Monday, June 13, 2011

A Major Festival

Always held during Memorial Day weekend, the White Squirrel Festival  brings the town folk and visitors together.  While we are known as the "Land of the Waterfalls," we are also famous for our white squirrels.  White squirrels (not albino) make up 37% of the gray squirrel population in town.  You can read more about them here.  The White Squirrel Festival is the second largest festival of the year, exceeded only by the Halloween Festival.  (We are, of course in Transylvania County.)

The streets are closed off and various vendors set up tents and booths along the street.  Many free games are set up for the children and the festival is always entertaining.  We almost always find some crafts that we must have.

A view from Main Street

 While there are various white squirrel runs and other games to play, the White Squirrel Derby tops them all.  There are many divisions for the soap-box derbies and many people have worked all year on their cars.  Various businesses enter the special derby for shop owners.

Looking down Jailhouse Hill where the cars will race.  No matter that the jail is no longer in the courthouse, we still call it Jailhouse Hill.

 You can purchase almost anything with a white squirrel on it.  Or simply purchase a stuffed toy.

A parking lot is set up for skateboarding.  This very agile three-year-old plans to take his scooter down one of the ramps.  He is not old enough to be in the area and I'm not sure who was supposed to watch him.  It was hard for me not to tell the little guy he probably shouldn't do that.   He fell on the way down, got up to see if anyone saw him.  Then he went to the ramp again.  I stopped watching.

One area had dozens of hula hoops and everyone seemed to have her own style.  I say "her" because I did not see one adult male pick up a hula hoop. 

I must confess that I do not particularly like people dressed in animal costumes.  I don't like the mascots for college ball games, I don't like costume parties, and I especially don't like clowns.  So you can imagine this costume head freaked me out.

It's amazing that I could hold the camera still long enough for a photograph. 

 I fear that some children might have nightmares after seeing this freaky head on the table.

That's more like it.  (Although in truth I didn't want to get anywhere near it.)

(This photograph from 2010 in "Mountain Express)

You may notice the people in the photograph have squirrel tails, ears, and whiskers.  They lost the record they won in 2010 for the most people dancing in white squirrel costumes this year.  Perhaps we should have stayed longer and participated.  Or maybe not.

Another weekend of small-town fun in the mountains.


Nellie from Beyond My Garden said...

This sounds like a great festival!! I'll have to look up where you are if it is in your profile.I've never heard of white squirrels. We have a few black ones not too far away.
My blog today is also about squirrels but totally different. (understatement)
I love those tails.

Nellie from Beyond My Garden said...

okay, next spring in Brevard.

The Bug said...

What fun! I can't believe we missed out on that when we lived in Waynesville. Who am I kidding - I don't think we even attended Folkmoot while we lived there :)

Karin said...

I would love to attend a small town festival again - it's been a long while. We live in a big city and hubby and I don't do crowds well! I didn't much like that squirrel head sans body either!

Carolina Linthead said...

Okay, the squirrel head on the table is just creepy! But the box full of little white squirrels was too cute! I would have "adopted" one, for sure. We lived for a number of years just north of Springdale, OH, which has a population of black squirrels, apparently transplanted from up Canada way. No, Bug, we never attended Folkmoot, though really we only lived there one full summer, but we did take long walks around Lake Junaluska and occasionally go up to Waterrock Knob :-)

Rudee said...

What a fun sounding festival. I've yet to meet a white squirrel. We have plenty of black squirrels, and grey and red, but no white ones. I've been trying to get a picture of the black one who has a huge, bushy brown tail.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, it must be national squirrel week! I wrote about the little bastards, too. I have to say that yours are SPOOKY. Wonder what a mating between our skunk squirrels and your spook squirrels would produce?

If you got out of the car, you did GREAT! I'm not a clown person either.

troutbirder said...

It does look like fun though. :)

100 Thoughts of Love said...

even as an adult, I hated the characters at Disney World....maybe because you can't see thier eyes?? ....creepy!!!

Ms. A said...

Sounds like fun!

Ms. A said...

Hahahaha... I just read the comment you left me, about putting the bottle in my bra, to warm it! Since I consider a bra to be a torture device, that wouldn't even be an option. Have you ever considered enabling your email, on comments? You should! Would love to respond by email. Some things just don't seem appropriate for a comment box! Feel free to delete this, after you read it. I won't be offended. LOL!


Sounds like a great time...I'm not at all familiar with the white squirrel....

And I bet the weather was really pleasant too!


Anonymous said...

Nice festival. Any real white squirrels show up for the festivities?

Busy Bee Suz said...

The festival looks like a LOT of fun for everyone...well, aside from the kid with the future broken arm and people who don't like costumes. :)

Ginnie said...

Sounds like fun. I wonder if you've been enjoying cooler weather than we have here in the middle of North Carolina? Today & tomorrow we are having a slight respite with temps in the mid 80's.

Vicki Lane said...

Aye, law! There was a Mermaid Parade in Marshall last Friday but I stayed home...

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone.

Beyond - Look forward to it

Bug - Folkmoot really draws in the crowds.

Linthead - There are some really cute things in spite of my dislike for squirrels of all kinds. Glad you and Bug did get to a few wonderful places. Likely more fun than Folkmoot.

Marylee - Seems to be the time of squirrels indeed. I stayed as far away as possible from the giant white one.

Ms A - I sent my address to you.

Robin - we did see a few. Ironically enough, we saw a dead one in the highway as we entered town.

Suz - Much as I admired the little guy's spunk it was all I could do not to go over and suggest he not try the ramp.

Vicki - Mermaid parade? Will wonders never cease. I'll have to look that one up.