Trio of clogging teams to perform at BBQ & Bluegrass Festival
SPRUCE PINE – The entertainment lineup for the 6th annual Spruce Pine BBQ & Bluegrass Festival is complete and includes bluegrass, country and Americana music with noted local and regional musicians as well as championship mountain clogging teams.
This year’s featured cloggers are the Barn Burner Cloggers, Mountaineer Cloggers and Cole Mountain Cloggers.
The Mars Hill-based Cole Mountain Cloggers are a team of 16 cloggers between the ages of 5 and 15 from Madison, Buncombe, Henderson and Avery counties.
Led by Jeff Atkins, an alumnus of the Bailey Mountain Cloggers of Mars Hill College, many of the Cole Mountain Cloggers have roots in this region’s traditional culture. Three current members, for example, are kin to Bascom Lamar Lunsford.
The team’s motto is “Keeping a Mountain Tradition Thriving” and to that end they keep up a busy performance schedule. The Cole Mountain Cloggers have danced at the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Festival, Shindig on the Green, the Smokey Mountain Folk Festival, the Bluff Mountain Festival, Fiddlers Grove, the Asheville Christmas parade and at the Biltmore Estate and Grove Park Hotel.
At the 2007 North Carolina Mountain State Fair, the team won first place in the Traditional Freestyle Clogging division. A few weeks later they traveled to the State Folk Festival at the North Carolina State Fair, where they were first-place winners in Traditional Clogging in their age division. Several of the dancers received individual awards in their age divisions as well.
As a team, the Cole Mountain Cloggers received the special Smokehouse Appalachian Freestyle Team Award, given yearly to “the dance team of four or more couples whose performance, their selection and execution of dance figures best exemplifies the Southern Appalachian freestyle clogging routine.”
The Cole Mountain Cloggers perform at 5:50 and 7:20 p.m. Saturday, July 15.
The Mountaineer Cloggers is a Mitchell County-based championship group founded and operated by Jeff Atkins and Kristie Autrey. They placed first in the Raleigh State Fair competition in 2011 and third in 2012.
This team is comprised of fourth- through eighth-graders from Deyton Elementary, Gouge Elementary, Harris Middle School and Bethel Christian Academy.
The Mountaineer Cloggers perform at 2:50 and 4:20 p.m. Saturday, July 15.
The Barn Burner Cloggers are an exhibition clogging team from Avery, Mitchell and Yancey counties led by Anna Trivett. They practice once a week in Mitchell County. The team has members that range in age from elementary school to adult with skill levels from beginners to advanced. There are even sisters and a mother and daughters who clog.
The Barn Burner Cloggers perform at 5:50 and 7:20 p.m. Friday, July 14.