Get your Whimmy Diddles ready! This 37-year-old weekend festival celebrates true Appalachian heritage, we’ve got craft demonstrations, traditional music and dancing, and southern eats!
Saturday, September 16 from 10am to 4pm
Sunday, September 17 from 12 to 5pm
The 37th Annual Heritage Weekend will be held on September 16 and 17 at the Blue Ridge Parkway’s Folk Art Center. This free celebration of mountain heritage is sponsored by the Southern Highland Craft Guild and features traditional crafts accompanied by music and dancing.
A highlight of the weekend is the 37th Annual World Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Competition on Saturday, from 2:00 to 3:00. A whimmy diddle is an Appalachian mountain toy traditionally made from two sticks of rhododendron. Notches are carved into one stick and a propeller is attached to the end. Rubbing the notches with the second stick makes the propeller spin. Can you get it to gee (spin to the right) and haw (spin to the left)?
During the World Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Competition contestants are judged on the number of rotations between gee and haw they can complete during a given time. They may be asked to switch hands or whimmy diddle behind their back. All ages may compete with trophies given for best child, adult, and professional. Winners receive a Moon Pie, a t-shirt, and bragging rights.
On going demonstrations will include traditional woodworking with traditional tools, weaving, spinning, dyeing, broom making, stone carving, and print making. Visitors will have the opportunity to try their own hand at some of the crafts and an activity table will encourage young people to create.
A music stage will provide further entertainment with blue grass and gospel music. Local cloggers will demonstrate the energy and fancy footwork that goes into the mountain dance tradition. The Blue Ridge Parkway’s Folk Art Center is the ideal place for Heritage Weekend! There is free parking and a grassy area for picnics and relaxation. Spend an early autumn weekend in WNC honoring and learning about the crafts of yesteryear.