Good times at the Fall Festival

  • The Jones Brothers Band, featuring (from left) Betsy Blankenship, Joshua Jones and Johnathan Jones, played for the assembled guests at the Fall Festival in Brasstown over the weekend.
    The Jones Brothers Band, featuring (from left) Betsy Blankenship, Joshua Jones and Johnathan Jones, played for the assembled guests at the Fall Festival in Brasstown over the weekend.
  • The Folk School's resident blacksmith Paul Garrett showed off his skills to the assembled patrons.
    The Folk School's resident blacksmith Paul Garrett showed off his skills to the assembled patrons.
  • Salley Blackenship demonstrates indigo dying for the Fall Festival patrons.
    Salley Blackenship demonstrates indigo dying for the Fall Festival patrons.
  • Tim Chambers shows off “Those Kooky Chickens,” his beautiful painted gourds
    Tim Chambers shows off “Those Kooky Chickens,” his beautiful painted gourds
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    Brasstown – With the air starting to cool and leaves slowly losing their pigments, John C. Campbell Folk School’s 45th annual Fall Festival ushered in autumn over the weekend.
    More than 200 fine craft exhibitions and vendors flocked to the folk school’s campus during the two-day festival, displaying a variety of trade talents ranging from wood carving to broom making and even gourd painting.
    For those who have been attending the celebration of Appalachian culture over the years, the festival serves as a much-needed showcase and reminder of how valuable trades are to the area’s heritage. More than 14,000 patrons enjoyed all the festival has to offer over the weekend.
    “These festivals should be all over the country,” said Tony Reed of Hayesville, who has been attending the festival for more than 20 years. “One of the things lacking in this country is the trades, and all of these crafts really showcase them. It’s what’ll get kids interested and helps bring up the heritage of the past to the future.”
    For those who hadn’t been to the festival before, the experience opened their eyes to the different trades and talents that can be taught and learned.
    “I’m floored because I’ve know about the festival for about three years,” said Karen Preslock of Blairsville, Ga., who attended the festival for the first time Saturday. “We’re ready to take a whole bunch of classes now.”
    “I really want to take a broom-making class, it’s going to be my ride for Halloween,” she said with a laugh.