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2015 RailFest

This year, the 14th Annual RailFest weekend railroading event takes place September 5,6 and 7. The festival offers guests a taste of railroad food, memorabilia, storytelling, dance, music, special excursions and events that happen only once a year.

Tentative Schedule of Events:

Saturday 

9am-5pm

Mountain Craft Show

Featuring traditional handmade mountain crafts

 8:30am-5pmScout DayScout Troops are treated to a day of earning their Railroading Merit Badge! 

 

10am-5pm

Kids’ Fun Zone presented by the Annual Fire & Rescue Day!

Swain County Fire Departments and Rescue Squad present a Kids’ Fun Zone for kids of all ages (even kids at heart) to enjoy!

 

10am-Noon

Heritage Alive! Mountain Youth Talent Contest

Enjoy some of the best youth talent in the WNC area!

 

10:30am-3pm

Nantahala Gorge Excursion

Take a ride alongside the beautiful Nantahala River on our Nantahala Gorge Excursion! Departing from Bryson City, this 4½ hour excursion carries you 44 miles to the Nantahala Gorge and back again arriving at our Bryson City depot. 

1pm - 5:30pm

Tuckasegee River Excursion

Join us for a relaxing ride through quiet countryside on your way to small town life in western North Carolina on the Tuckasegee River Excursion. Departing from Bryson City, this 4 hour excursion travels 32 miles round-trip to Dillsboro and back to the Bryson City depot. Pass by the famous movie set of The Fugitive starring Harrison Ford!

1pm - 5:30pm

Steam Shop Tour 

Join us for a behind the scenes look at the restoration of #1702 and the restoration shop! A first of its kind specialty train! 

 

1pm-2:15pm

The Cockman Family

Since launching their performing career in February of 1988, the Cockman Family has developed the classic family harmonies and youthful flair that is the Cockman Family trademark. Their unique bluegrass gospel style, original songs and original arrangements of the old gospel songs have been immensely popular with their audiences. This group’s family ties are strong and the warmth of that is conveyed in their performances.

 

2:30pm-3:30pm

The J. Creek Cloggers

 

This a high-energy dance team based out of Haywood County NC, who are keeping the old mountain tradition alive of clogging, audience participation square dances, and broom dances. Members demonstrate different styles of dance including buck dancing, flat-footing, and clogging. Director for the team is Kim Ross.

 

3:45pm-4:45pm

Dusk Weaver & Jackson County JAM

 

Dusk Weaver is the director of Jackson County’s JAM (Junior Appalachian Musicians). He performs and teaches guitar, chorded zither (often called Autoharp), and vocals with an emphasis on the genre of music known as “Americana.” Some of the JAM kids may join him. 

Sunday 

9am-5pm

Mountain Craft Show 

Featuring traditional handmade mountain crafts 

 

10:30am-3pm

Nantahala Gorge Excursion

Take a ride alongside the beautiful Nantahala River on our Nantahala Gorge Excursion! Departing from Bryson City, this 4½ hour excursion carries you 44 miles to the Nantahala Gorge and back again arriving at our Bryson City depot.

 

1pm-5pm

Tuckasegee River Excursion

Join us for a relaxing ride through quiet countryside on your way to small town life in western North Carolina on the Tuckasegee River Excursion. Departing from Bryson City, this 4 hour excursion travels 32 miles round-trip to Dillsboro and back to the Bryson City depot. Pass by the famous movie set of The Fugitive starring Harrison Ford! 

 

1:30pm-2:30pm

Dakota Waddell

 

Quality Claw hammer Banjo—Born and raised in Western North Carolina, Dakota Waddell is a musician who specializes in acoustic traditional music of the Appalachian Mountains. He has played with Runners of the Green Laurel, featuring veteran banjo player and instrumentalist Bucky Hanks, who over the years had performed with some of bluegrass and old time music’s finest names. Dakota performs with two-time national champion banjo virtuoso Charles Wood.

 

2:45pm-3:15pm

Betty Brown

 

Singing Appalachian Stories—Born and raised in Wise County, Virginia, a coal mining town in the Appalachian mountains, Betty now lives locally in Tuckasegee, NC with her husband of 50 years. She writes and records original “story” songs about faith, family and growing up Appalachian. Her performance tells of a real and functioning Appalachian culture revealed through its traditions of mountain stories and music.

 

3:30pm-4:30pm

Drive Time Band

 

A group four local young men who grew up loving bluegrass, gospel and country music—Michael Morgan (Tuckasegee), guitar; Will Howell (Bryson City), guitar and lead singer; Darin Brooks (Sylva), singer and bass; and Mikel Laws (Bryson City), banjo. They bring a young, refreshing sound to bluegrass music.

Monday 

9am-1pm

Mountain Craft Show

Featuring traditional handmade mountain crafts

Special appearances by:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Would you like to be a vendor for this year's RailFest? If so please contact our partner, MV Craftshows, for more information.

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