News Archive

The 47th Annual Kingdom Come Swappin' Meetin'


Kingdom Come Swappin Meetin set for Sept. 30-Oct. 1;
47th festival slated for Southeasts Cumberland Campus

The Kingdom Come Swappin Meetin will leap onto the stage for the 47th time beginning Friday, Sept. 30 and continuing through Oct. 1. The festival, one of the oldest and most successful folk, art and music events in the commonwealth, will be held on the Cumberland campus of Southeast Kentucky Community amp; Technical College.

Hundreds of festival-goers are expected to gather at the meetin which pays tribute to the traditions and culture of those who reside and have roots in the Appalachian Mountains.
There is something for everyone at the Kingdom Come Swappin Meetin, said Michael Corriston, the events long-time director. The event continues to grow and has developed into one of the top festivals in both attendance and content of any in the state.

He noted how the event has become a jewel with people from across the region, state and country returning to the area each fall to participate and to enjoy the Kingdom Come Swappin Meetin.
Folks will be here for two days of fun, fellowship and enlightenment, he said. We are excited about hosting the festival as we welcome home our old friends and invite all to come see what we have to offer as we reconnect with our heritage while enjoying the lovely autumn in a magnificent setting.
As a premier folk and arts event, the Swappin Meetin continues to attract an impressive lineup of artisans who eagerly demonstrate their craftsmanship.

For 2011, demonstrators will include wood carvers Robert and Oneatta Smith, basket weaving by Eleanor Smith and Frances Whitaker, flute maker, Bruce Helton, quilters Doris Collins and Tracy Woods, Raku pottery making and demonstrated by SKCTC students, sorghum molasses manufactured on site, caning by Stewart Whitaker, spinning by Fern Cornett, lye soap making by Francis Amily, scroll saw crafts by Donald Honeycutt and broom making by Larry Counts.

Throughout the two-day event a wealth of music will be presented and will feature Jennifer Rose Escobar, performances by local blue grass bands Mountain Drive and Pine Mountain Grass and inspiring gospel music to be offered by Ruby and Jake Ravizee. Performances by vocalists Jim Mullins and Brooklyn Woods will also be featured. Lonnie Burkhart returns as the master of ceremony.

Headlining a concert set for Friday at 6 p.m. will be the Cumberland River Band and Kudzu Killers. The event is free and will be held in the theater of the Edsel Godbey Appalachian Center.
The Swappin Meetin will pay tribute to Arthur Johnson who performed his special brand of mountain music at the festival for a quarter of a century. Johnson died in 2008.

During each festival various individuals are honored for their contributions as artists, workers and supporters, all of whom have played key roles in helping the Kingdom Come Swappin Meetin reach its pinnacle of success.

Southeast faculty member and administrator Carolyn Sundy will be honored as the festival honoree. She has worked for the college for more than 30 years and all the while has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the events success. She currently coordinates the art contest and over the years has carried out numerous other tasks. She will be honored during a ceremony at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 1 on the stage located near Falkenstine Hall.

The Swappin Meetin Faculty Award for 2011 will be given to Professor Richard Call. He has taught at the college for 16 years and has worked in many capacities to make the event successful.
John Carpenter will be the recipient of the staff award. He is being singled out for his work with the colleges maintenance division who labor to prepare the campus for the yearly gala.
The Savannah Delph Award is to be awarded to craftsman Fred Rowe. He has participated in 21 Swappin Meetin events and is the recipient of the prestigious award named to honor Mrs. Delph. She worked the festival for 23 years before passing away in 2001. The award is given to the craftsman who best exemplifies the traits, skill and pride of a true Appalachian artisan.

The featured quilter for this year is Middlesboro resident Idella Pittman. An exhibition of her quilts will be on display in the gallery of the Appalachian Center. She began quilting in 1939 and over the years she has crafted literally hundreds of quilts. Her work will not only be on display but will also be for sale.
No Kingdom Come Swappin Meetin would be complete without contests. Over the years various contests have given local folks the opportunity to showcase their skills and their expertise over a wide-ranging spectrum of competitions.

Set for 2011, there will be the Pickles, Jams and Jellies Contest, Quilt Contest, Baked Goods Contest, Hog Calling Contest, Great Pumpkin Contest, Story Telling Contest, Checkers Contest, a Cake Walk and a photography contest sponsored by the Tri-City News.

We invite all to come out and enjoy the 47th edition of the Kingdom Come Swappin Meetin, said director Corriston. We hope to see you there.
For further details about the festival contact Corriston at the SKCTC Cumberland campus by phoning 606-589-3137.