Events In Madison County, NC

Lamar Lunsford Festival

 42 College Street Mars Hill, North Carolina 28754 42 College Street Mars Hill, North Carolina 28754 - Map Directions
5 October 2019
10:00 AM GMT -11:00
 828 689-1115

The 52nd edition of Western North Carolina's second-oldest folk music festival returns to the Mars Hill University campus the first weekend of October. The Bascom Lamar Lunsford "Minstrel of Appalachia" Festival takes place from 10 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 5, 2019. It's the same day as the Madison Heritage Arts Festival, which runs from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. in downtown Mars Hill. Admission to the festivals is free, although there is a charge for some of the Lunsford Festival music workshops.


Most of the Lunsford Festival activities, including the main stage performances, will take place on or near the Lunsford Commons, traditionally known as the Upper Quad of the campus, adjacent to College Street. A highlight of the day is the 11 a.m. presentation of the 2019 Bascom Lamar Lunsford Award, which will be given to dancer Loretta Freeman. Afternoon highlights include a community jam session in the Sunken Garden, adjacent to the Quad, and a ballad swap in historic Owen Theatre.


Workshops will give festival-goers the opportunity to learn traditional music and dance from some masters of the arts. Fiddler Roger Howell, guitarist Jerry Sutton, banjoist Jake Owen, and dulcimer maestro Don Pedi will offer workshops in their respective instruments. Laura Boosinger will lead a free workshop on shape-note singing. More information and registration for the workshops are available on the festival website at


The festival concludes with a community dance from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in Chambers Gym. The dance will be called by Beth Gunn, with music by Rhiannon and the Relics. The Bailey Mountain Cloggers of Mars Hill University and the Cole Mountain Cloggers will demonstrate their fancy footwork. 


Among the performers scheduled to appear this year are the Buckner Family, Lillian Chase, the Lonesome Mountain Ears, and the Madison County Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) Program. At least 30 performers or groups are currently on the schedule, and others may join the list.


Bascom Lamar Lunsford dedicated his life to traveling the Appalachian Mountains to find, memorize, and record the songs and dances so intimately woven into the mountain culture. He started the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival in Asheville in 1928, and from there was enlisted to help start the National Folk Festival. He became instrumental in the creation of multiple festivals throughout the United States, but it wasn’t until Mars Hill pharmacist Ed Howard formulated a plan to name a festival in honor of Lunsford that he ever let one of his festivals carry his name. It was only with persistence and flexibility that Howard was able to convince Lunsford to allow the festival in his hometown of Mars Hill to be named the Bascom Lamar Lunsford “Minstrel of Appalachia” Festival, and then only with the clear understanding the festival would be dedicated to authentic mountain music and dance. 


For updates and information, visit the festival website at or contact festival director Leila Weinstein at (828) 689-1115 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..





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2019-10-05 2019-10-05 Lamar Lunsford Festival

Weekly/Monthly Events

"Life in Still" Exhibit at Outpost Gallery in Marshall. Through September 14.

AUGUST 15TH - SEPTEMBER 14TH OPENING PARTY AUGUST 15TH 5-8PM LIFE IN STILL This group exhibition welcomes representational, conceptual and material explorations of “still life” in all of its forms: as a celebration of material pleasures, as a representation of carefully arranged objects, as a commentary on the brevity of human life and all things in between. “A connection between presence and absence, life and death, stillness and motion, a moment in time captured and encapsulated” Featured Artists: John Byrd, Angela Finney, Garnet Fisher, Steve Juras, Susan McChesney, Sara Mulvey, & Jack Sorokin Information at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 62 South Main Street, Marshall, NC FREE

Weizenblatt Gallery presents Cleaster Cotton Exhibit runs through September 19

79 Cascade Street, Mars Hill, NC 28754 828 689-1209 Cleaster Cotton Exhibit Opens Time: 10 a.m. Location: Weizenblatt Gallery (Moore Fine Arts Building) Exhibition of art by Asheville artist Cleaster Cotton. Cotton describes her exhibit: "The 'United State of Inequity' art exhibit is a collection of mixed media paintings referencing contemporary occurrences in the lives of my people and historic events in the lives of my Ancestors, Indigenous Black Americans and African Americans, whose blood and bones feed the rivers, lakes, streams and trees of the American south." Gallery hours are 10am-4pm, Monday through Friday. The exhibit runs through September 19. A reception is scheduled for September 4, 6-8 p.m.

