The Blue Ridge Craft Trails, which link 75 craft sites across 25 WNC counties to promote craft businesses and brand the region as a leading craft destination, recently awarded an anchor position to the Historic Shelton House Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts in Haywood County. The Shelton House is the first Haywood County location on the Blue Ridge Craft Trails.
In celebration of this new appointment, a Blue Ridge Heritage Weekend will take place on Saturday and Sunday, June 22 and 23, on the Shelton Campus in Haywood County. “This event, combined with the heritage of Haywood County’s well known local crafters, will emphasize Haywood County and the Shelton Campus’ contributions to the variety of art forms available locally,” says Mike McLean, vice-chair of the Shelton House. “This event will be expanded over future years to be a primary experience for those wishing to view and participate in workshops and musical demonstrations that preserve these important aspects of WNC.”
The Shelton Campus includes the HART Theatre, Haywood’s Historic Farmers Market and the Shelton House. A juried craft fair will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and an Appalachian music program will be performed on Sunday at the HART Theatre mainstage with the Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) alumni band, Possum on a Whale and the Whitewater Bluegrass Band. This will be a ticketed fundraiser for the Shelton House and will be followed by a free clogging demonstration on the Shelton grounds. Titled “The Birth of Clogging,” the performance is based on Sam Love Queen’s early 20th century buck dancing, which many historians attribute to the birth of today’s clogging style.
The Shelton House will host open house tours on Saturday. Visitors will also have the chance to see demonstrations by Tommy Thomas of Thomas Custom Rods as part of the third annual Crafters Showcase Series. Thomas has been restoring custom fly rods for more than 35 years. “The Blue Ridge Heritage Weekend will afford many people young and old the opportunity to experience our wonderful heritage and the lifestyles of our forefathers and mothers that generated a pride in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the oldest mountains in the world,” he says.