Highland County Maple Festival Entertainment Changes Planned for 2023

Entertainment is a big part of the Highland County Maple Festival and this year a few changes are in store to benefit both visitors and planners.

Donna Bedwell is the President of the Highland County Arts Council, which organized the entertainment.

“One of the goals was to try to provide the entertainment at a time that our visitors would be looking for it and to be consistent with our schedules, so that it was easier to promote and to work through,” says Bedwell.  “So, we felt that a 10 am time slot and a 2 pm time slot were both peak times for visitation and it’s when people were looking for an opportunity to come into The Highland Center, maybe sit down and listen to some good music.  And, also, to present some traditional music that people were expecting when you come to the mountains.  You like to hear some good bluegrass music, you like to see the traditional dance with the clogging, with square dancing, and so I think we’re really trying to showcase artisans, musicians, who are such wonderful representations of who we are here in Highland.”

On Saturday, March 11, Southern Rail Express will perform bluegrass at 10 am and 2 pm and The John Bullard Trio will entertain with classical banjo music at 5 pm.

On Sunday, March 12, Mountain Air will perform acoustic americana at 10 and 2.

“The second weekend then we are going to do more square dance type music,” says Bedwell.  “We’ve got the talents of Ellen and Eugene Ratcliffe as wonderful square dance callers and instructors.  This was an experiment that we tried last year, to have some square dance workshops during the day, and people really seemed to enjoy that.  So, at 10am we are going to have a square dance that Ellen and Eugene will just be holding with recorded music.  It will be instructional, as well as actually do some square dancing.  Then at 2pm Mud Hole Control band is going to join them and they’ll do it again, with the square dance, but this time with some live music.  And then on Sunday, because clogging has always been such a mainstay, so popular for years with the visitors and, we have such an excellent clogging group here with The Little Switzerland Cloggers.  They are going to come in on Sunday, they are going to perform at 2pm. And because we are all so involved in so many ways in the Maple Festival it was hard for that group to do two performances, because it does involve so many people and families.  So, they have invited at 10am the Hi-Horse Cloggers to come in.”

All these performances are at The Highland Center.  Admission is $5 or free with your 2023 Maple Festival keychain.  Admission to The John Bullard Trio performance is $10 or $8 with your keychain.

The Highland County Maple Festival is March 11 and 12 and March 18 and 19.

For more information, visit www.highlandcounty.org

The Highland County Arts Council is a supporter of Allegheny Mountain Radio.


Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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