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Hanging the Banner

By Jesse Campbell (

Article Published: Jul. 16 | Modified: Jul. 20
Hanging the Banner

Banner Elk Heritage Day takes place July 19 at the Banner House Museum.

Photo submitted

Like the town’s reputation for good, clean mountain fun, as well as a vibrant art scene, Banner Elk has emerged as a hot spot for tourists and natives looking to reconnect with their roots.

To commemorate the town’s illustrious past, organizers are gearing up for the annual Banner Elk Heritage Day, which begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 19, at the Banner House Museum.

The event is free of charge, but donations are greatly encouraged.

This year’s festival differs from previous installments, as organizers are attempting to incorporate the larger community itself by offering guided tours and other incentives to get folks out to the park in the evening, according to event organizers.

The day begins at the museum with guided bus tours of the downtown area by Lees-McRae College.
Festivities continue with Orville Hicks’s tall tales at 10 a.m.

As the old-timey anecdotes come to a climactic end, members of the Strictly Strings traditional band will take to the covered porch at 11 a.m.

Rhody Jane will also be at the Banner House, demonstrating mountain instruments from yesteryear.
At 1 p.m., the daylong celebration will reconvene at Tate-Evans Park with a special performance by the Corklickers.

“This is a way to get people reacquainted with Banner Elk history, which is barely touched upon in school these days,” said Jo-Ann McMurray, chair of the event. “They (organizers) feel like people need to be more aware of their surroundings and how everything came about in Banner Elk.”
The celebration should appeal to wide range of demographics.

“We feel like the bus tours and museum tours will probably appeal more to older adults, while the inflatables and live band will be for the younger group,” McMurray said.

Despite a fever-pitched level of excitement for the antique quilt display at Banner Elk Elementary School, McMurray said the event is now clouded by uncertainty due to the recent closure of the building by a county inspector so necessary repairs can be made.

“We are hoping the repairs will be completed by then,” McMurray said.

For more information, call the Banner House Museum at (828) 898-3634, or visit The Banner House is located at 7990 Hickory Nut Gap Road in Banner Elk.

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