September 16-17, 2017
The annual Heritage Weekend at the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville is a free festival sponsored by the Southern Highland Craft Guild. Enjoy traditional music, dancing and heritage craft demonstrations. Hours are Saturday 10 AM-4 PM and Sunday 12 PM-4 PM.
A highlight of the weekend is the World Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Competition on Saturday, 2-3 PM. A whimmy diddle is an Appalachian mountain toy traditionally made from two sticks of rhododendron. Notches are carved into one stick with a propeller attached to the end. The other stick is rubbed against the notches, causing the propeller to spin either gee (right) or haw (left).
During the World Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Competition, contestants are judged on the number of rotations between gee and haw they can complete during a given time. They may also have to switch hands during the competition or whimmy diddle behind their backs. There are three divisions of competition: children, adults and professional. Sign up throughout the day to compete. Winners receive a trophy, poster, t-shirt, Moon Pie, and bragging rights.
During Heritage Weekend, learn from area experts about beekeeping, coopering, heritage toy making, natural dyeing, spinning, broom making and furniture making. Hands-on activities related to traditional crafts will be provided for all ages. Other highlights include sheep shearing demonstrations throughout the day on Saturday, and border collie demonstrations on Sunday.
There will be free parking, access to hiking trails and grassy areas for picnics. For more information, call 828-298-7928. The Folk Art Center is located at Milepost 382 of the Blue Ridge Parkway, just north of the Hwy 70 entrance in east Asheville.
The Southern Highland Craft Guild is a non-profit, educational organization established in 1930 to bring together the crafts and craftspeople of the Southern Highlands for the benefit of shared resources, education, marketing and conservation.