Old Appalachia lines the streets of downtown Franklin for inaugural festival
The butter was churning, the fly fishing knots were tying, and music from Appalachia could be heard on the streets of Franklin Saturday for the first annual Appalachian Heritage Festival. The festival, which was put on by main street merchants, included dozens of exhibitors and was intended to preserve Macon County heritage, all while bringing folks downtown.
With Franklin's Folk Festival was cancelled for this year, Main Street merchants took it upon themselves to make sure a cultural festival was held in its place.
Three seats are up for grabs this November, when voters are expected to head to the polls to elect new members of the Franklin Board of Aldermen. Two out of the three incumbents on the board, Verlin Curtis and Joyce Handley, filed for reelection, while Farrell Jamison, who has served on the board since 2011 did not file for office. Jamison was appointed to the board in February 2011 after the passing of Alderman Jerry Evans.
Incumbents Curtis and Handley will have some competition this year, as four newcomers added their names to the ballot. Brandon McMahan filed for alderman for the first time and joins Angela Moore and Adam Kimsey, who both filed for the open seats last election. Former Mayor Joe Collins also filed for election, but instead of mayor, Collins filed for one of the open alderman seats.
Students from across southeast visit Macon County
For the last quarter century, students from across the country have been signing up to participate in service projects in communities declaring themselves as 'World Changers."
An outreach ministry of Life- Way Christian Resources, World Changers has been spending summers for the last 25 years partnering with cities and their residents to complete much needed construction projects ranging from painting houses to putting on new roofs. The projects improve homes for the elderly, disabled, and for others who would not normally be able to do the work on their own, and comes at no charge for the community.
From local businesses such as Duotech using the Macon County Airport for day-today business operation, to citizens chartering private flights to other regional airports, to organizations such as the State Bureau of Investigation and Forest Service using it for training, the local airport proves to be an invaluable resource for the citizens of Macon County.
To better inform the public of the airport's role in the community, the Macon County Airport Authority will be holding an open house on August 15 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will feature music from Curtis Blackwell, and refreshments for the public.
On Saturday, April 13, a group of about 50 volunteers comprised of a diverse group of citizens from the Franklin and Highlands areas joined forces to clean up the Cullasaja River Gorge's roadsides and river banks.
This initiative is one of the Highlands Chamber of Commerce's ongoing annual projects to help keep area natural resources clean. The cleanup takes place every spring during the NCDOT's clean sweep week and has been headed up by the Highlands Chamber for the last 10 years.
This year, members of Venture Local Franklin, Franklin Chamber of Commerce staff/board members, Stay And Play in the Smokies, and others joined in to make an even bigger impact on this stretch of the “Mountain Waters Scenic Byway.” Of the 50 volunteers on Saturday, 20 volunteers represented Franklin.
"Franklin and Highlands market this same stretch of scenic highway for tourism and recreation purposes, and its very important for both communities to keep the roadsides of Highway 64 as beautiful as the natural assets that surround them,” said volunteer Matt Bateman. “So we decided to reach out to Jennifer Smathers at the Highlands Chamber Visitor Center to join forces."
Bateman, who is a member of Venture Local Franklin (VLF) and tour guide, believes it is important to build a mutual cooperation to take full ownership in maintaining the natural beauty of the roadside. "One of VLF's goals is to continue to reach out to other groups and entities within Franklin and beyond, so we can work together on moving Franklin forward in a positive direction," said Bateman.
The combined effort bagged litter from just above Cullasaja Falls, all the way up to the city limits of Highlands. More than 100 bags were filled by volunteers and hauled away by the U.S. Forest Service.
Main Street Coffee & Tea in downtown Franklin donated coffee for the volunteers of Franklin, while Bill and Sharon Van Horn donated bagels from Dills Creek Bagel Co. also of Franklin.
To finish the day, volunteers were treated to a cookout provided by the Highlands Chamber of Commerce at the Cliffside Lake Recreation Area.