The Orchard at Altapass continues its lineup of live traditional music from Thursday, July 18 through Sunday, July 21. The stage will reverberate with classic and not-so-classic country rhythms, and it’s all free.

Music kicks off at 1:45 p.m. on Thursday with Tom Sparks. A long-time friend of the Orchard and Spruce Pine resident, Sparks will be joined on stage with a few of his own friends. Then on Friday, Jack Vaughn returns with his great traditional renditions—same time, same place.

On Saturday, Town & Country comes to the stage at 1 p.m. with their own “take” on bluegrass—a little bit ‘o town and a heap of country. Then at 3 p.m., Bearwallow is back on stage. The Morganton based band offers a distinctive blend of progressive bluegrass, old-time folk, and classic country. And remember, a free clogging demonstration happens in between at 2:30 p.m.

On Sunday afternoon, the audience is in for a rare treat as The Cockman Family holds the red barn for the entire afternoon from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Since launching their performing career in 1988, the Cockman Family has developed the classic family harmonies and youthful flair that is The Cockman Family trademark. Family members, from wee ages to adult, offer up performances that musically demonstrate their diversity—unique bluegrass gospel style, original songs, and arrangements of the old gospel songs. Spend the afternoon with The Cockman Family; you’ll understand what all the applause is about.

The Orchard continues its mission to preserve the land and culture of the Blue Ridge region by presenting the best of its music. The afternoon performances are free. All are welcome to take in the diversity of music that makes the Orchard at Altapass one of a kind. Dancing is encouraged; no one is watching. And don’t forget the free open mic/music jam each Wednesday at 1:45 p.m. Bring your instrument and play for one or a hundred encouraging audience members.

The Orchard is located at 1025 Orchard Road near Spruce Pine at mm 328.3 on the Blue Ridge Parkway and is a not-for-profit working orchard, music, and educational venue. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday-Sunday. Family and pet friendly. Wheelchair accessible. Buses welcome. For information please visit www.altapassorchard.org, or call 828-765-9531.