Black Mountain Tailgate Market to host Autumn Harvest Festival

Karrigan Monk
Black Mountain News
The Black Mountain Tailgate Market will host the first annual Autumn Harvest Festival Oct. 29.

The Black Mountain Tailgate Market will host its first annual Autumn Harvest Festival Oct. 29.

The event will be held at 130 Montreat Road on the grounds of First Baptist Church from 9 a.m.-noon.

Along with the new event comes a new market manager, Jacqueline Smith. Smith said she stepped into the role in September after the previous market manager stepped down because of health reasons.

Smith said because she is not a Black Mountain native, she enjoyed using the tailgate market as a way to meet people and get involved in the community. Her daughter even has a lemonade stand in the market.

She said that community should be a big part of any famers market and that the COVID-19 pandemic stopped some of the community aspect of the Black Mountain Tailgate Market. She said she hopes the Autumn Harvest Festival will bring back some of the camaraderie.

“It’s reintegrating community-oriented events into the market after the pandemic,” Smith said. “I know that the pandemic has caused a lot of upheaval for these sorts of events and certainly for our market.”

The festival will host the market’s usual 25 member vendors in addition to 20 more vendors that are not usually at the market.

Smith said one of the goals of the Autumn Harvest Festival is to get children more involved with the market. To do this, the event will host activities catered to children. These activities range from scavenger hunts to a story time in partnership with Black Mountain Library and a “parade of pumpkins.”

There will also be a costume contest with prizes from vendors that will be awarded right as the event ends at noon.

Smith said it is important to her that the Black Mountain Tailgate Market holds a space for everyone.

“I think it’s important for the farmers market to be a place for everybody,” Smith said. “One of the things I’m really looking forward to is making it more inclusive and inviting for families so that folks linger again.”

To encourage lingering, the back field of the church will have picnic blankets set up for families to “linger and lounge” while enjoying beverages and baked goods.

Smith said she is excited for the Autumn Harvest Festival and hopes it gets people excited about the Black Mountain community.

“It’s just nice to know that I can have a hand in making the market more accessible to people and using it as an educational platform and getting kids involved and making it a place for people to linger and shop and get excited about their community,” Smith said.