Highland County’s Hands and Harvest Festival Is a Hybrid Event This Year

This is Chris Swecker, Executive Director, of the Highland County Chamber of Commerce.   The Highland County Chamber of Commerce welcomes everyone to celebrate the beauty and bounty of fall with our annual Hands and Harvest Festival here in Highland County.  It’s going to be a hybrid event this year of both virtual and in-person offerings.  On Thursday, October 8th, we’re going to have our first ever virtual event from 6 to 8 p.m. online.   Anyone in the world with an internet connection and email can go online discover, browse and shop with our participating festival organizations and businesses this year.

So we plan to have a video stream that will highlight some of the events and organizations.  People can go online, and actually see what we’re calling online booths, where they can actually shop exclusively with some of our vendors right online and even speak to them if they have video capabilities or want to type in a message.   And to find a link for that you can just go to www.highlandcounty.org and go to the Hands and Harvest Festival event tab and you’ll see the link there to just tune in.

As far as the weekend, starting Friday October 9th through Sunday October 11th, we will have some in- person events that are dispersed throughout the county.  For live entertainment, at the Highland Center at 7 p.m. on Saturday there will be the Third Annual Memorial Concert in honor of Mary Hille McCoy and Elizabeth P. McCoy and that’s sponsored by the Charles Pinckney Jones Charitable Trust and the Highland Center.   And the band that will be playing is Linda Smith and 7th Street, it’s an eight piece party band that highlights Motown, disco, beach and classic rock.  And there will actually be a maple tap room, at 5p.m. which features craft beer from Brothers Craft Brewery, domestic beer and cider from Big Fish Cider.  So all this begins at 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 10th  with the concert at 7 p.m.   And it is outdoors at the front of the Highland Center and all of those activities there are free will donation.

Moving on to some activities throughout the weekend for all ages, the Elegius Mini Equine Sanctuary will be open Saturday and Sunday. That’s a non-profit that cares for mini horses, donkeys and mules and you can take a tour and pet some of those animals.   The Valley Aerospace Team rocket launch, they’ll have that Saturday and Sunday.  They’ll be launching off multiple rocket launches just south of Monterey.  Any children who attend, they can launch a club rocket under the supervision of the VAST members and they’ll receive their very own rocket kit.   The Sounding Knob Fire Tower will be open from sunrise to sunset.

So we’re hopeful that this hybrid event, it’ll offer visitors the option to take part in the festival online even if they’re unable to make it or if they don’t feel comfortable traveling at this time.  But whether you’re online or in-person we feel that visitors will get to experience what makes our rural community so special this time of year and actually throughout all the year.

The 2020 Hands and Harvest Festival is sponsored by Big Fish Cider, the new HighlandCountyVA blog and the Highland Center.  We do want to let people know, obviously, for the safety of others as you’re traveling around please adhere to the current CDC and Virginia Department of Health Guidelines regarding the coronavirus.

We’ll have more on the Hands and Harvest Festival in part two of this story.

This is Chris Swecker with the Highland County Chamber of Commerce for 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.

Current Weather