SYLVA – Drawing thousands of visitors each year, Sylva’s Greening Up The Mountains Spring Festival is a celebration of renewal, of revitalization, and a time of reconnecting with friends, relatives and neighbors. The festival will run from 10am – 4pm on Saturday, April 25 – a fitting celebration of the awakening of spring in the mountains. And, this year there will be a special attempt to present the quality of the local society—past, present and future—spread throughout the festival.
The many musical styles of the area will be featured on two stages, providing the backdrop for a day of excitement and shopping. In the center of Main Street, between the town’s unique small businesses, Sylva will host over 100 vendors—from fine artists and crafters, to heritage demonstrators. There will also be exhibitors from local schools, natural environmental organizations, and sustainability and wellness representatives.
Children’s activities will include dance performances, storytelling, face painting, an inflatable slide, a mountain youth talent contest (586-4009 to sign up) and a cub-mobile downhill race (828-226-6419 for more about this race). Each local school will be represented, with many activities planned especially for the festival and the children of the area.
This year’s event also hosts the annual Greening Up the Mountains 5K Run, sponsored by the Jackson County Recreation and Parks Department. For more information on the race and registration, call (828) 293-3053.
There are many local works of the hand that will be strewn throughout the festival, such as loom beading, fine art and photography, walking sticks, birdhouses, artistic bottle art, goat milk soap, lip balms, local honey, jewelry of all kinds, leather handbags, chair caning, quilting and so much more.
One of the craftsmen will be Bob Nichols, who is the fourth generation of carpenters, craftsmen and true artisans of wood in his family. His great grandfather was a blacksmith and craftsman of furniture and art when it was too cold to build houses. So, when Bob was eight, he went to work in wood alongside his father, working on all kinds of wood, and taking on the challenges of building structures, homes and magnificent pieces of furniture. Now, at 66, his education has been a lifetime of building, remodeling, and creating with wood.
“I take reclaimed and found wood,” he says, “and bring the wood to the sawmill, then slick the wood by the grain. It’s a passion I feel as I work…it must be in my blood, coming from my family heritage.”
Written up in Southern Living Magazine, Bob designs and builds Country French cabinetry, curly maple Windsor chairs, entertainment centers in walnut…and mantels, doors, cabinets, tables, desks and more—which are now scattered about the eastern United States and locally as well.
Info: Paige Dowling, town manager for Sylva, 586-2719
– Town of Sylva