The streets of downtown Marion were filled Saturday with arts and crafts vendors, musicians, performers, food vendors and thousands of visitors for the 35th annual Mountain Glory festival. Every second Saturday in October, Marion celebrates the arrival of autumn in the Blue Ridge during the Mountain Glory festival.

Visitors browsed among three jam packed blocks, featuring 150 craft, food, non-profit and sponsor booths of locally made arts and crafts; festival foods and local wines and beers. They also visited downtown Marion’s restaurants, pubs and shops during the day. In addition, there were two stages presenting Marion’s finest musicians. The performers included Sara King, the JackTown Ramblers, Little McDowell Kayleigh Freeman, Junior Rhododendron Queen Kaylyn Fairchild, Chris McGinnis and Mamaw’s Angels (including Chandler Bell). The Eual Owens Band gave a special performance at the City Stage. Eual Owens, a long-time local singer and guitar player, was presented with a special metal guitar made by Turtle Laboratories in recognition for his many years of making music here in McDowell. In addition, there was the Mountain Glory Quilt Show inside the McDowell Arts Council Association gallery. The kids had fun in the "Children's Arena" with hands-on activities, local entertainment and the ever popular best-dressed pet contest.

MIKE CONLEY/MCDOWELL NEWS