Join Lees-McRae College in celebrating spring’s return to the mountains during the ninth annual Appalachian Heritage Week April 8–13.
Throughout the week the college will highlight unique aspects of our heritage that will enlighten and entertain students and community members. Lees-McRae invites everyone to participate in these activities sponsored by the Stephenson Center for Appalachia.
Monday, April 8
Start the week with an open house for the New Opportunity School for Women from 1–5 p.m. Join Director Jennie Harpold, members of the NOSW advisory council, and past graduates to learn more about the program and celebrate another successful year at the Stephenson Center for Appalachia. The NOSW has changed the lives of more than 140 women in the past 15 years at Lees-McRae and more than 900 in the 32 years since its founding in Berea, Kentucky.
At 5 p.m., MacDonald Dining Hall will serve a traditional, Appalachian-themed meal while old-time mountain group Little Stony Nighthawks will perform. While the music will be free, the cost of the meal for those without a college meal plan will be $10.25 plus tax.
Tuesday, April 9
From 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m., Lee Rankin from Matney-based Apple Hill Farm will bring her alpacas to Tate Lawn so that students and members of the community can take photos and interact with the animals.
At 7 p.m., Lees-McRae alumnus, novelist Joshua Simcox will lead a reader’s theater presentation of his play Transit Gothic in Evans Auditorium in the Cannon Student Center.
Wednesday, April 10
Thursday, April 11
From 10 a.m.–3 p.m., local potter Rob Withrow will demonstrate his throwing technique in Swank Park. Students and community members are invited to get their hands wet and shape clay on the turning wheel. Withrow will also have a selection of his work for sale during the demonstration.
Thursday evening, the Bailey Mountain Cloggers will have MacDonald Dining Hall jumping from 5:15–6:15 p.m. This award-winning team from Mars Hill University returns for the sixth year in a row. Come out, enjoy the group’s stirring dances, and celebrate this important aspect of Appalachian heritage. While the clogging will be free, the cost of the meal for those without a college meal plan will be $10.25 plus tax.
Friday, April 12
On Friday, Greg “Bumble Bee” Miller and Aaron Norris will bring a draft horse team and wagon to campus to take students and visitors for rides the old-fashioned way—by real horsepower. Horse and wagon tours will be available from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Starting at 2 p.m. in Evans Auditorium, Lees-McRae history professor Dr. Scott Huffard will present a lecture on the history of the Virginia Creeper Trail from its time as an important railroad line to its role today as a bike trail.
Saturday, April 13
On Saturday, mathematics professor Tim Shatley will lead students and faculty on an 18-mile ride down the Virginia Creeper Trail from Whitetop to Damascus, Virginia. A van will leave the Cannon Student Center at 8:30 a.m. to carry students who have registered and paid a $20 fee for bike rental. Register for the trip online at https://leesmcrae.ticketleap.com/creeper-trail-trip/.
“Once again we invite everyone to join us in Lees-McRae's celebration of our Appalachian heritage,” said Dr. Michael Joslin, director of the Stephenson Center for Appalachia at Lees-McRae College. “Whether you can contribute to our understanding of the past or hope to learn more about mountain culture, please join us for one or all of our activities—we look forward to an exciting week.”
Learn more about the week's lineup of events online at https://www.lmc.edu/academics/stephenson/heritage-week.htm