Appalachia Appalachian Dialect Sayings from Appalachia

Brasstown – A Wide Place in the Road

Appalachian saying wide place in the road

If you’ve never been to Brasstown you might miss it as you drive through if you’re not paying close attention. It’s more of a wide place in the road than a town.

The main drag of Brasstown consists of the stores you see in the photo-most are filled with amazing art and other handmade items crafted by folks from the area; the Brasstown post office is just beyond the stores off to the left; and just behind the camera shot is Clay’s Corner and the John C. Campbell Folk School.

There are two times a year our small abode of Brasstown becomes over run with a mass influx of people. One of the events takes place every New Year’s Eve when Clay’s Corner hosts The Possum Drop. I’ve never attended the event but folks pour into the area by the thousands. I hear it’s big doings.

The second time of the year is coming up this weekend when The John C. Campbell Folk School will hold its annual Fall Festival on October 1 & 2 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Daily admission: $5 for adults, $3 for ages 12-17, and free for children under 12.

Over the two day event literally thousands of people visit Brasstown. The preparation, execution, and clean-up of the festival is really an amazing thing to see up close.

Weeks before the festival I start noticing the folk school is getting ready. By the day before the festival the whole area has been transformed with ornate ticket booths, streamers, signs, pumpkins, flowers, corn stalks, and even stakes driven beside the road ways to keep folks from parking where they shouldn’t. Then it happens! The festival is full of amazing crafters, artists, exhibits, musicians, dancers, food, and a whole lot more-including thousands of people criss-crossing the folk school grounds. As soon as the festival ends the folk school gets right to work putting every thing back like it was and by the end of next week it’ll be like it never even happened. The folk school has the hosting a festival thing down pat.

If you’re planning on attending the JCCFS’s Fall Festival I’ll offer a few tips in case you’ve never been before.

  • traffic can be extremely heavy so if you plan to be at the festival to catch a certain performance you will need to allow for extra driving time
  • the festival is spread over a large area which means you may be walking a far piece from where you park
  • most of the walking will be on trails so sturdy shoes will be your best choice of foot-wear
  • there aren’t any ATMs and while many vendors are able to accept plastic you may run into a few who can only take cash
  • there are many food vendors to choose from so if you want to make a day of it you don’t have to worry about going hungry

Chatter and Chitter will be clogging with the Kudzu Kickers on the Festival Barn Stage at 1:20 p.m on Saturday October 1st and they’ll also be performing as The Pressley Girls on the Festival Barn Stage at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday October 2nd.

If you make it to the festival PLEASE come up and say hello!


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  • Reply
    jane childers
    October 4, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    I really miss going to festivals like this. Since my husband developed Parkinson’s disease we can’t attend many things outside because he has to be pushed in a transport chair and if the ground is rough it is impossible. It’s no fun going by yourself.

  • Reply
    September 30, 2016 at 12:12 am

    Oh, I wish I was there this weekend. Love the clog, contra and Morris dancers. Love all the music….especially the Pressley girls. Maybe, I will make it to NC again and finally get to the festival. Will visualize it in my mind. Hope you have good weather…..and a great time. We are going pheasant hunting this weekend. Take care.

  • Reply
    Pat Shumway
    September 29, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    For Sheryl Paul who said parking is a problem at the Possum Drop, here’s how to solve that problem! Park in the lot at Tri-County Community College and take a free shuttle ride to the big event. The Possum Drop is fun, loud, and silly! Dress in layers and enjoy!

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, PhD
    September 29, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    Nothing would please me more than to bemaking the festival! I’ll bet you, I could sell a few copies of “Fiddler of the Mountains: Attuned to the Life and Times of Johnny Mull” especially if I played the CD of Uncle Johnny 1950’s music. THAT IS MOUNTAIN MUSIC – BEFORE BLUEGRASS!!

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    September 29, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    Beautiful picture! The sky almost looks like a watercolor painting feigning real life. I love the peacefulness of the area. No wonder you love it so much.
    The Folk School has been famous for so many years. One can understand the folks attending from other parts of the country wanting to retire in our mountains and try to establish where their forefathers began their lives.
    I hope the weather is as cool as it is here today and just beautiful skies, too!
    Thanks for the tips on attending the festival.
    and also for this post.

  • Reply
    September 29, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    One time I did some Christmas Shopping right in the town of Brasstown. My son-in-law really liked the Homeade writing pens crafted from Rosewood, but that adventure made me know I’d been there.
    Both Donna Lynn and the Murphy Mayor have been talking about the Festival all week.
    There are about 250 vendors and it’s two days of fun and enjoyment. I guess it’s the biggest thing Cherokee County has to offer. I have every wrist bracelet since I’ve been going in my tool chest. …Ken

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    September 29, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    I don’t live in a town. Connelly Springs is the closest incorporated place to me. They don’t have pedestrian crosswalks there. The shopping district is comprised of a furniture store, a convenience store, a car wash and a Dollar General. The governmental center consists of the Post Office and the town hall across the road. There are no stop lights in Connelly Springs, not even flashing caution lights. Norfolk Southern does have a stop there but it is only to let trains pass each other. There are two railroad crossings in old part of town with flashy lights and guard arms that come down. There is also a railroad underpass which is interesting to drive through when a speeding freight train is crossing right above you.
    Connelly Springs don’t have a fair or a festival, only a Town Day once a year and on Friday nights when the weather is suitable a Cruise In where bands come to sing and play and unrestored old people come to show off their restored old cars and tell lies.
    Some people think life in Connelly Springs and its outlying areas is boring and I agree. But I like boring!

  • Reply
    September 29, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    Thanks for the tips, Tipper!

  • Reply
    mary Lou McKillip
    September 29, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    Tipper, this post was a grand item Brass town might just be a wide space in the road, but a Hugh cultural place in America. We enjoy all your posts. I sent Truman’s sister and brother in law your web site, Donald makes music and sings. Lueta enjoys country posts of interest. Tipper we are so blessed to have you and your twins to entertain us so well. Time fly’s your daughters are lovely.
    Truman and I are proud as a peacock of all of you.
    Mary and Truman McKillip

  • Reply
    Cheryl Soehl
    September 29, 2016 at 10:49 am

    My friend’s husband teaches oil painting at the Folk School. There is a possibility that I could get a scholarship to attend in the spring. I am really hoping this can happen!

  • Reply
    September 29, 2016 at 8:52 am

    Roy-THANK YOU for pointing out Ed and Carols place-its full of neat stuff and Ed and Carol are the best and theyre very knowledgeable about the area too. 

  • Reply
    William Roy Pipes
    September 29, 2016 at 8:43 am

    Brasstown is also home for Hill Gallery showing a great selection of locally made items. I could see the Hill Gallery on the hill on one of your pictures. People would enjoy meeting the owners Ed and Carol Reid.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    September 29, 2016 at 8:03 am

    I have tried to attend the Possom Drop a few times, parking is an issue expe3cially when you have to walk a distance in the cold. We have stopped in all the stores and the John Campbell School though and go back when possible

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    September 29, 2016 at 7:22 am

    I’m looking forward to the festival this weekend. The girls have been performing there for quite a few years. As a proud grandmother I try to always be at the festival when they perform. The arts and crafts there are always top notch!

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