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Hands & Harvest Festival

October 8 - 10, 2021  •  County-wide

Celebrate the beauty and bounty of fall with the annual Hands & Harvest Festival in Highland County, Virginia!

This page will be updated frequently as we work to bring you a fun family-friendly weekend in our rural mountain community!
The Highland County Chamber of Commerce will be following current recommended CDC and VDH guidelines on COVID-19.

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2021 Sponsors

* Silver Level

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* Bronze Level

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* Bronze Level

 

* Bronze Level

 

2021 Hands & Harvest Events

Entertainment

 

Photographed by Lynn Phelps

Larnell Starkey & The Spiritual Seven
The Highland Center at 61 Highland Center Drive off of Spruce Street in Monterey
Saturday: 2 - 4 pm  •  $10 at door, groups of 5 get discount of $5 per person
Larnell Starkey & The Spiritual Seven have been singing for over 40 years. Their music, a zestful blend of traditional gospel with a twist of contemporary, showcases the group's amazing vocal harmonies from the high flying falsettos of the first tenor, to the deep rich sounds of the low bass. This ensemble has performed for and been loved by people of different races, creeds and origins. Known as the "Gospel Temptations," this award-winning ensemble has toured across the United States and internationally, performing for audiences of 300 to 30,000. Performances have been sponsored by schools, festivals, churches of all denominations, and civic groups.
Sponsored by The Highland County Arts Council and thanks to The Virginia Commission for the Arts, The National Endowment for the Arts, and the Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge.

 


Tol'able David Movie Showing
The Highland Center at 61 Highland Center Drive off of Spruce Street in Monterey
Saturday: Dusk * Weather permitting  •  Free!
Tol'able David is a 1921 silent film that was filmed in Highland County.  Many Highland County residents appeared in the movie as extras.  Awarded a "Medal of Honor" in 1921 by Photoplay Magazine, the movie was a major box office success, regarded by critics and viewers as one of the classics of the silent film era.
Special thanks to the Highland County Historical Society and Blue Grass Resource Center for assistance during the 100th Anniversary celebrations of the film.

 

Photo courtesy Sundance Studios & Productions

Little Switzerland Cloggers
North Water Street in Downtown Monterey
Sunday: 2 pm  •  Free!
The Little Switzerland Cloggers, one of the oldest Clogging groups in Virginia, began performing in 1985 and enjoy entertaining audiences at fairs, festivals, events, parties, and corporate events throughout Virginia and West Virginia.  Since they strive to have something for everyone in their shows, their routines feature a wide variety of music from bluegrass and country to oldies and today’s top hits. Whether you’re 8 or 80, you'll enjoy their performance!  Plus, everything is 100% family-friendly but on a level suited for children, teens, and adults.  Their dancers range from 6 to 40-years-old and consist of beginner-level students to award-winning, championship dancers, including two All-American inductees. Dancers are well-trained in proper dance technique and execution, as well as appropriate body care, warm-up, and stretching.  For more information on the Little Switzerland Cloggers or their studio classes, visit www.sundancestudio.net.

Arts & Crafts

Shop for a special gift with the following unique vendors at the Highland County Courthouse Lawn!
165 West Main Street in Downtown Monterey
Friday: 3 – 7 pm  •  Saturday: 9 am – 5 pm  •  Sunday: 11 am – 4 pm

InterNutritionals
All natural chemical free therapeutic balms, salts, and teas using organic herbs, therapeutic grade essential oils, and raw bees' products

Little Big Dog Rescue
21st Annual Sweater Sale to support this 501c3 nonprofit dog rescue

Mill Gap Farms
Alpaca and fine wool items - handwoven scarves, hats, gloves, socks, mittens, and more, as well as maple syrup products

Pocahontas County Arts Council
Pottery, jewelry, and paintings

Puff's BBQ
Maple Pork BBQ, Beef Brisket, Country Ham, Hot Dogs, French Fries, Tea, Lemonade, Sodas
CLOSED SUNDAY

Sarah Cockerham
Handmade soap and pottery

TaylorMade56
Cnc carved wooden signs, home decor, welcome signs, and air plants

Highland Farmers’ Market
Highland County Courthouse Lawn (Moved from The Highland Center pavilion)
Friday ONLY!
Get your local fresh produce, gifts, and more at the last Highland Farmers’ Market of the year!

