The 63rd Highland County Maple Festival is March 11 & 12 and 18 & 19 – Part 2


Hi this is Chris Swecker, Executive Director of The Highland County Chamber of Commerce, here with the second half of our story about the Highland County Maple Festival set for March 11 & 12 and March 18 & 19.

We’ll have expanded live entertainment at The Highland Center in Monterey at 10am and 2pm every single day of the festival.  On Saturday, March 11, you can enjoy the popular bluegrass band Southern Rail Express.  That is our first day of the festival and on that day we will also have a special 5pm show featuring the classical banjo of The John Bullard Trio.  On Sunday, March 12, you can listen to local favorites Mountain Air play their blend of acoustic americana at 10am and 2pm.  During the following weekend, the second weekend on Saturday, March 18, you can put on your dancing shoes with square dancing at 10am with local callers Ellen and Eugene Ratcliffe and then stay for the 2pm show when old time music band Mudhole Control brings more heel stomping fun.  And then on the last Sunday, March 19, you can finish up the festival with two clogging performances.  At 10am that day Hi-Horse Cloggers will perform and then at 2pm on that last Sunday, local favorites, the home grown Little Switzerland Cloggers will entertain audiences to round out the festival.

Now all of that entertainment at The Highland Center is brought to you with the assistance and sponsorship of the Highland County Arts Council.  And all of the 10am and 2pm shows are just $5 for entry or your Maple Festival keychain.  And again, that keychain, you can buy that at the entrance to The Highland Center and that also gets you into the Highland County Artisans Shop that’s at The Highland Center, as well as to the arts and crafts vendors at the high school and elementary school gyms in Monterey.   The John Bullard Trio show that’s at 5pm on that first Saturday is $10 and your keychain actually gets you $2 off that show.

For more entertainment options, visitors of all ages can listen to bluegrass music at Southernmost Maple in Bolar starting at noon on Saturdays of the festival.  Then there is one more show on the first Saturday, March 11, for those 21 and up you can groove to the acoustic blues of Delta Junction at Hull’s Hideaway Restaurant and Tavern in Monterey.  That’s a $10 cover charge for that show, that starts at 8pm.

As always, we are excited for a really fun event and it’s a huge deal for our area.  We just have to say thank you to all the countless volunteers and organizations that make the festival possible.   Recently the event earned Best Unique Festival in the Best of the Blue Ridge 2023 Reader’s Choice Awards from Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine.   And we were very humbled to receive that and we’re just excited to bring another year to all of the people that love the festival and that come around.   We definitely welcome everyone to come and enjoy.

The Maple Festival is coordinated by the Highland County Chamber of Commerce, and our top sponsors this year include the Springs Nursing & Rehab with Kissito Healthcare, the Monterey Inn, Summit Community Bank, The Highland Center and WDBJ7.

We’re looking forward to seeing everyone at Virginia’s sweetest event of the year.  To learn all about all of the festival happenings, you can go online to    We will also have large maps that are available that show all the different things that are going on and they’ll be available during the event at all the different stores, civic clubs, at the Visitor’s Center at The Highland Center in Monterey, and the Monterey Courthouse and that will also be available digitally on our website.

For Allegheny Mountain Radio, this is Chris Swecker.

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