The Annual Music in the Mountains Folk Festival is coming to the Burnsville Town Center on Saturday, September 22 from 5:30 to 8:30pm. The Annual Festival, sponsored by Toe River Arts and now in its 33rd year will honor Betty Smith. Betty was born in Rowan County, grew up in Guilford, and now resides in Madison County and is recognized as one of their best-known musicians. She learned her skill on the fiddle, guitar, autoharp, psaltery (similar to the dulcimer) and mountain dulcimer by practicing and playing by ear. Also, a highly respected ballad singer, she has performed widely at festivals and more recently has taken on the role as an award-winning author and performer.

This year’s line up is a definite winner. Evening’s emcee is Avery County’s WECR station manager, Phillip Greene. Performing are well-known Marina and Doug Trivette who have been taking the stage with favorite ballad singer and storyteller Bobby McMillon for years; bass player and member of the band Amantha Mill, Judge Rebecca Eggers-Gryder; banjo and story teller, Brett Riggs with his musical partner and guitarist Pan. And Madison and McKenzie Casteel and Collin and Mollie Eten kick up their heels and toes in dance. The evening begins with the great mountain sounds of the Toe River Arts Traditional Arts Program for Students instructors (TAPS) with Sam Maren and a couple of their “star” students. This is an evening not to miss!

It will be music, music, music. You’ll find a rare evening of entertainment resonating to the old and the new from our traditional performers. Music In The Mountains Folk Festival is a tribute to our region’s diverse musical heritage. Our evening celebration of traditional performers is uncommon in diversity and artistic excellence.  Let’s bring in the Fall together! Come join us in September!

In conjunction with the Music in the Mountains Folk Festival and through October 20, Toe River Arts will display the photographs of Cecil Sharp who, 100 years ago, documented the variants and versions of English and Scottish folk songs as sung by descendants of immigrants from the British Isles. The Burnsville Gallery exhibit of 24 of Sharp’s rare photographs will offer a stunning window into the life of Appalachian people. Betty Smith wrote and performed in the one-act, one-woman production of “A Mountain Riddle,” based on the life of singer Jane Hicks Gentry, who shared many songs with Cecil Sharp in 1916. “A Mountain Riddle” won the North Carolina Society of Historians’ Paul Green Multimedia Award.

Tickets are available NOW at the Burnsville Toe River Arts Gallery (102 W. Main St.) or by calling 828.682.7215.

Gallery is open from 10:30am to 5:00pm, Tuesday-Saturday.


IN ADVANCE (September 21 and before)

Adults: $12
Students/Seniors: $10*
Children 5 and under FREE
*65 and older

AT THE DOOR (September 22)

Adults: $14
Students/Seniors: $12*
Children 5 and under FREE
*65 and older



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