Greening Up the Mountains

20th annual Greening Up the Mountains Festival is April 22 in Sylva, N.C.

The 20th annual Greening Up the Mountains festival will fill the streets of downtown Sylva, N.C., on Saturday, April 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The town’s largest festival of the year typically draws thousands of visitors to this free family-friendly event in the mountains of Western North Carolina.

Organized by the Town of Sylva, Greening Up the Mountains features more than 180 vendors representing arts, crafts, demonstrators, local schools, businesses, communities, environmental and health groups, and safety organizations. The festival will also provide many tasty food options, children’s activities and a plethora of regional musical acts performing on two stages. Greening up the Mountains began as an Earth Day celebration, and continues to keep its focus on environmental protection, sustainability, and promotion of local businesses and civic groups.

Before the festival officially begins at 10 a.m., a 5K Run and Walk starts at 9 a.m. at Mark Watson Park. This Jackson County Parks & Recreation event has a $15 pre-registration fee through April 16. The cost to enter the event is $15 plus a $2.50 sign-up fee. Online registration ends April 19, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. Those interested in participating can register online. Race participants should arrive to check-in to the event for registration at 8 a.m.

Also at 9 a.m., a Cub-mobile Downhill Race is hosted by the Boy Scouts of America, Cataloochee District. The race will be at Schulman Street, in Sylva. Open to all registered Cub Scouts. Registration at 8 a.m.

Music will begin at 9:30 a.m., with the 20th annual Mountain Youth Talent Contest at the Sun Trust Lot on Main Street. To enter the contest, contact Heather Gordon by email.   about this contest, now led by the Jackson County 4-H.  Music will be held throughout the day at both the Main Street stage and at the Bridge Park gazebo on Railroad Avenue.

Over 100 arts, crafts, demonstrators and community booths will line Main Street, with 80 more on Railroad Avenue, plus a full Farmer’s Market. On Railroad Avenue, families can visit the “Kid’s Zone” where children can enjoy an inflatable slide, the “Balloon Coon,” face painting, with many kid-friendly booths featuring fun games, arts & crafts and much more. Law Enforcement of Jackson County will meet the public, along with the Jackson County Fire Department with the “Safety Zone.”

The Traditional Heritage Walk, hosted by Catch the Spirit of Appalachia and Dogwood Crafters, is located at the southern end of Main Street in a parking lot next to the Sylva Herald newspaper’s offices. At least 12 featured demonstrators and vendors will be participating including wood carvers, cane chair makers, corn shuck doll crafters, basket makers, crochet artists, knitters, and more. There will be traditionally-made mixed pickles and old fashioned ice cream as well. An open mic will be offered for those wishing to share their musical talents on the southern end of the festival.

“Greening Up the Mountains focuses on local community connections and shines a beautiful light on all of the great things that make living in Western North Carolina a truly unique experience,” said Festival Coordinator Amy Ammons Garza.

For more information, call 828-631-4587, e-mail, visit the website at, like the event on Facebook or call the Town of Sylva at 828-586-2719.


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