Oct 1 Canceled due to weather

Scary Saturdays
October 8, 15, and 22  
4 to 8 PM

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Community events like this can only happen with your support. Help us make it happen by donating HERE, or call us at 828.536.0337

Would you like to volunteer?

Join the Scary Saturday Support Team HERE.

Scarecrows Aren’t so Scary, or Are They?  Find out when you visit the farm at the Center for Pioneer Life on October 8, 15, and 22.


We open at 4 PM and go until 8 PM.

🌽 Time-travel through a mini-corn maze

👨🏽‍🌾 Hear stories by high school drama department students*

👻 Search for the Shoal Creek ghost

🤸‍♀️Play field games

📸Take a family photo at any one of several stunning harvest sites nestled among historic buildings with panoramic views

🍂You might even meet a mischievous scarecrow or two along the way

🪕On the cabin porch, award-winning performers light up the night with traditional old-time music.

🧹Live pioneer broom-making demonstrations.

🎃Local craft sales and pumpkin and gourd sales

🚜Wagon rides by Captain Mack


Each week will be different, and each promises fun for all ages.


On the cabin porch, award-winning professionals will light up the night with traditional old-time fiddle, banjo, dulcimer music, and Appalachian ballads. 


Mark your calendars for special performances on these Saturdays


  • Saturday, October 1 — CANCELED due to weather Bruce Greene and Don Pedi

  • Saturday, October 8 — Donna Ray Norton and Sheila Kay Adams 

  • Saturday, October 15 — Frederick Park

  • Saturday, October 22 — 20 minutes sessions beginning at 5, 6, and 7 PM The True Grass Band


*This year the Center is partnering with the Mountain Heritage High School drama department. Thirty-seven enthusiastic students will perform throughout the five Saturday nights monologues and dialogs they’ve written this semester. You will enjoy their budding talent while they learn from their drama instructor, Angie Holtzclaw, how to build on their storytelling and foundational acting skills. 


This all-outdoor event is FREE and open to the public. Donations are encouraged and will go to further support hands-on education programs. 


Bring a blanket or lawn chair, a picnic, and your friends. 


There will be an assortment of orange, white, green, warty, striped, fanciful gourds and pumpkins for sale grown by legendary pumpkin farmer John Hughes. Cash or check only. Buy your pumpkins while the supply lasts. 


Wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather. 

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Bruce Greene and Don Pedi  Please return to find our when this performance will be rescheduled

Bruce Greene is known worldwide for preserving and playing old-time Kentucky fiddle music. He is also a skilled old-time banjo player, singer, and collector of traditional Appalachian music and culture. Bruce has lived and worked among the people of Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina for over forty years, bringing to his playing the intimacy and dignity he absorbed through his apprenticeships with musicians born as far back as the 1880s.

Bruce moved to Yancey County in western North Carolina in 1978. He met Mitchell County fiddler Red Wilson, a North Carolina Folklife Heritage Award recipient, and spent much time with him playing music. Bruce has respect for older traditional musicians, and he takes time to learn their local styles and repertoires. Although he has been highly influenced by the musicians he has visited, Bruce has developed his style, which features a bowing technique that is relaxed but precise.

Don Pedi Don Pedi Started playing the dulcimer in 1968. He is known for developing a playing style on the mountain dulcimer that can match a fiddle, note for note while maintaining the rhythms and characteristics of traditional music. Over the decades, he’s been recognized and honored for collecting, preserving, and performing Traditional Appalachian music. Since 1985 Don has championed folk music as an on-air host at NPR affiliate Blue Ridge Public Radio, WCQS in Asheville, NC. He has appeared in the motion pictures "The Songcatcher", and " The journey of August King." Don has numerous recordings and Dulcimer-related books and art prints available at www.donpedi.com 


Saturday, October 8 • 6:00 PM — Donna Ray Norton and Sheila Kay Adams

Sheila Kay Adams is a seventh-generation ballad singer, storyteller, and claw-hammer banjo player; She was born and raised in the Sodom Laurel community of Madison County, North Carolina, an area renowned for its unbroken tradition of unaccompanied singing of traditional southern Appalachian ballads that dates back to the early Scots/Irish and English Settlers in the mid-17th century.

Adams learned to sing from her great-aunt Dellie Chandler Norton and other notable singers in the community, such as Dillard Chandler and members of the Wallin Family. She began performing in public in her teens, and throughout her career, she has performed at festivals, events, music camps, and workshops around the United States and the United Kingdom.

After teaching in the North Carolina public schools for seventeen years, Adams turned to full-time music and storytelling. 

In 1998 Adams received the Brown Hudson Award from the North Carolina Folklore Society in recognition of her valuable contributions to the study of North Carolina folk traditions. She was named among eight North Carolina artists to receive the 2016 North Carolina Heritage Award for outstanding contributions to the state's cultural heritage. In 2013, Sheila was one of nine individuals to receive a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. 

Donna Ray Norton is an 8th-generation ballad singer from Madison County. She will be sharing ballads from Scotland, Ireland, and the British Isles that were rediscovered in Madison County over a century ago, along with some wonderful stories of the world of Sodom, the community she comes from. Hailing from one of the most significant musical sources in the Appalachian Mountains, she is a highly regarded member of the younger generation of Madison County ballad singers and storytellers.


Donna Ray has released three albums. Her newest album was produced by Grammy-nominated, highly accomplished old-time bluegrass and swing musician Josh Goforth. Josh also provides the musical accompaniment for Donna Ray’s first-ever bluegrass song, featured on this album. She was featured on an album called “Big Bend Killing, The Appalachian Ballad Tradition,” with artists such as Sheila Kay Adams, Bobby McMillon, Alice Gerrard, Amethyst Kiah, Roy Andrade, David Holt, and Roseanne Cash. This album was released in the fall of 2017 and won a Grammy in 2018 for Best Album Compilation. 


Donna Ray's performance is sure to be a fun one. Come hear some "murder ballads" and stories. The title of her latest album is "Forevermore I'll Sing" — just right for Scary Saturdays, don’t you think?

Saturday, October 15 • — Frederick Park — watch this space for more info

Saturday, October 22 • 5 PM — The True Grass Band

The True Grass Band, established in 1994 is from Burnsville. They have played festivals and opened shows for Ralph Stanley, III Tyme Out, Seldom Scene, Ronda Vincent, Larry Sparks, and Dailey & Vincent. They are cast members of The Great American Bluegrass Show and The Great American Gospel Show.

Partial funding for our 2022 program is provided byThe Yancey Fund, an affiliate fund of

The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. The Yancey Fund is an endowment created to support the charitable needs of our community.


Partial funding has also been granted by the Mountain Air Community Fund, Participate Learning Inc., and the Foundation for International Education. 

Special thanks to Mountain Heritage High School Drama Department and director,

Ms. Angie Holtzclaw. 

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