food vendors, and 43 musical acts. Traditional favorites, some who've been a part of Home Craft Days from the first festival in 1972, will be returning, along with a number of new demonstrators. Vendor hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.

The festival kicked off with a Friday evening reception at 5 p.m. followed by a free concert at 6 p.m. in the college's Goodloe Center. The concert, co-sponsored by Pro-Art and the Virginia Commission for the Arts, features Tyler Hughes, Todd Meade, Rich Kirby and Tommy Bledsoe; Wayne Henderson and Helen White; John McCutcheon; and Mike Compton and Joe Newberry.

More music will be featured on the Legends and Legacy stages throughout the day on both Saturday and Sunday.

A new feature at Home Craft Days this year will be a series of lectures on both Saturday and Sunday in Godwin Hall. There will be Appalachian cooking lectures with Libby Bondurant and Elaine Plaster, an audiovisual presentation on “The Santa Train Tradition” with Leigh Anne Hoover (Saturday only), dried flower crafts with Caron Lipe, heirloom seed gardening with Bill Best (Saturday only), maple syrup with Chris Allgyer, peg loom weaving with Denise Digh, pot holder weaving with Michael Gilley, and wood turning with Jessica Bier.

The children’s area has been expanded to feature storytelling, arts and crafts, and a special reading of “The Santa Train Tradition” by Hoover at noon on Saturday.

A native of South Carolina and a graduate of Clemson University, Hoover splits her time between East Tennessee and South Carolina. She has worked in the media for over 30 years. Her published articles include personality and home profiles, arts and entertainment reviews, medical topics, and weekend escape pieces. She is passionate about reading aloud and believes writing is a gift to honor God.

She has published several books throughout her career, including two children’s books: “The Santa Train Tradition” and award-winning “Festus and His Fun Fest Favorites;” a memoir called “For Better or Worse... Unless Annulment Comes First,” and one book about an adult reading student she tutored, “Reading with Ralph - A Journey in Christian Compassion.” Hoover will also soon release her debut novel, “Blue Blood.”

For a complete schedule of events, visit www.homecraftdays.org.

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