Mountain Glory Festival turns 30 on Saturday

Crowds grow each year at Mountain Glory and a good weather forecast should mean thousands will pack the streets. (File photo)

This year, the Mountain Glory Festival turns 30.

And appropriately enough, the downtown celebration will have more vendors than ever and some new features.

This Saturday, the 30th Annual Mountain Glory Festival in downtown Marion will celebrate small-town living in the Blue Ridge Mountains and the arrival of the autumn season. The festival lasts from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This year, folks will have an easier time getting to and from the Mountain Glory Festival. For the first time, a free shuttle service will transport people , leaving every 15 minutes from the Senior Center on Spaulding Road. City Manager Bob Boyette said this service is being provided by the McDowell County Department of Social Services.

During Mountain Glory, visitors can enjoy of crafts, food and music on three blocks of Main Street. Shoppers looking for original handicrafts or homespun enjoyment will find plenty of choices among more than 140 vendors. These include artists, crafters, non-profit organizations and food booths, according to a news release.

“Featured this year is a great selection of custom made jewelry, pottery, fabric and knitted bags, hats, scarves and delightful yard art,” reads the news release. “Great shopping opportunities for Christmas!”

For music, there will be traditional bluegrass, new country, rock and roll Southern gospel and folk too.

Besides the mainstays of music and craft, the festival offers glimpses into local and regional pastimes. The Mountain Glory Quilt Show will be open all of October and a bed turning demonstration will be featured on festival day. “The Quilt Show has been a beautiful and colorful addition to Mountain Glory Festival for many years and all are one of a kind works of art,” reads the news release.

The Mountain Glory Quilt Show at MACA is free to the public.

One of the most popular areas at the festival each year is the Children’s Area on the Courthouse lawn that provides hands-on activities, gem mining, the best-dressed pet show and activities for kids. “Watch apple butter being made and the hit-n-miss engine making ice cream,” reads the news release.

The entertainment will be featured on two stages.

Other activities will include a car show at the Wells Fargo parking lot.

At Mountain Glory, the Mission Children’s Hospital ToothBus will provide two dental assistants and a driver who will share educational information about dental care, give tours of the bus and offer complimentary toothbrushes. The bus will be parked beside First Baptist Church.

The purpose of Mission Children’s Hospital is to improve the health of children living in western North Carolina. In 1996, Mission Children’s Hospital identified the lack of adequate access to oral health care and education as an overwhelming need. While other aspects of medical care were available, many children had almost no access to proper treatment or instruction for dental concerns. The ToothBus began service to low-income children in rural western North Carolina counties through Mission Children’s Hospital. To date, Mission Children’s Dental serves patients from 21 western North Carolina counties encompassing 10,000 square miles of mountainous area.

In addition, instrumental Native American flute and rhythm music will be performed in front the MACA gallery all day.

The Children’s Area will provide hands-on activities and activities for kids. They will be able to enjoy gem mining, an inflatable moonbounce and slide, a monkey bridge, face painting and games.

For more festival information, visit or call 652-3551 or 652-2215. The festival is sponsored by the city of Marion.