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45th Kingdom Come Swappin Meetin set for Oct. 2-3 at SKCTC Cumberland

The 45th Kingdom Come Swappin Meetin -- a tribute to the traditions and culture of the Central Appalachian Mountains -- will be held on the Cumberland campus of Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College Friday and Saturday, Oct. 2-3. (Download Application Now)

The event is dedicated to the memory of Arthur Johnson, famed musician, writer and humanitarian, who served as master of ceremonies of the event since its inception. Johnson died last spring.

The celebration of the storied and time-honored traditions of the region will be celebrated in grand style during the Swappin Meetin that for over four decades has showcased music, arts and crafts and food.

There is something for everyone suggests festival director Michael Corriston who noted that hundreds of people will descend on the Cumberland campus for two glorious days just as nature begins to paint Black Mountain and Pine Mountain with subtle hues of autumn.

They will come for two days of fun, fellowship and enlightenment, he said. We are excited about hosting the 45th edition of the Kingdom Come Swappin Meetin which has become one of the premier events of its type within the borders of the commonwealth of Kentucky.

One key aspect of the festival is its wealth of games for children. Sponsored by the SKCTC Education Program, numerous games for kids as well as amusement rides will include the express train, hay wagon and more.

Local and regional musicians will provide entertainment Friday and Saturday, and a special concert will be staged in the Edsel Godbey Appalachian Center on Friday at 6 p.m. in tribute to Johnson.

A vital component of each Swappin Meeetin is the demonstrations by area artisans, and the 2009 event will be no exception as artists showcase their skills in the making or sorghum molasses, blacksmithing, chair making, basket weaving, pottery and raku pottery, spinning, weaving, spinning tops, shepherding dogs, operation of pedal-powered sewing machines, split-rail fence making, butter churning and folk dancing and clogging.

No Swappin Meetin is complete without an assortment of food for sale. Vendors will be located across the campus selling tasty treats and rib-sticking specialties. On Saturday, the annual Soup Bean Dinner will be held in the grill located in Falkenstine Hall. Proceeds go to Southeast Education Foundation.

Also slated for Saturday, Oct. 3 and beginning at 11 a.m., will be the honoree ceremony. The event will be held on the main stage outside Falkenstine Hall. The ceremony will pay tribute to the Swappin Meetin Honoree for 2009, the recipient of the Quilters Award, the recipient of the Savannah Delph Award and the winner of the SKCTC Faculty and Staff Award.

Throughout the festival an exhibition featuring quilts hand-crafted by area artists will be held in the gallery of the Appalachian Center.

Additionally, an assortment of contests are to be held during the two-day event including: quilting, baked goods, hog calling, great pumpkin, pickles, jams and jellies, checkers, cake walk, travelling trophy for area elementary students (art work), art contest, storytelling, hog calling and the 19th annual Tri-City News photography contest.

Over the course of the Swappin Meetin music has been an important element. The Friday lineup will feature the Family Harmony Trio and Ethel and Jenny, Jim Mullins and Ken Childress, Dovie Sowards, Jennifer Rose, Tammy Chapman and Amazing Grace and from 6-8 p.m. on Friday a Night of Memories of Arthur Johnson will be held in the Appalachian Center theater.

Set for Saturday are performances by Pine Mountain Grass, Mount Sinai Volunteers, Jennifer Rose, Mountain Drive, Sugar and Spice Cloggers and Cody Simpson.

The 2009 edition of the Kingdome Come Swappin Meetin will be the best ever, said the events director Corriston. Come out and enjoy the event, it will prove to be a fun time and a time to renew old acquaintances -- a time to make new friends. Its a time to enjoy all the very best our region has to offer.