 

Activities and Attractions

* Blue Grass Resource Center's Historic Highland Inn Renovation Information
68 West Main Street, Monterey
Friday and Saturday: Display Rack Only  •  Sunday: Volunteers from 11 am - 4 pm
Historic Highland Inn restoration project volunteers will be on hand Sunday from 11 - 4 to talk about the project.   Discussions will include what has been done and what is to come!  Literature about the project will be available from a display in front of the Inn on Friday and Saturday.
* The Blue Grass Resource Center is a Bronze Sponsor of the 2021 Hands & Harvest Festival.

 

* Highland County Public Library Annual Used Book Sale
31 North Water Street, Monterey
Friday:  9 am - 6 pm  •  Saturday:  9 am - 5 pm  •  Sunday: 11 am - 3 pm
The popular Annual Used Book Sale to benefit the library returns!  Hard cover books: $2.  Paperbacks: 50 cents.  CDs: $1.
* The Highland County Public Library is a Bronze Sponsor of the 2021 Hands & Harvest Festival.

 

Highland County Museum and Heritage Center
161 Mansion House Road, McDowell
Friday and Saturday: 11 am - 4 pm
Take last looks at the Jones/McCoy Collection and Early Furniture, and enjoy the new “Uniquely Highland” and SVBF Orientation Center.

 

Sounding Knob Fire Tower
On top of Jack Mountain (just east of Monterey) up a gravel drive up Sounding Knob Road just 1.3 miles south of its intersection with Rt. 250
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday: Sunrise to sunset
Climb over 100 steps for a lasting memory – and maybe some wobbly legs!  This restored fire tower boasts breathtaking views.
* Please be sure to exit right when leaving Sounding Knob Road and entering Rt. 250.  Vehicles with very low clearance may have difficulty with water breaks on Sounding Knob Road, but most vehicles have no issues.

 

* The Highland Center
Outside Front Lawn at 61 Highland Center Drive off of Spruce Street in Monterey
Saturday: 3 – 7 pm
The Highland Center is a non-profit organization that supports cultural and community activities, business incubation and economic growth in Highland County.  On Saturday, October 9th join us from 3 - 7pm for a Hands and Harvest bonfire night celebration!  Gather around our bonfire and enjoy food, s’mores, free games, and activities.  Larnell Starkey & The Spiritual Seven play from 2 - 4 pm.  A free showing of the classic 1921 silent movie filmed in Highland County, Tol’able David, will be shown at dusk to celebrate its 100th Anniversary.
* The Highland Center is a Silver Sponsor of the 2021 Hands & Harvest Festival.

 

* Highland County Arts Council Art Demonstrations
The Highland Center Outdoor Pavilion at 61 Highland Center Drive off of Spruce Street in Monterey
Saturday: 10 am - 4 pm
The Hands of Hands & Harvest will be on display at The Highland Center pavilion on October 9 from 10 am – 4 pm with demonstrations and exhibits of items made during the 2021 season of the Highland Arts Academy. Learn more about our Basketry, Barn Quilt Painting, Broom Making, Printmaking, Ecoprinting, and Pottery workshops. The Highland County Arts Council supports artists by holding annual Arts Academy workshops, monthly 2nd Saturday at 7 concerts, Artists’ Weekend, and regular exhibits. For more information about our concert schedule, future workshops, or other programs, follow us on Facebook or our websites: www.highlandcountyartscouncil.org or www.highlandartsacademy.com.
* The Highland County Arts Council is a Silver Sponsor of the 2021 Hands & Harvest Festival.

 

Valley AeroSpace Team Rocket Launch
Launch is held at Jack Mountain Village, just 3 miles south on Rt. 220 from the Monterey intersection of Rt. 250 and Rt. 220. It is located on the eastern side of Rt. 220 at an approximate address of 3003 Jackson River Rd, Monterey, VA 24465.
Saturday: 11 am – 6 pm  •  Sunday: 11 am – 3 pm * Weather permitting both days *
Attendees can launch their own rockets under VAST's experienced supervision, launch one of the club’s extra rockets, or simply watch!
* Lawn/camp chairs and a canopy recommended!

