Redbud Festival opens on Union College’s campus April 17

Published on
March 30, 2015

Redbud Festival opens on Union College’s campus April 17When the redbud trees begin to bloom, you know its time for the Union College Redbud Festival of Appalachian Culture in beautiful, downtown Barbourville, Ky. This year’s festival will be held April 17-18 and once again is expanding to highlight Appalachian culture.

The Redbud Festival of Appalachian Culture takes visitors back to a simpler time in Appalachia where traditional arts and crafts, quilting, food, storytelling and music were part of daily life. The Kentucky Travel Industry Association named the festival one of Kentucky’s Top 10 Spring Festivals.

“Spring in Kentucky is always such a wonderful time of year and Union College is so proud to open its campus to visitors eager to explore the traditions so dear to the Appalachian people,” says Union College President Marcia Hawkins, Ph.D.

This year’s festival will continue to highlight a variety of Appalachian traditions, but is also introducing new cultural exhibits for visitors. Highlights of this year’s festival will include the Appalachian book museum, the Kentucky Arts Council folk art exhibit “Makings of a Master” and the Kentucky Coal Academy will feature its Success Xpress. The mobile technology unit is utilized to provide education and training to Kentucky’s coal miners. The public will get a first-hand opportunity to explore the Success Xpress during this year’s festival. The Kentucky Coal Museum will also be on hand with displays of thousands of antiques and coal history memorabilia.

“Our entire region has been defined by coal for so many years and we want to be able to help preserve our coal heritage and share that heritage with others,” says Sherry Partin, Union College’s event planner for the Redbud Festival.

In addition to those exhibits, visitors interested in modern sustainable living will find numerous ways to expand their skills. The heritage and simple living area of the festival will feature workshops in gardening, blacksmithing, folk medicines, animal husbandry, beekeeping and more. An heirloom seed swap and sale will take place on Saturday, giving home gardeners a rare chance to obtain rare Appalachia heirloom seeds.

Visitors will also be able to take the Redbud Festival home as 500 redbud and dogwood saplings will be given away each day of the event.  The tree giveways will take place at Noon each day and is sponsored by the Knox County Extension Service. Other special vendors include the Knox County Farmer’s Market, Grow Appalachia, Wild Wood Farms, Lucky Clover Farm, Hell Cat Farm and Boone Creamery.

The Union College Student Center will serve as the starting line Saturday for the annual No Excuse for Child Abuse 5k Walk/Run. That event will begin at 9 a.m. All pre-registered participants will receive a t-shirt.

Learn more about the Union College Redbud Festival of Appalachian Culture or get a full schedule of events by visiting us