A! Magazine for the Arts

Virginia Highlands Festival filled with events

June 26, 2019

The Virginia Highlands Festival, one of the oldest and largest summer festivals in the nation, begins in Abingdon, Virginia, July 26 and ends Sunday, Aug. 4.

The Juried Arts and Crafts Show is on the Barter Green. The market opens at 10 a.m., Friday, July 26 and runs daily from 10-6 p.m. The show has been named one of the “Best in Virginia.”

The Antiques Market opens Friday, July 26 with an “Early Bird Shopping” event from 4-6 p.m. Shoppers get an opportunity to shop for antiques and collectibles before other shoppers. The $25 ticket includes admission to the market throughout the festival. The event is held at the Washington County Fairgrounds. The market is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through the end of the festival, except Aug. 4 when the market closes at 5 p.m. Entry fee is $5.

Holston Mountain Artisans Center hosts a quilt show throughout the festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The center’s Sawdust Festival is held July 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Enjoy live demonstrations of Appalachian arts with a focus on woodcrafters. The quilt show and the Sawdust Festival are free.

The festival hosts a fine art show at The Arts Depot. Entries are accepted July 20 and 21 from 2-5 p.m., at the depot. Its photography exhibit is held at William King Museum of Art.

In addition to the plays at Barter Theatre, Eugene Wolf and Tyler Hughes perform at the theater, July 29 at 6:30 p.m. Wolf and Hughes grew up 100 miles and 40 years apart. Although they grew up surrounded by the same mountains, generation and location manifest in different ways in their sounds. $10.

The festival celebrates Abingdon’s history with a variety of events, including tours of White’s Mill, a one-room school tour, Civil War reenactors, walking tours and a colonial trade faire among others.

The Abingdon Farmers Market Pavilion is the home of the festival’s music lineup. From the Edge and Phantom get toes tapping with their party rock July 26 at 6 p.m. The popular Celtic Ceilidh is July 27 from 5-11 p.m. Traditional bluegrass comes to the festival July 28 at 3 p.m. with Primitive Quartet. Southern Rebellion and Wyldeheart rock it out Aug. 1 at 5 p.m. Folk Soul Revival performs Aug. 2 at 7 p.m. Country music comes to the stage Aug. 3 at 5 p.m., with a Johnny Cash tribute band and Kaitlyn Baker. Carson Peters and Bella Ray close the festival Aug. 4 at 2 p.m.

A variety of offerings for children and teens are available in Humphreys Park. Events include magic shows, story time, crafts, performances by Barter Youth Academy, a talent show and a workshop on writing and illustrating a book.

Details about all the events can be found at www.vahighlandsfestival.org or in “The Highlander” magazine, which can be found throughout the region.