By Amber Deen
At an economic development meeting of Yancey County citizens a couple of years ago, one shop owner said, “It might increase visitors if we had something that no place else has.”
Another resident spoke up and said, “We do!” She told about a meteorologist friend who, when he was ready to retire, examined all the historical weather maps of the US, and found that the best weather in the entire country - over all - is right here!
Now, whenever someone who has never lived here in the winter says how bitter cold it is in the mountains, I enjoy setting them straight.
Since then, other “bests,” “firsts,” and “mosts” have come to mind, and I’ll write about them from time to time. Of course, last week’s blog covered the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival which many would say is the best of its kind.
The Quilt Trails project is another area best.
Visitors frequently ask, “What are those pictures on the side of buildings for?” The answer is, to give visitors a reason to come here for the day or the weekend, and to show off our mountain heritage.
You see, those “pictures” are replicas of original antique quilt squares from times when quilt-making and other hand crafts were a part of everyday living in these mountains. They are painted by volunteers onto wood blocks, made in four sections, by students in our local high school. In essence, they are our heritage on display…on homes, barns, public buildings, and businesses.
Barbara Webster, an artist and supreme organizer, gets the credit for launching the Quilt Trails project right here in Burnsville, and Mountain Lifestyles Communities (The Cove at Celo Mountain) for the financial support to keep it going.
Thanks to them, there are now over 200 quilt blocks in six western NC counties, the highest concentration anywhere in the US! Our county, Yancey, and neighboring Mitchell County have the most, and 10 individual driving route guides to direct visitors to them.
For online guides, more information, and a profile called “Star Barns” in Carolina Country magazine, visit (www.quilttrailswnc.org).
The Cove at Celo Mountain
|The Cove’s welcoming quilt block|
A Cove resident’s block
The Cove stands out, some will tell you, as the best place to live in western North Carolina, perfect for those who want to have it all – to nurture their spirit in a beautiful natural setting, while having the amenities of life to which they are accustomed.
Think about getting away from the mundane for a weekend of “bests.” Phone us at 866 378-4769 for details of our “Mountain Renewal” getaways.
(Check the calendar at www.yanceychamber.com for details)
· Mountain Heritage Pow Wow at the Expo Center – Sep. 14-16
· Tianguis – a Mexican open air market and festival on Town Square – Sep. 15
· Public stargazing at EnergyXchange – Sep. 20
· Glass in the Mountains, a weekend of events for glass lovers – Sep. 20-23
· 8th Annual Bakersville Creek Walk Arts Festival – Sep. 22
· Yancey Humane Society’s Big Fall Flea Market – Sep. 21-23
· “Between Tackles,” an original play at the Parkway Playhouse – opens Sep. 22
· The 27th Annual Music in the Mountains Folk Festival at Town Center – Sep. 29
· Old Timey Days Fall Festival on Town Square – Sep. 29