Burnsville, NC – One of the largest, oldest and most unique crafts fairs in the North Carolina mountains takes place Friday and Saturday, Aug. 5-6 on the Town Square in Burnsville.Mt. Mitchell Crafts

The 65th Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair brings together more than 200 artists and crafters to offer a wonderland of handmade wares in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This is a juried event in which all vendors must be reviewed and approved.

“It is important to us that each item available for sale is handcrafted, authentic and not mass produced,” said festival director Christy Wood of the Burnsville-Yancey Chamber of Commerce. “It’s the best of the best.”

Wood is excited to present a vibrant mix of returning and new crafters. “There’s definitely more variety and types of art we haven’t seen in large quantities before,” Wood said.

The focus remains on local artists from the Toe River Valley and regionally from the southern Appalachians. Booths encircling the square showcase a variety of crafts, from ceramics and wood carvings to jewelry, blown and sculpted glass, metalwork, textiles and woven baskets.

“Last year we didn’t use all of the spaces because of Covid, but we’re back at full capacity. We cannot fit in one more booth this year,” Wood said.

Although a few things have changed since its inception in 1956, the event retains its Friday-Saturday format and includes traditional activities on the main stage, such as bluegrass and country music, as well as clogging demonstrations. Food vendors and food trucks add to the atmosphere, as well as offerings from downtown eateries.

New this year is a children’s performance by the Parkway Playhouse: “Elephant and Piggie’s We are in a Play.” It’s part of the Playhouse’s Reading is Alive program and all children present will receive a free book.

Hours for the Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Friday and Saturday, and there is no charge for admission.

“We had larger than expected attendance last year and we’re looking for that to happen again this year,” said Wood.

For information, visit www.YanceyChamber.com/crafts-fair or call (828) 682-7413.

Rachel Gunsch of SunRay Pottery