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Kingdom Come Swappin Meetin to be held Oct. 1-2

The Kingdom Come Swappin Meetin will return to center stage and the spotlight for the 46th time on October 1-2 at the Cumberland campus of Southeast Kentucky Community amp; Technical College.

The festival, one of the oldest and most successful folk, art and music events in the commonwealth of Kentucky, is a tribute to the traditions and culture of those who live and have deep roots within central Appalachia.

The celebration annually attracts hundreds to the festival site located on the SKCTC campus situated along Cloverlick Creek. It is certain the event will be celebrated in grand fashion this year as the Swappin Meetin approaches its 50th year.

There is something for everyone suggests festival director Michael Corriston who noted the event continues to grow and prosper. He mentioned that the event has evolved into one of the top festivals of its genre and has become a shimmering jewel where folks from across the region, the state and the country return to year in and year out to experience, to reconnect and enjoy.

Folks will be here for two glorious days of fun, fellowship and enlightenment, he acknowledged. We are excited about hosting the festival. We welcome back our old friends and invite all to come and see what we have to offer as we reconnect with our heritage while also enjoying the lovely Appalachian autumn in a most spectacular setting.

One key aspect of the festival is the wealth of games and activities for the youth. Sponsored by the Education Foundation, games for kids as well as a variety of amusement rides will be offered and include the express train and the hay wagon, among others.

As in past years, the 2010 meetin will feature a variety of demonstrations by area craftsmen that will include apple cider making, lye soap making, blacksmithing, quilt making demonstration and a quilt display, broom making, butter churning, a pottery making exhibition, wood carving, corn shelling, chain saw carving, basket weaving and the always-popular sorghum molasses exhibition. Pottery and sorghum exhibitions will be staged in the area near the campus baseball field.

The hills will be ringing as local and regional musicians provide entertainment each day of the event with a concert featuring music and storytelling to be held beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 1 in the Edsel Godbey Appalachian Center Theater. Slated to perform on the opening day of the event will be Lonnie Burkhart, who will also serve as the master of ceremonies; Jenny Ross, Brooklynn Woods, Jim Mullins and Ken Childress, Roy Harper, Jennifer Rose Escobar. On Saturday performers include Anne Schertz, Jake Ravizee, Jennifer Rose Escobar and bluegrass band Pine Mountain Grass.

One important component of the Kingdom Come Swappin Meetin will be the chance for festival-goers to compete in several contests including the always-popular quilt contest, baked goods, hog calling, pumpkin, pickles, jams and jellies, checkers, a cake walk and the Tri-City News photography contest.

Additionally, an art trophy will be awarded to the school with the most entries by its students, and the Swappin Meetin Participation Trophy will be awarded to the school who has the most students taking part in the festival. For information about the various contests contact Michael Corriston at 589-3137.

No Swappin Meetin would be complete without an assortment of food available including a soup bean dinner to be offered on Saturday in the grill located in the basement of Falkenstine Hall. Various vendors will also be selling rib-sticking food in the form of barbeque ribs, hamburger, hotdogs, funnel cakes, fried pies, homemade candies and much more.

The 46th Kingdom Come Swappin Meetin will once again spring to life offering fun, games and entertainment for all who attend. Be sure to come out and enjoy, we will be excited to see you, said festival director Corriston.