The annual Valle County Fair is a huge church bazaar set in one of the most beautiful and picturesque valleys in the High Country. Each year, more than 12,000 people come out to enjoy the fair. Photo by Ken Ketchie
Parking fills up fast at the Valle Country Fair as attendees get there early to find a spot. Parking is available just adjacent to the fair at a cost of $10 per vehicle. Photo by Ken Ketchie
When guests enter the fair, the aroma of chili, Brunswick stew, barbeque and apple butter mix with the crisp morning air. Countless vendors line the rows selling an array of wares from crafts to baked goods to jams and jellies. Photo by Ken Ketchie
Apple butter and apple cider are proudly manufactured the old fashioned way each year at the Valle Country Fair. Guests always have an opportunity for a taste of days gone by. Photo by Ken Ketchie

▶ ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Valle Country Fair

CHURCH BAZAAR IN ONE OF THE MOST PICTURESQUE VALLEYS

Location: Valle Crucis Conference Center
Website: www.ValleCountryFair.org

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Valle Country Fair is an overgrown church bazaar set in the center of one of the most picturesque valleys in the North Carolina mountains at the peak of the fall color season. All monies raised go to fund High Country organizations which serve people in need. Last year more than 13,000 people enjoyed:

• Crafts, food, mountain music
• 150 juried fine art & crafts booths
• Activity area for kids
• Freshly pressed apple cider
• Hot-out-of-the-kettle apple butter
• Homemade jams & jellies
• Brunswick stew, chili, barbecue

Admission
Free

Parking
• Available adjacent to the fair
• $10 per car/personal vehicle
• $25 per small bus or van
• $50 per large bus or motor coach

History

For 35 years, the Valle Country Fair has been held the 3rd Saturday of October (October 19) in the fields of the Valle Crucis Conference Center. Started as a church bazaar by the members of Holy Cross Episcopal Church to raise money to build a parish hall, today all monies collected are returned to the community to help those in need. Admission is free and parking is available in the adjoining hay field for $5 per car. Pets are not allowed.

As folks enter the Valle, the aroma of chili, Brunswick stew, barbeque and apple butter mix with the crisp morning air. Return visitors head to booths displaying their favorite handmade crafts or fill their baskets with baked goods and jellies. Mountain music mixes with the voices of the volunteers and visitors. Straw bales invite guests to rest, eat a little, sip hot apple cider, and visit with fair goers from around the state, many whom plan their Fall trip for this weekend.

Begun as a church bazaar in the Apple Barn of the Conference Center, today the Fair welcomes over 150 juried exhibitors with handmade arts and crafts, greets over 10,000 visitors, demonstrates apple butter and apple cider production, and in 2013 includes special activities for children and families.

Children and families are invited to participate in games, pumpkin carving, arts and crafts and creating Halloween treats in the new activity area sponsored by the Valle Crucis School and Valle Crucis Community Park. Two entertainment venues offer music, dancing and other performers. Church members will be making apple cider with an old-fashion apple press and the Apple Butter Gang will be stirring pots of bubbling apple butter. Cases of the sweet condiment will be on hand for purchase by early arrivals, and the hot apple butter will be ready to dip into jars by early afternoon.

All proceeds from the Fair are returned to the community to help those in need, divided between local non-profit agencies and organizations who apply for grants, and other money is used by the Mission and Outreach Committee of Holy Cross Episcopal Church to help individuals and families in need throughout the year. Over 230 families and individuals were assisted in 2012 to help with electric, fuel and water bills, rent payments, usually to avoid eviction; home repair, gas cards to get to work or medical appointments, food cards, and child care.

Valle Country Fair Grant recipients for 2013 include the Childrenís Council of Watauga County, Circles of the High Country, Community Care Clinic, Feeding Avery Families, Inc, High Country Womenís Fund, Hospitality House, Parent-to-Parent Family Support Network, High Country, The Hunger and Health Coalition, Inc, and Western Youth Network. Volunteers from some of these organizations will be helping with the fair.

The Fair runs from 9am to 4pm. Valle Crucis Elementary School invites everyone over following the Fair for a chicken supper and bingo game. For driving instructions and printable PDF maps, visit the Valle Country Fair on the Web at www.vallecountryfair.org.