Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southern Appalachia, Ashe County is home to a distinctive and vibrant culture and boasts a unique history of cherishing traditional music, arts, and small-town living. Ashe has a close-knit, locally-minded community that supports home-grown businesses, artisans, and agriculture. During the warmer months, stages across the County are filled with musicians playing everything from folk to bluegrass for the public in various parks and other venues. The Ola Belle Reed Festival, held annually in Lansing, features days of musical performances, classes, and other activities for visitors and residents. Merlefest, a musical festival in nearby Wilkesboro, attracts nationally-known folk singers and thousands of attendees each year. Appalachian State University, a thirty minute drive from Ashe County, showcases a variety of musical and performing arts venues throughout the year. Ashe is also home to a thriving local arts industry. Downtown West Jefferson has numerous art galleries featuring the works of local artists-in-residence. In fact, many of the brick buildings along the main street area display murals painted by local artists alongside mixed-media sculptures. The County features two farmers’ markets that provide local produce and goods from area growers. Local wineries, a widely-recognized cheese-making facility, a craft brewery, and a number of independent and unique shops and eateries make Ashe County a delightful community in which to visit.
Photo Credit - Kim Hadley