"Form & Function" An exhibit at Flow Gallery in Historic Marshall August 15 to September 21

Opening Reception - August 15, 5:30 - 7:30 Exhibit runs from August 15 to September 21 Flow Gallery in Downtown Marshall. 14 Main Street Marshall, NC 28753 (828) 649 - 1686 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Flow Gallery, located in historic downtown Marshall, announces its newest exhibit "Form & Function"-new works by Kerstin & John Davis

Maidison County Fair: September 26 through 28

Thursday through Saturday, September 26 - 28: Madison County Fair. Food, Entertainment, Contests, Shows. 330 Carolina Lane, Marshall

Madison County Arts Council presents “Welcome Home” through September

Monday thru Friday 10 am to 4 pm at 90 South Main Street, Marshall Free! For more information: of 828 649-1301

Farmers' Markets for the County

Spring Creek: 2nd and 4th Saturdays From 9 am to 2 pm (except May 11) Mars Hill: Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm on the campus of MHU Marshall: Sundays fro 12 to 4 pm on the Island Hot Springs: Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm


Come join us each Friday April through June, and then the first Friday of the month thereafter through December - if you are a veteran, active duty service member, or first responder! For more information: Horses provide veterans and their families a door into working through challenges great and small, whether improving communication, increasing responsiveness to the needs of self and others, or practicing skills related to managing trauma and anxiety. RSVP recommended; sometimes dates change! Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your name and phone number, and we’ll follow up with you. Check our Veterans Horseplay WNC facebook page for updates about our weekly groups!

Tours/Demonstration Saturdays at Horse Sense

TOURS/DEMONSTRATION SATURDAYS Saturday, May 18, 2019 11:00 AM 12:00 PM DATES: Saturdays, March thru December: March 9, March 30, April 27, May 18, June 15, July 6, Aug 24, Sept 7, Oct 5, Nov 16, Dec 7 INTRO TOURS/DEMOS 11 AM - 12 Noon; held at Main Arena INTRODUCTORY TOURS/DEMONSTRATION SATURDAYS March thru December, one Saturday of each month Horse Sense is featuring a FREE mini-experiential at the farm with the horses. Come spend time with us connecting with yourself and the natural world. Bring a lunch for after the tour and enjoy it in our Pavilion and walk our Labyrinth as well! For more information: RSVP recommended; sometimes dates change! Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your name and phone number, and we’ll follow up with you. Interested in Volunteering for the non-profit Heart of Horse Sense, an organization that helps support quality, professional EAP/L in WNC? Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more info. Fee: None

Thursdays at 7 pm at Zumas

Thursdays at 7 pm at Zuma, 7 N. Main St, downtown Marshall: FREE music with “Blue Grass Jam” featuring Bobby Hicks and friends 649-1617

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Wednesdays from 6:30 to 9 pm at Zuma's

Wednesdays from 6:30 to 9:00 pm at Zuma. Open Mic with hosts Linda Jarvis and Jerry Burns.

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Open Mic Nights at Zuma and Stackhouse

Weeknights: Open Mic Nights–Mondays at Stackhouse and Wednesday at Zuma. Contact locations for information.

Thursdays from 8 to 10 pm at Stackhouse

Thursdays from 8 to 10 pm: Andy Buckner Live Music at Stackhouse Restaurant, 37 S. Main Street, Mars Hill. 680-1213

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Fridays at 6:30 pm at the Depot

Fridays at 6:30 pm at The Depot, 282 S. Main St, downtown Marshall: FREE traditional music and dancing. 649-2332 (all year except for first Friday in December)

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Every other Saturday at 7:30 - Rodeo

Every other Saturday at 7:30: Rodeo at the Madison County Fairgrounds. $10 for tickets. As of right now, no indoor rodeo. For more information, contact 828-206-6969.

SART Presents: Miracle in Bedford Falls, December 5 to 22

The classic holiday film, IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, takes center stage as a heavenly new musical! George Bailey has spent his entire life giving of himself to the people of Bedford Falls and watching his dreams of travel and adventure pass him by. Enter Clarence, a guardian angel who shows George what the world would have been like if he’d never been born. George realizes that his life has truly been a wonderful one and he returns to discover the day has been saved through the generosity and Christmas spirit of his friends and family. 10 year anniversary of the WORLD PREMIERE done right here at SART! Show Times: Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 & Saturday-Sunday at 2:30 Tickets are on sale NOW. Show Times: Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 & Saturday-Sunday at 2:30 For tickets and other information: Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (828) 689-1232

Madison County Tourism Development Authority

56 South Main Street
Mars Hill, NC 28754

Click here for Driving Directions


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Local: (828) 680-9031

Toll Free: (877) 262-3476

Mailing Address: PO Box 1527
    Mars Hill, NC 28754