The Highland County Maple Festival is Back in 2022 – Part 2

Hi this is Chris Swecker, Executive Director of the Highland County Chamber of Commerce.  This is part two of our story talking about the return of the Highland County Maple Festival, set for March 12 – 13 and March 19 -20, 2022.

All four days of the festival will feature entertainment held at The Highland Center in Monterey.  On Saturday, March 12th, you can enjoy the popular bluegrass band Southern Rail Express at noon and the acoustic high energy duo of Scuffletown at 7:00 p.m.  On Sunday, March 13th at noon, take a step back in time for a showing of the 1921 silent film Tol’able David, that was filmed in Highland County, courtesy of the Highland Historical Society.  On Saturday, March 19th, we’re going to try something a little bit unique with some square dance workshops from noon to 2:00 p.m., so every half an hour the callers of Ellen and Eugene Ratcliffe, they’re local favorites here, will be teaching all visitors a little bit about how to square dance.  Then that night there will be a full square dance at 7:00 p.m. again with Ellen and Eugene Ratcliffe and music by Juanita Fireball & The Continental Drifters.  On Sunday, March 20th, you can finish up the festival with crowd favorites The Little Switzerland Cloggers starting at noon.  The daily noon entertainment, all the cost for admission to that will be $3 or, again, our collectible Maple Festival keychain.  There will be an additional charge for the 7:00 p.m. shows on Saturday nights.  Outside of The Highland Center entertainment, visitors of all ages can listen to bluegrass music at Southernmost Maple in Bolar starting at noon on Saturdays, or those 21 and up can groove to the acoustic blues of Delta Junction at Hull’s Hideaway Restaurant & Tavern in Monterey starting at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 12th.

So as you are traveling our beautiful scenic roads here in Highland County and taking in everything maple,  you also discover many other additional activities, such as spending time at kids’ fishing fun days at Hiner Town Trout Fishing, north of Monterey, experiencing a living history camp and new exhibits at the Highland County Museum in McDowell, enjoying award-winning cider at Big Fish Cider Co. in Monterey, browsing local art and books at the Gallery of Highland, also located in The Highland Center. You can view additional vendors at The Church at the Old Oak in Meadowdale, or you can take in the thrilling sights of a Valley Aerospace Team Model Rocket Launch south of Monterey on Saturday, March 12th.

Our local restaurants will have a lot of special foods for you to choose from including things like maple BBQ brisket nachos, all-you-can-eat meals of maple chicken, BBQ pork, pork tenderloin, etc.

We will have additional hand sanitizer units placed throughout populated areas in Monterey and McDowell.  There will be disposable masks provided at the entrance to the Arts & Crafts Show at Highland County Public Schools for those who need them.  Nonprofit organizations that are usually located in the High School hallway will now be found in the Elementary School Gym this year, allowing for more social distancing room for visitors in the hallway.

We do expect a large turnout this year, so we do appreciate your patience here as you travel around.  Of course, if you’re in Monterey and things get a little backed up, as a reminder you’re really never more than 30 minutes away from the edge of Highland County in any direction.  You can go out and find something else to explore and then come back in, if traffic seems to be backed up a bit.

You can get details at our website

We also have posts at our Facebook page at

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.

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