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Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
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Highland dancing at the Taste of the Mountains Festival
Highland dancing at Taste of the Mountains Festival Photo courtesy Madison Chamber of Commerce

Taste of the Mountains

This annual heritage festival celebrates the mountain and traditional cultures of the 18th and 19th centuries in the Blue Ridge region. The Taste of the Mountains Main Street Festival, which has grown each year since 1992, attracted 20,000 visitors in 1999. The festival is held on historic Madison's Main Street, which is closed for the September festival day. A map from the visitors center provides a walking tour past 40 historic sites in the area.

The free festival, which is operated by the Madison Chamber of Commerce, boasts 150 exhibits whose work conform to the festival's theme. Among exhibitors are antique dealers, crafters, and artisans, who include furniture builders. Live country and mountain music is performed on two stages at either end of Main Street. Children's entertainment includes a petting zoo, pony rides, art and games. For the festival Madison's civic groups and churches have prepared a variety of country fare, which includes country ham biscuits, lamb and turkey burgers, and pork sausages.

Living history in the form of a Civil War encampment will be re-enacted in 2000 on the grounds of the historic Kemper estate. The 1878 Greek Revival house will be open for tours during the festival. James Lawson Kemper was a Virginia governor during Reconstruction; he also fought in the Civil War.

Documentation includes six photos, 14 slides, a poster, brochures and promotional information.

Originally submitted by: Tom Bliley, Representative (7th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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