Contestants sought for Mountain Youth Talent Contests

by Apr 3, 2019General Announcements


Christopher Tucker, Mountain Youth Talent Contest participant, 2017 (Photo courtesy of Mountain Youth Talent Contests)

Come play, sing, dance or tell us a story!  The Mountain Youth Talent Contests aim to discover, develop, and encourage talent in youth in traditional Appalachian heritage activities and provide an opportunity for young people to perform on stage before an audience.  The Contests are produced by Jackson County 4-H and are held at Greening Up the Mountains in Sylva, and the Swain County Agricultural Fair in Bryson City.

Entry forms are now available for all of the Mountain Youth Talent Contests for 2019.  The first Contest is at Greening Up the Mountains Festival in Sylva on Saturday, April 27 .  The entry deadline is Wednesday, April 17.

Go to to find the entry forms.

Participants in these contests must exhibit a talent that will reflect Appalachian heritage and adhere to the guidelines set up by the organizers of the talent contest and the festival organizers. Youth can showcase their talents in a variety of individual and group instrumental categories.

Poetry/Storytelling (writings about heritage, items of historical significance, old timey ways)

Vocal Performance – Individual or Group (old timey songs, old gospel songs, bluegrass, heritage tunes)

Instrumentalists – Individual or Group (feature instruments such as banjo, fiddle, guitar, dulcimer, mandolin playing old timey songs, old gospel songs, bluegrass, heritage tunes)

Dance – Individual or Group (Clogging, Square Dance, Irish Folk Dance, Native American Dance)

This year we return to awarding prize money for first place winners by age as well as 1st and 2nd Best of Show winners. Best of Show 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places will be awarded. First and Second Place Best of Show winners will participate in the final contest of the season on the Heritage Stage at Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Day in September.

To enter, complete an on-line entry form.  Information, Guidelines and Entry Forms are available at the Jackson County 4-H blog:  For more information contact Heather Gordon, Jackson County 4-H Agent 586-4009 or

– Mountain Youth Talent Contests release