The Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina share a rich musical heritage with other Appalachian communities along the Parkway. You can experience authentic mountain music many Saturday evenings throughout the summer during your visit to Asheville Cabins at Willow Winds.
The free concerts are held in front of the historic art-deco city hall building in the new Roger McGuire Green in the renovated Pack Square Park. The events honor the Southern Appalachian culture with authentic dance, music and storytelling. Bring a blanket or folding chair and enjoy the show that typically starts “along about sundown” — the time when families used to gather on porches around the South to play music and socialize. (For those of you who wear watches, that’s roughly 7 PM.)
A Little Background
Shindig on the Green is celebrating its 48th year in 2014. The event started in 1967 when members of the Folk Heritage Committee organized a time when local bluegrass musicians could get together downtown to play. The free concerts sprang from the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival originally established in 1928 by popular local musician and folk historian Bascom Lamar. That festival continues indoors at the Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place in downtown Asheville from July 31 to August 2, 2014.
The Stoney Creek Boys serve as the “house band” at the Shindig on the Green. Other performers, ranging from cloggers and smooth dancers to bluegrass and old-timey string bands, have been showcasing their talents since the beginning. Visitors are encouraged to jam with musicians on stage, while impromptu jam sessions often pop up around the square.
A Few Rules
While you won’t be charged for the family-friendly evening, you can’t bring your dog to the park. Alcohol and smoking also are prohibited, though you can take in the show from the patios of several nearby restaurants and pubs.
The music continues till about 10 PM, when city ordinances call for quiet.
Plan your next trip the Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds to coincide with one of the free concerts. They’ll give you an intimate look at the heritage of this mountain community. Asheville boasts an eclectic group of musicians, drummers and artists, but all hold these mountain mainstream entertainers in the highest regard. The 2014 dates for the Shindig on the Green, with the dance acts:
- June 28: Homecoming Team; Fines Creek Flat Footers; J Creek Cloggers
- July 5: Folk Heritage Smooth Dancers; Southern Mountain Fire
- July 12: Carolina Heartland Cloggers; Hotfoot Cloggers
- July 19: Green Valley Cloggers; Southern Appalachian Cloggers
- August 9: Mountain Tradition Cloggers; Appalachian Mountaineers
- August 16: Dixie Darlin’s; Avery Smooth Dancers; Green Grass Cloggers
- August 23: Stoney Creek Cloggers; Bailey Mountain Cloggers
- August 30: Little River Cloggers; Mountaineer Cloggers; Cole Mountain Cloggers