Featured | LocalFest


Orange County, NC is returning to its heritage and cultural roots with a day long festival fittingly named, LocalFest. 


15 years have gone by since the fields and structures of Blackwood Farm heard the sounds of fiddles and cellos, the pounding of blacksmith’s hammers on iron, the whirl of spinning wheels; the sounds of farm life with the cock-a-doodle-doo of a rooster, the shearing of a sheep, and the clippity clop of horses with children on back; the buzz of local crafters chatting up their wares and the resonances of laughter from festival goers soaking it all in.  15 years since the communities of Orange County celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2003 on Blackwood Farm. Far too long for many and the need to reconnect with our cultural heritage through music, craft, cooking and tradition is now.

Here's what you can expect.

John Blackfeather Jeffries

Demonstrations from crafters inspired to carry on the traditions of African American and Native American crafting, 18th Century woodworking, traditional blacksmithing, quilting, and weaving all which just might inspire you to learn and pass down. Other demonstrations sure to inform and entertain include Colonial Era cooking, food preservation techniques, wildcrafting and cheese making.

Musicians performing at OC 250th celebration

You don’t have to be a local to enjoy some good ol’ fiddling, whistling, guitar- picking, harmonizing, shaped note congregational singing and traditional Mariachi music. We imagine you’ll be doing a little bit of dancing, clapping and knee slapping too! Chances are you’ll hear music that’s been a tradition in your family.

Orange County 250th Celebration

And this is a family festival. Pony rides, puppetry performances, synchronized jump roping, printmaking and muraling workshops will engage and delight the kids. A beer garden with local craft brews and other concoctions will delight the adults! Food sourced locally will satisfy all!

While tradition is the focus of this festival, LocalFest is a celebration of all things local, all time-honored and not just within Orange County. It’s a celebration of folks that are artistically innovative, entrepreneurial, and historically passionate about whom they are, what they do and where they come from. And fortunately for us, crossed paths and or re-located in Orange County, North Carolina!

Orange County LocalFest is Saturday September 29, 2018 from 10 am until 6 pm. Blackwood Park Farm is located between Hillsborough and Chapel Hill at 4215 NC Hwy 86 South. Admission is FREE. More information about the festival, the musicians, demonstrations, kid’s activities, juried artists, and parking can be found on the LocalFest website.

Come be a local! Use #OCNCLocalFest to share your experience on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

(Photo credits: David Hunt)