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Festival Of The Mountain Masters

In its 23rd year, head to the mountains the day after Thanksgiving to Harlan for the Festival of the Mountain Masters, a two-day celebration of Appalachian heritage on Friday and Saturday, November 23–24.

Watch artisan demonstrations and stop by one of 50 booths featuring handmade arts and crafts, with Kentucky authors also on hand.

There’s live music all day each day from a variety of bands, including the James Family Band—a mother, father, and four sons from Corinth—playing traditional bluegrass, country, and gospel music on beautiful stringed instruments they made by hand.

Amateurs and professionals compete for bragging rights and award ribbons and plaques in the photography contest, and there is also a quilt show and contest as well. You can enter all the way up to Friday morning; no entry fee required.

Take a break and enjoy local cuisine, including soup beans and cornbread, BBQ, apple cider, mountain-style funnel cakes, and kettle corn.

And if you want to take in the beauty of the hills in a more rugged way, a sister event is the Mountain Masters Trail Run, a 16-mile run on Little Shepherd Trail along the ridge of Pine Mountain on Saturday at 8:30 a.m.

Festival times are 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Saturday at Village Center, located off U.S. 421 South to U.S. 119 North about 10 minutes from downtown Harlan. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information go to or call (606) 573-2900.

To view this month’s events going on around the Commonwealth, just click here to search our Events Web page.

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