Mountain Heritage is a big day in the area

Summer Brooke McMahan (right).

With no Mountain Heritage Day on the calendar for 2020, Western Carolina University will still mark the date with a virtual concert by Summer Brooke and the Mountain Faith Band at 7 p.m. Saturday.

The special virtual performance can be viewed from the Mountain Heritage Day Facebook page and the university’s YouTube channel, with a recorded version available Monday on the website.

Summer Brooke and the Mountain Faith Band are perennial favorites at Mountain Heritage Day. They received the 2015 Mountain Heritage Award, given annually by WCU in honor of achievements in historic preservation and outstanding cultural contributions.

The award-winning ensemble began in 2001 from their home in Jackson County, playing bluegrass-gospel. In 2015 the band appeared on “America’s Got Talent,” reaching the semifinal round, which brought national exposure. The International Bluegrass Music Association named them as the emerging artist of the year for 2016. 

Also, throughout the day on Saturday, WCU social media platforms leading up to the concert will feature images of the 45 prior festivals, examples of local mountain residents at traditional work and play, and a sampling of vendors’ previous experiences. Some of the scheduled artisans include:

• Joel Queen crafts Native American pottery.

• Bea Hensley blacksmiths at his forge.

• Kathi Littlejohn shares the Cherokee story “Spearfinger.”

• Lloyd Arneach brings a Cherokee tale to life.

• Ann Miller Woodford tours her African American exhibit “All God’s Children.”