 

Walking Tours of Historic Monterey
Intersection of Main and Spruce Street at 195 West Main Street, Monterey
Sunday: 12:30 pm  •  1:30 pm  •  2:30 pm
No reservations are needed for these 1-hour walking tours that include the history of beautiful Monterey and information on various historical buildings.  Tours will start and finish at Summit Community Bank on the corner of Spruce and Main Streets, next to the Highland County Courthouse's arts and crafts.  Tours are free, but donations are accepted for the Highland County Chamber of Commerce.

 

Harvest Trail

Back Creek Farms
7781 Upper Back Creek Road, Monterey (From Rt. 84, 3.5 miles northeast on Rt. 600)
Friday: 12 – 5 pm  •  Saturday: 9 am – 4 pm
Help stir (and taste!) apple butter made in a copper kettle and enjoy fresh apple juice from our cider press.
* Experience a tour and get your passport stamped here as part of the Virginia Maple Syrup Trail!

 

* Duff’s Sugar House at Fair Lawn Farm
3118 Mill Gap Road, Monterey (7 miles south of Monterey in Meadowdale on Rt. 84)
Friday: 12 – 5 pm  •  Saturday: 9 am – 5 pm  •  Sunday: 11 am – 4 pm
Bring the entire family to this Victorian homestead, farm, and sugar camp to pick a pumpkin in the pumpkin patch, fish in the stocked trout pond, sample in-house smoked cheese, and taste fresh apple butter and cider.
* Experience a tour and get your passport stamped here as part of the Virginia Maple Syrup Trail!
* Fair Lawn Farm is a Silver Sponsor of the 2021 Hands & Harvest Festival

 

Elegius Mini Equine Sanctuary
4661 Doe Hill Road, McDowell (5 miles northeast of McDowell on Rt. 654)
Saturday: 11 am – 5 pm  •  Sunday: 11 am – 4 pm
Fun, educational tours of this 501c3 nonprofit providing a permanent home for miniature horses, donkeys, and mules.  Rain or shine.
* Sturdy shoes and clothing recommended.  Wheelchair accessible.

 

Highland Barn Quilts
2608 Meadowdale Road, Monterey (On Rt. 640 between Meadowdale and Hightown)

Saturday: 9:30 am – 4 pm
At this open studio, view the process of painting barn quilts (painted quilt designs on wood) with artist Margie Boesch.
* Did you know that Highland County is home to Virginia's first barn quilt trail?  Click here to discover more about the Highland County Barn Quilt Trail.

 

Laurel Fork Sapsuckers Sugar Camp
10677 Mountain Turnpike, Hightown (10 miles west of Monterey on Clay Hise Lane)

Friday: 12 - 5 pm  •  Saturday: 9 am - 5 pm  •  Sunday: 10 am - 4 pm
Friday apple peel, Saturday apple butter cooking.  Chili, ham sandwiches, pinto beans with cornbread, apple pies.  Hiking trails open, too!
* Experience a tour and get your passport stamped here as part of the Virginia Maple Syrup Trail!

 

Mill Gap Farms
2760 Mill Gap Road, Monterey (7 miles south of Monterey in Meadowdale on Rt. 84)
Saturday: 9 am – 3 pm  •  Sunday: 12 – 3 pm
Farm tours with alpacas, sheep, and Virginia's only Certified Organic maple operation. Products for sale on farm and Monterey Courthouse.
* Experience a tour and get your passport stamped here as part of the Virginia Maple Syrup Trail!

 

* Southernmost Maple
7738 Big Valley Road, Bolar
Friday: 9 am – 5 pm  •  Saturday: 9 am – ? pm

Family fun!  Enjoy old fashion apple butter and cider making, free kids’ fishing pond, live music, old time blacksmith demonstrations, fresh hot maple donuts, and hot food for breakfast, lunch, and supper.  Shop our rustic country store with maple syrup, jam, jellies, Amish-made butter, cheese, baked goods and more!
* Southernmost Maple is a Bronze Sponsor of the 2021 Hands & Harvest Festival.

