The 72nd Annual Summer Festival
72 years ago, Robert Porterfield began a cultural experience unparalleled to our region. The Virginia Highlands Festival has continued to grow in size and scope to become a destination for tourists and a beloved regional cultural resource for the arts, history and culture of Southwest Virginia.
2021 brings with it, a new Festival Experience by bringing together most of our programming under one roof. Most Festival activities will take place at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center, including the Juried Antiques & Vintage Market as well as the food vendors and live music events. The Juried Arts & Crafts Show will remain at the Barter Green on Main Street as a downtown magnet attraction, and the two locations will connect by shuttle service.
10:00am - 6:00pm: Juried Arts & Crafts Show
Voted the “Best Art Show in Region” by Virginia Living Magazine readers in 2019, the Juried Arts and Crafts show will once again set up on the beautiful Barter Square at Barter Stage II. Browse the booths and get inspired at this Pinterest-worthy show. Cost: Free!
Location: Virginia Highlands Festival 110 West Main Street Abingdon, VA, 24210
10:00am - 4:00pm: Virginia Highlands Quilt Show
The annual Virginia Highlands Quilt Show will feature around 100 antique and contemporary quilts created by local stitchers in various patterns. There will be a special Viewer’s Choice Award for a contemporary quilt that has been made in the last five years.
Location: Holston Mountain Artisans 214 Park Street Southeast Abingdon, VA, 24210
10:00am - 5:00pm: Juried Antiques & Vintage Market
Formal and primitive furniture, high–end collectibles, jewelry, porcelain, china, rugs, vintage clothing, linens, paintings, pottery, and more! Dealers are constantly restocking, so be sure to visit more than once. Admission: $5 per day or buy an event pass for $15 and visit as often as you like.
Location: Virginia Highlands Festival Antiques & Vintage Market 1 Partnership Circle Abingdon, VA, 24210
10:00am - 6:00pm: Juried Fine Art Show
We have a new category this year of "Youth Art" as part of Juried Fine Arts! "Youth" is defined as a person age 8-16 as of July 23, 2021. All other entrants will be considered to be adults. Youth entry fee is $5, all other entries are $20, limited to submission of three works.
Awards: First Place ($1,000), Second Place ($500), Third Place ($250), People's Choice ($250), Youth First Place ($100), Youth Second Place ($50), Youth Third Place ($25)
Location: Virginia Highlands Festival 1 Partnership Circle Abingdon, VA, 24210
7:00pm - 9:00pm: Abingdon Downtown Walking Tour
Meet at the Barter Fountain (across from Barter Theatre) at 7pm to start this tour. Wear comfy shoes!
How are the salt industry, Shangri-La, Daniel Boone, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the American Southwest all connected to Abingdon? Join local historian and Abingdon native, Garrett Jackson, on this walking tour of Abingdon’s known and little-known history. Learn how a small frontier town became a center for the arts, culture, politics, and religion in Southwest Virginia, and how it is connected to locations nationally and internationally.
Location: Barter Fountain 110 West Main Street Abingdon, VA, 24210
7:30pm - 8:30pm: Researching Your Family History: A Presentation by Walter Jenny
Many people are actively working to document the many branches of their family history. Since Washington County, Virginia, was central to the settlement of this region and to western migration along the Great Road, there is a great interest in the resources related to the county’s history.
Walter Jenny, president of the Historical Society of Washington County Virginia, will discuss the range of resources that the Historical Society has in its library, as well as the extensive range of online offerings that are available. Jenny will also demonstrate how easy it is to start an Ancestry.com account to keep all of your records, photos, and documents in family accounts.
Location: SWVA Higher Ed Center: Executive Auditorium 1 Partnership Circle Abingdon, VA, 24210
7:30pm - 9:30pm: Abingdon Spirit Tours
Join Abingdon’s Haint Mistress, Donnamarie Emmert, as she guides participants on her Abingdon Spirit Tour, now in its 25th year. Walk along historic Main Street delighting in the town’s history and the ghost stories of businesses and homes along the way.
Not recommended for children under 10, or people in wheeled conveyances. Tours will be called off in case of heavy rain.
Location: Meet Outside of Wolf Hills Coffee 112 Court Street Abingdon, VA, 24210
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