Appalachian Heritage Week

Join us in celebrating the people, places, and artistry that distinguish our mountain home!

The eleventh annual Appalachian Heritage Week brings both familiar favorites and new talent to the festivities.  

“After last year's COVID hiatus, once again we invite everyone to join us in Lees-McRae's celebration of our mountain roots during Appalachian Heritage Week,” said Michael Joslin, director of the Stephenson Center for Appalachia. “From a tasty meal of traditional foods accompanied by old-time music to rides in a wagon drawn by a working horse team, history comes alive on campus. To learn more about mountain culture, please join us for one or all of our activities. We look forward to an exciting week.”

2021 Schedule of Events

Monday, April 5

Apple Hill Farm Alpacas
12–2 p.m., Tate Lawn

Lee Rankin from Matney-based Apple Hill Farm will bring her alpacas to Tate Lawn. Stop by to take photos and interact with the animals!

Traditional Appalachian Dinner and Music by Trevor Brown
5 p.m., MacDonald Dining Hall

MacDonald Dining Hall will serve a traditional, Appalachian-themed meal while banjo player Trevor Brown performs.


Tuesday, April 6

Pottery Throwing with Rob Withrow
10 a.m.–3 p.m., Swank Park

Potter Rob Withrow will demonstrate his pottery-throwing technique. You are invited to get your hands wet and shape clay on the turning wheel. Withrow will also have a selection of his work for sale during the demonstration.


Wednesday, April 7

Mountain Day of Service
9 a.m.–2 p.m., Various Locations

Everyone on campus is invited to spend the day giving back to the community. Check your Lees-McRae email for additional details regarding the schedule of the day’s events and volunteer opportunities.

Mountain Day of Service Celebration
2–5 p.m., Tate Lawn

Join us after volunteering for food and fun!


Thursday, April 8

Founder's Day Celebration
3 p.m., Rev. Edgar Tufts Gravesite 

We will honor our founder, Rev. Edgar Tufts, with music and poetry performed by Lees-McRae faculty and students. 


Friday, April 9

Horse and Wagon Rides
12 p.m.–2 p.m., Front of the North Carolina Building
Greg “Bumble Bee” Miller and Aaron Norris will bring a draft horse team and wagon to campus and offer rides to anyone interested. 


Saturday, April 10

Yellow Mountain Gap Hike
9 a.m., Trailhead of Roaring Creek 

Outdoor Programs is coordinating with the Stephenson Center for a historical hike of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail. The hike will begin at the trailhead of Roaring Creek and up to Yellow Mountain Gap. At that point, Outdoor Programs will continue on to Hampton Creek Crossing and enjoy a picnic lunch in hammocks by the water, then turn around and return to the Roaring Creek trailhead. The entire hike covers 4.5 miles and 1,100 feet in elevation. 

This hike is free and available to Lees-McRae students, faculty, and staff. Limited transportation is provided on a first come, first serve basis. Light snacks will be provided. We recommend that you pack a picnic lunch to enjoy either at the Overmountain Shelter or further down the trail by the creek. Please reserve your free ticket and indicate if you will need transportation and/or a hammock. We will depart campus at 9 a.m. and return by 4 p.m.

For more information, call Pam Joslin at 828.898.8721 or email Michael Joslin at