 

Sugar Tree Country Store
185 Mansion House Road, McDowell
Friday and Saturday: 9 am – 5 pm
Unique store featuring their own maple syrup and apple butter.  On Saturday, they will make apple butter and press cider.
* Experience a tour and get your passport stamped here as part of the Virginia Maple Syrup Trail!

 

Shopping, Dining, and Lodging

* Big Fish Cider
59 Spruce Street, Monterey
Friday: 2 – 7 pm  •  Saturday: 12 – 7 pm  •  Sunday: 1 – 5 pm 
Enjoy tastings of Big Fish Cider's award winning, locally grown, and locally made ciders!
* Big Fish Cider is a Silver Sponsor of the 2021 Hands & Harvest Festival.

 

* Blue Grass Mercantile
2558 Blue Grass Valley Road, Blue Grass
Friday and Saturday: 9 am - 8 pm  •  Sunday: 12 - 5 pm
Hot food, Big Fish Cider, wine, beer, maple products, honey, grocery items
* Blue Grass Mercantile is a Bronze Sponsor of the 2021 Hands & Harvest Festival.

 

* Blue Grass Valley Bank
132 East Main Street, Monterey
2583 Blue Grass Valley Road, Blue Grass
Monday - Thursday: 9 am - 4 pm  •  Friday: 9 am - 6 pm  •  Saturday: 9 am - 12 pm
With locations in Blue Grass and Monterey, visit The Blue Grass Valley Bank to see why they are "The Best Little Bank in the Virginias." ATM available in Monterey.
* Blue Grass Valley Bank is a Bronze Sponsor of the 2021 Hands & Harvest Festival.

 

Ginseng Mountain Store and Farm
6359 Potomac River Road, Blue Grass (6 miles north of Monterey)
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday: 12 – 5 pm
New-time country store in a 100 year-old building, offering grass-fed lamb and beef, sheepskins, local crafts, honey, syrup, and more!

 

High's Restaurant
73 West Main Steet, Monterey
Friday and Saturday: 11 am - 8 pm  •  Sunday: 11 am - 7 pm
Voted Trip Advisor's top 10% of recommended restaurants worldwide!  Local trout, steaks, burgers, ice cream, specialty coffees, and desserts.

 

* Summit Community Bank
195 West Main Street, Monterey
Monday - Thursday: 9 am - 5 pm  •  Friday: 9 am - 6 pm  •  Saturday: 9 am - 12 pm
Summit is committed to providing our communities with the best banking value, service and convenience possible. We will strive to ensure the customer's experience exceeds their expectations by providing the best products and services in the industry.  ATM available in Monterey for your shopping needs!
* Summit Community Bank is a Silver Sponsor of the 2021 Hands & Harvest Festival.

 

The Church at the Old Oak
3898 Meadowdale Road, Monterey  (7 miles south of Monterey in Meadowdale just off Rt. 84 on Rt. 640)
Friday: 3 – 7 pm  •  Saturday: 9 am – 5 pm  •  Sunday: 11 am – 4 pm
Food and craft vendors including baked goods, chili, cornbread, honey, art, cards, jams, sewn accessories, home decor, jewelry and more!

 

The Curly Maple
174 West Main Street, Monterey
Friday: 10 am - 6 pm
 •  Saturday and Sunday: 9 am - 4 pm
Beneath nine uniquely designed studio apartments, this restaurant also hosts a vast grocery selection.  Check their Facebook for fall specials!

 

Susanna's Confections
The Highland Center at 61 Highland Center Drive off of Spruce Street in Monterey
Friday: 9 am – 6 pm 
Delicious treats!  Tirol Apple strudel, pies, European cakes, carrot cake, pumpkin cake, pastries, truffles and cookies.  Coffee, tea and water.

 

 

 

*** Interested in selling your unique arts, crafts, and food outdoors on the Highland County Courthouse lawn in Monterey?  ***
Click here for full details and to apply online as an official vendor.

*** Do you want to be advertised as part of The Harvest Trail, as a shopping, dining, or lodging destination, or with your unique activity during the weekend?  ***
Click here for full details and to apply online as an official participant or sponsor.

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