Annual Sourwood Festival returns to Black Mountain, welcomes more vendors than last year

Ezra Maille
Black Mountain News
Since 1977, the annual Sourwood Festival has brought visitors from far and near to downtown Black Mountain.

The annual Sourwood Festival returns to Black Mountain for the 45th year, excluding one year missed due to the pandemic. 

"Since 1977 the Sourwood Festival has been a great event for the town of Black Mountain, and we look forward to the 2022 version," said Mayor Larry Harris. "Thanks, and appreciation to the countless volunteers and to our town of Black Mountain police, fire and public works departments who all have a hand in making sure everything runs smoothly and safely."

Held Aug. 13 and 14, Sourwood will host 144 vendors, more than the previous year but not quite at the pre-pandemic level, according to Sharon Tabor, executive director of the Black Mountain Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce.

In addition to vendors, Sourwood offers food, activities and live music.

"We've got pony rides and the petting zoo for kids," Tabor said. "We've got two music stages. One will be on Black Mountain Avenue and there will be some acoustical music on Cherry Street Court."

Live music spans 14 different acts and includes folk, blues, ukulele, alternative rock and more. 

Groups such as the Gin Mill Pickers, a local band that plays at venues throughout Black Mountain, will return to the festival for another year. Lavonne Ellis, manager of the band, said the group loves the atmosphere of the festival as well as the town.

Dancing, music, games and lots of local arts and crafts were highlights of the 41st annual Sourwood Festival in Black Mountain on Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018.

"Really enjoyed the show last year, got a great response from the audience," Ellis said. "Really looking forward to playing again this year."

Depending on weather, Tabor said the festival draws between 20,000 and 30,000 people. With an additional shuttle this year, courtesy of the Black Mountain Ale Trail, parking will be available at the Ingles Garden Center and the old Bi-Lo lot.

Harris thanked the downtown businesses and outdoor venues that participate in Sourwood each year and expressed admiration for the Tabor and the chamber's efforts to put the festival together.

"I am always amazed at the crowds that come pouring into town to enjoy the festivities," Harris said. "To all our visitors for Sourwood, I trust it will be a fun and safe family time."

Bella Delatorre, 3, smiles as she is spun around in circles on a carnival ride during the 40th annual Sourwood Festival in Black Mountain on Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017.

The Sourwood Festival will be held from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Aug. 13 and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 14 in downtown Black Mountain. For more information, visit www.exploreblackmountain.com/sourwood-festival.

Ezra Maille covers the town of Black Mountain, Montreat and the Swannanoa Valley. Reach him at 828-230-3324 or emaille@blackmountainnews.com. Please support local journalism with access to more breaking news by subscribing.