The yearly celebration of Appalachian culture, the Kingdom Come Swappin Meetin, is
primed to return to center stage Friday and Saturday, Oct. 4-5 on the Cumberland Campus
of Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College.
The event, held along the banks of Cloverlick Creek at the base of Black Mountain,
has developed over the decades into one of the top arts and crafts festivals within
the state and the region. During its two-day run, the event is expected to attract
hundreds of participants to the SKCTC campus where they will have the opportunity
to enjoy lively mountain music, eat traditional Appalachian foods, engage in competitive
games and have the chance to take a step back into time to observe and marvel at the
exquisite handiwork of local artisans.
Longtime festival director Michael Corriston suggested the event serves to promote
and perpetuate the diverse cultural heritage of the Central Appalachian Mountains
through the presentation of music, crafts, visual arts, theater, folk competitions,
games and folk life demonstrations. The Swappin Meetin offers something for everyone,
he said. We welcome one and all to come and enjoy the two days of fun and fellowship
and good times.
The theme for the 2013 Swappin Meetin is Pride in My Mountain Heritage with that theme
carried out in a Mini Olympics competition and youth storytelling and art contests.
The SKCTC Education Program and Harlan County Cooperative Extension personnel will
provide games for kids and other activities. Event participants will have the chance
to ride the Harlan Rotary Club Express Train and the hay wagon ride. And, during the
event, demonstrations by craftsmen will include sorghum molasses cooking, blacksmithing,
chair making, chair bottoms crafting, basket weaving, washboard laundering, raku pottery
creations, spinning, weaving, spinning tops demonstrations, dancing, clogging, and
the chance to take a trip on the nature walk and a tour of the Cherokee Nation mobile
No Swappin Meetin would be complete without a lineup of talented musicians performing
bluegrass, gospel, folk and traditional Appalachian music. Musicians will perform
throughout the day Friday and Saturday from the stage on the patio of Falkenstine
Hall. Performances by Marlow Tackett, Roy Harper, Tommy White, Zelma Forbes, Clyde
Stanley, Mountain Drive, Jake and Ruby Ravizee, singers from Mt. Sinai Church, Pine
Mountain Grass, Roan Mountain Moonshiners, Lonnie Burkhart and Brooklyhn Woods will
make for an exciting two days of extraordinary musicianship.
A wide variety of vendors will offer a large selection of Appalachian crafts and a
variety of traditional and contemporary foods will be available, including the Soup
Bean Dinner slated for Saturday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. in the grill located in
Through the years, the Swappin Meetin has been known for an array of contests with
the 49th version of the festival no exception. Locals will have the opportunity to
win ribbons and notoriety as they compete in contests that include: quilt, baked goods,
hog calling, great pumpkin race, pickles, jams and jellies, checkers, a cake walk,
art contest and storytelling competition. Moreover, the Tri-City News will conduct
its 22nd Photography Contest, photos are to be delivered to the upper lobby area of
the Godbey Appalachian Center on Friday, Oct. 4 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Now it is second year, the Swappin Meetin Glow Run, 5-K and one-mile walk, will be
contested across the campus and through the town of Cumberland. Scheduled for Friday,
Oct. 4 at 7 p.m., the event will begin from the lower parking lot on the campus. The
registration fee is $25, and for further information contact Kristen Simpson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Each year during the festival, time is set aside to give acknowledgement to several
deserving recipients who have worked to make the Kingdom Come Swappin Meetin the amazing
success it has become. A ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. Oct. 5 to compliment the
events Honoree, Featured Quilter, the winner of the Savannah Delph Award and winners
of the Faculty and Staff Awards.
With the 49th Kingdom Come Swappin Meetin set to begin, Corriston called the event
a precious gem.
We have worked hard to make this years festival one of the best ever; we hope to see
you that first weekend in October. We will positively be pleased to see you!