The Orchard hosts an open mic every Wednesday at 1:45 p.m. Musicians are encouraged to bring their instruments and take a turn on the stage.
On Thursday, August 29, at 1:45 p.m., Jack Vaughn takes to the stage with his traditional renditions. He’s followed on Friday at the same time by Tom Sparks and his friends who continue with their special take on the region’s music.
The week continues with performances both Saturday and Sunday at 1 and 3 p.m. Music begins on Saturday with Tru Blu, an Orchard favorite. Then at 3 p.m., it’s Southbound, a progressive team of musicians from rural southeastern Tennessee. Their southern style music embodies the true spirit of classic country music.
Although officially September, the Orchard considers Sunday as week’s end, and Sam McKinney starts it at 1 p.m. McKinney is a young performer from Spruce Pine, who mixes the traditional with contemporary to achieve a sound that keeps the audience asking for more. The weekend ends with Roan Mountain Moonshiners making their first appearance this season and hitting the stage with nothing but East Tennessee style old-time mountain music, the way it’s been played in these parts for hundreds of years.
And speaking of September, the big end of summer Annual Labor Day Picnic happens on the 2nd with music through the afternoon—Jack Town Ramblers at 10:30, Town & Country at 1 p.m., and Slight Departure at 3 p.m.
The music and dancing are free, as are the views and the camaraderie of the folks. Come for traditional tunes, stay for a dance, a bite to eat, a delicious jar of jam, lip-smacking fudge, or a walk on the trails. Don’t forget to join in on the two-step and clogging demonstrations between sets on Saturday and Sunday.
The Orchard, located on 1025 Orchard Road near Spruce Pine at mile marker 328.3 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, is a not-for-profit working orchard, music, and educational venue. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday-Sunday. The venue is family and pet-friendly and wheelchair accessible.
For more information, visit www.altapassorchard.org, or call 828-765-9531.