Fall festivals planned throughout county, region

Pumpkin weigh-in at the 23rd Annual Yadkin Valley Pumpkin Festival in Elkin requires two forklifts.

Fall is nearly here and there will be plenty of outdoor festivals and events to enjoy in Yadkin County and beyond this season.

Usually held in the summer around July 4th, this year’s East Bend God and Country Celebration is slated for Saturday. Sept. 4. The day-long celebration will begin with a parade down Main Street at 9:30 a.m. followed by vendors and live music on the grounds of East Bend Elementary School at 11 a.m.

The evening will conclude with a service at 6:30 p.m. by the Christian Ministerial Association and fireworks at 9:30 p.m. behind the East Bend Senior Center.

Yadkinville’s annual Harvest Festival will return on Saturday, Sept. 11 beginning with a special remembrance ceremony in the Willingham Theater at 10 a.m. commemorating the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

The festivities will continue downtown with live music on the Yadkin Arts Council’s plaza stage and food and craft vendors.

Among the musicians performing at this year’s Harvest Festival will be None of the Above, Blues DeVille, Big Daddy Mojo and a showcase of the Junior Appalachian Musicians as well as the Willingham Performing Arts Academy students.

The fall fun will continue for wine lovers at the annual Yadkin Valley Grape Festival in downtown Yadkinville scheduled for Oct. 16 of this year from 11 a.m .to 5 p.m. Like many events, it was cancelled last year due to the pandemic and organizers are keeping a watch on local guidelines to make sure the event can safely be held this year.

Jaime Johnston of the Yadkin County Chamber of Commerce which hosts the event said there around 17 area wineries expected to be at the event.

The festival will feature food and craft vendors as well as live music from 60 Watt Combo from Noon to 2p.m. and Big Daddy Mogo from 3 to 5 p.m.

Shuttle service is expected to be available provided by YVEDDI transportation, pending federal guidelines on transportation due to safety issues with the pandemic. Shuttle service will run from area hotels and back. There is no cost but reservations are required for the shuttle.

This year’s festival is sponsored by First National Bank, Jonesville Tourism Development Authority, Skyline National Banks, Yadkin County Tourism Development Authority and the Yadkinville Tourism Development Authority.

Yadkinville’s Grape Festival is one of the smaller wine festivals and that’s just with organizers and attendees.

”We don’t want to be the biggest, just the best,” said Bobby Todd of the Yadkin County Chamber of Commerce at the 2019 festival.

The sweet sixteen for the festival, held in 2019, was certainly a success with many guests returning to enjoy the day in Yadkinville.

“Every year we see the same faces. They really enjoy coming here,” said Jim Drum, speaking on behalf of Yadkinville Mayor Eddie Norman. “They come for the entertainment and the wine.”

Other area festivals

Mount Airy’s annual Budbreak Wine and Craft Beer Festival is planned for Saturday, Aug. 28. The annual event is a fundraiser for the Mount Airy Rotary Club and is held in cooperation with the Mount Airy Downtown Business Association and Mount Airy Tourism Development Authority.

“We are excited for our rescheduled festival,” said Event Director Bob Meinecke. “We have several new wineries and breweries that will be joining use this year.”

Budbreak is typically held in early May, timed to correspond to the part of a grapevine’s growth cycle which signals the end of dormancy after the winter, but this year’s festivities are were moved to later in the season amid pandemic concerns.

The festival features top North Carolina wineries and craft beer producers, wonderful food and great music.

Festival packages are available which include: General admission, local accommodations and transportation, as well as a complementary bottle of wine.

”Buy your tickets online in advance and save,” Meinecke advised.

A $20 general admission ticket will give those attending access to festival wine glasses and wristbands, with proof of ID, to purchase wine tastings at the various vendors’ booths. Children 12 and younger are admitted free with paying adult. Day of event tickets are $25.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages will be available at select vendor locations as well.

For more information or to purchase advance tickets visit budbreakfestival.com.

Elkin’s annual Yadkin Valley Pumpkin Festival will return this year with a slate of activities for all ages.

The festivities begin Saturday morning with the Annual Great Pumpkin Weigh-Off at The Heritage Center on the corner of Bridge and Standard Street in Elkin. There will be pumpkins and watermelon from growers located all over the East Coast. Some will weigh-in at an excess of 1,000 lbs with hopes of placing in the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth top ten.

Misty Matthews of the Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce said “as long as the weather holds out we may have a new State Record Pumpkin” this year.

Festival goers will also enjoy shopping from local vendors.

“We have many crafters. People love hand made items unique to our area,” said Matthews.

There will be food trucks on site for the festival as well.

Matthews said this year’s festival will include a large Kid Zone, new this year, with pony rides, bounce houses and petting zoo at the Heritage Center.

Other new additions to this year’s Pumpkin Festival will include a dunking booth and axe throwing booth.

For more information visit the Yadkin Valley Pumpkin Festival Facebook page or yadkinvalley.org.