BRACA craft show returns to fairgrounds
Nestled in the mountains of Western North Carolina is a group of hard working craftsmen, know as the Blue Ridge Artists and Crafters (also known as BRACA).
In 1985, a group of local residents met to form and promote local artisans whose talents were in making handmade crafts, holding true to mountain traditions and creations. The first meeting was held at the Maggie Valley Opry House with Ernie Audette elected as the president.
They held three shows per year in the old rock school house known as Maggie Valley Elementary. Each year the shows drew more and more people until the group had to seek out a larger facility.
Marlyn McFalls, original member and show coordinator said, "The shows just got bigger and bigger and now we fill the large building at the fairgrounds. We have people from all over the United States that return to our shows every year."
In 1993, the craftsmen moved the highly popular shows to the Haywood County Fairgrounds, 758 Crabtree Road, Hwy 209, Waynesville. The talented artisan's produce woodworking items, crocheting, knitting, quilted items and quilts, needlepoint, sewing items, plastic canvas works, candles, jewelry, tole painting, purses, lovely stained glass, leather items, sparkling Christmas ornaments, hand-made woven baskets and creative works by local authors.
The crafters strive to promote beautifully crafted treasurers made purely for the enjoyment of others. Debora Sampson, one of the original members said, "I've been here from the beginning and I hope it continues for many years. I'm a fourth generation crafter and hope to hand down the skills to my nieces to keep the mountain traditions alive."
The next 2013 show will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 12-13 and Oct. 19-20. Each show has 50 plus crafters selling their wares and some will be demonstrating their skills. Rain or shine all the shows are held in the indoor facility. Come on out and support the local crafters and purchase a piece of authentic mountain history."