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Neighboring Ashe County, NC celebrates 'Christmas in July' this weekend

By: Bonnie Davis Guy
Freelance Writer

 The July 4th holiday weekend is coming soon and what better way to spend it than a short road trip over to West Jefferson, home of Ashe County’s Christmas tree growers festival better known as Christmas in July. This festival began in 1987 as a way to share Ashe County’s proud mountain heritage and celebrate the area’s Christmas tree industry. Now thousands of visitors come to West Jefferson to enjoy country, blue grass, and old time music, craft vendors, farmers markets, Christmas tree growers’ competitions, children’s activities, displays, and even a Civil War re-enactment. In addition, more than 20 plus food vendors will be set up and ready to tempt your taste buds.
The festivities begin on Friday, July 3 at 6:00 pm and end Saturday, July 4th at 7:00pm. In addition to the many country and old time bands such as Maybe-Maybe not, Blue Country, Madison Shepherd and the Mountain Park Old Time Ban and Crooked Road, live blue-grass bands will be on hand throughout the festival. The main stage will have a series of shows with local talent such as dancers, cloggers and student from a local vocal studio. More than 100 craft vendors will line the streets with items such as pottery, woodworking, and jewelry to name a few. The Christmas tree farmers also get in on the act with competitions such as Christmas tree baling and wreath making.
For those that love to relive an era gone by through historical re-enactments. Christmas in July allows visitors to experience the Civil War battle of Killian Creek, meet the generals who led their troops, and even have tea with the general’s wives. Visitors can see how a Civil War battle camp was actually set up and how the soldiers survived in harsh conditions.
A complete schedule of different events has been planned for both Friday evening and all day on Saturday.

To read the entire article, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk,.