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If it’s August, then it’s time once again for the Black Mountain Sourwood Festival, now in its 38th year. Happening Saturday and Sunday, Sourwood (as everyone here calls it) is a free, family-oriented, non-alcoholic festival that offers free entertainment, a children’s area, more than 200 vendor booths and much more.

The festival is a local and regional favorite, drawing more than 30,000 people, many who return year after year. To help with parking, Black Mountain Recreation and Parks will be running a free shuttle Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. from the Ingles parking lot.

There will be plenty of art to buy and appreciate. Items this year will include gourd art, pet treats (and accessories), jewelry, art, photography, pottery and glass, hand-turned wood bowls and birdhouses, as well as plants including iris, orchids and carnivorous ones. Children’s gear will include toys, books, clothes, hair bows and novelty items.

The array of food and drink at Sourwood satisfies a wide variety of tastes. Foods include festival favorites - blooming onions, funnel cakes, cheese cakes on a stick, gyros, turkey legs, Philly cheese steaks, ribbon fries, fried apple pies and homemade ice cream. And organizers promise some delicious new foods.

Free entertainment in the big tent includes old favorites as well as exciting, new performers. You’ll see and hear bluegrass, country, folk, clogging, square dancing, gospel, and rock ‘n’ roll (there is a different act about every hour). Performers are regional artists who donate their talents for the pleasure of festival attendees.

As of press time, amusement possibilities included a Ferris wheel, swings, merry-go-round, rock climbing wall and moon walk. There will be other fun children’s activities, including free games in the Kids Fun Park.

Got talent? The Sourwood Idol Contest is a pre-festival, amateur singing competition from 7-10 p.m. Friday. The contest, held at the big tent next to the old depot downtown, is open to nonprofessional individual singing performers. There is no entry fee, but there is a chance to win cash prizes ($200 first place, $100 second place, $50 third place). Applications are available at sourwoodfestival.com as well as the Black Mountain Visitors Center in downtown.

So come enjoy yourselves with friends and family during festival hours, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

For more, visit sourwoodfestival.com. Carry the festival map on your phone by accessing it at blackmountainnews.com.

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