21st Annual Textile Heritage Festival
On Saturday, September 29th, Cooleemee will host the 21st annual Textile Heritage Festival from 10 am until 4 PM at the Zachary House, 131 Church Street in Cooleemee, NC.
Among the best preserved Southern mill villages of the post Civil War era, Cooleemee has more than 330 original mill houses, with the Bullhole and dam at RiverPark and the old cotton mill still standing along the banks of the South Yadkin River. Cooleemee’s mill, built in 1900 at the height of the South’s mill building era, closed in 1969. The New Spin on our Old Mill Exhibit will feature plans to renovate the old mill and make it once more the economic center of the town of Cooleemee.
A schedule of festival events follows.
Heritage Day Breakfast
Early birds can enjoy a bountiful old-time breakfast from 7 AM until 11 AM at the Cooleemee Women’s Civitan Club Heritage Day Breakfast at VFW Post 1119 which is located just at 7722 NC Hwy 801 South. The menu includes eggs, ham, sausage, grits, sausage gravy, apples, biscuits, coffee and juice. Tickets are $7.00 for adults and $3.50 for ages 10 and under. Money raised from the breakfast will help the Cooleemee Women’s Civitan Club support local organizations such as the Cooleemee Volunteer Fire Department, The Davie County DARE Program and Camp Manna.
Carolina Cornbread Contest
Making cornbread is an art. Most cooks have their own recipe, some handed down for generations. Some of these great cooks are putting on their aprons again this year and breaking out their cast-iron skillets to compete in the 2nd Annual Carolina Cornbread Contest! The public will get to sample the cornbread entries by paying a modest fee to put them with a hot, steaming bowl of Bob Cranford’s “Needmore Pintos.” As always, there will be plenty of onions.
The first prize has grown to $200 along with hand-painted Bonnie Byerly plate featuring the contest’s unique logo. Second prize is $100 and $50 for 3rd place. A panel of judges will determine the winners.
Live Music from the Porch
If you like music, there will be something for you at the 21st Annual Textile Heritage Festival coming up this Saturday. Music will begin just after the gates open at 10 am with chairs set up for listening.
“Music from the Porch” will kick off with the Country Showcase duo of Ray Presnell and Elaine Van Auken. If you liked Buck Owens “Tiger by the Tail” and other old Country favorites, you be patting your feet and may find yourself singing along. Van Auken, a talented recording artist, has even written a song for the occasion called “Cooleemee” which tells of the town’s birth and prosperous origins.
At 11 AM, Selenea will perform her moving, unique worship music. Selenea Fowler Barker grew up in Cooleemee, singing at Friendship Baptist Church on Hickory Street. She continues to perform but has as her anchor the growing congregation at Refuge Community Church.
Brass Band Concert Begins at Noon
Nearly every mill town or village of any size used to support a brass concert band. There were even competitions between them. Cooleemee had its own with uniforms and instruments provided by the mill company.
At Noon, festival goers will have an opportunity to hear the Greenville Textile Heritage Band. With period uniforms and instruments, some of Greenville, South Carolina’s most talented musicians will recreate the old fashioned sound of the brass band with marches, waltzes and popular tunes of the early 1900s. Band director Dr. Michael Moore is a professor of music at Bob Jones University.
Parents are encouraged to bring their children to hear this rare concert that will expand their musical horizons.
Stan Bobbitt Band Takes the Stage at 1 PM
The festival’s music line up with finish up with the Stan Bobbitt Band from Yadkin County. Stan’s beach music, traditional country and Southern Rock ‘n Roll sounds will begin at 1 pm.
All Day Activities
Beginning at 10 AM, kids will enjoy the “Bounce House,” kids hayrides, face painting, pumpkin painting, Games and more.
Festival goers will enjoy the Textiles from Days Gone By Exhibit, the New Spin on our Old Mill Exhibit, and the Fire Fighters Museum which is North Carolina’s smallest museum.
An antique toys display will excite the imaginations of young and old as they discover what kids did before the advent of electricity, television and video games.
The Old Cook Shack will be open to serve Walter’s BBQ, hot dogs, drinks and chips.
The Company Store and Sweet Shop will feature Cooleemee merchandise, fried pies, cookies, locally baked pound cakes and other homemade sweets throughout the day.
Town of Cooleemee
Cooleemee in Pictures
Breathing New Life into the Historic Mill
Cooleemee Plans Redevelopment of Historic Cotton Mill (News 14)
2012 Carolina Cornbread Contest (Salisbury Post)
New Life for Cooleemee’s Historic Cotton Mill (Fox 8 News – Video)
Textile Heritage Band