The third annual Carolina In The Fall Music and Food Festival presented by Wilkes Communications Inc. and hosted by  The Kruger Brothers is set for Friday and Saturday, Sept. 22-23.

The festival continues its tradition of celebrating the heritage of western North Carolina through music, food and beverages. More than 100 musicians, chefs, vintners and craft beer brewers from the region will gather on Main Street in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, to engage audiences with the best of their craft, according to a release.

“We made a big change last year, the festival grounds were open to the public with no admission charge,” explains Dale Isom, festival organizer. “Folks enjoyed the food trucks and shopped at the vendor mall without having to purchase a wristband. This was a big success as many folks came down just to enjoy the food and the festival environment. We will continue this again this year and invite folks to come down and enjoy the street festival portion of Carolina in the Fall. Those wishing to take in the music will have to purchase a wristband to enter the music venues.”

Wilkes County’s own The Kruger Brothers will welcome some of North Carolina’s best folk/ roots music bands. They will be joined by some of the nation’s best bands from other regions that tip their hats to the rich musical history of Wilkes, the Heart of American Folk Music™. In addition to The Kruger Brothers, the festival line-up includes Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, The Black Lillies, The Hunts, Terry Baucom’s Dukes of Drive, Darin and Brooke Aldridge, the Snyder Family Band, Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys, and many others.

Each evening during the festival, The Kruger Brothers will host the Carolina Jam at the Yadkin Valley Event Center at the Wilkesboro Holiday Inn Express. Artists from each day will come together to present once-in-a-lifetime jam sessions, which are available to those holding a VIP ticket.

Along with great music, festival attendees will have the chance to partake in some of North Carolina’s best food as food trucks from across North Carolina will bring their amazing recipes to feed the masses and compete in the Carolina in the Fall Food Truck Championship presented by Tyson Foods. This year’s line-up of trucks includes an amazing variety of cuisine ranging from burgers and wings to more exotic cuisine, according to the release.

For attendees with a grown-up thirst, local vineyards and regional craft beer breweries will be onsite to provide a taste of the region’s best adult beverages. Booneshine Brewing Company and Lost Province Brewing Company will be selling their best seasonal brews and Slightly Askew Winery will be pouring some of the region’s best wines.

Vendors from across the region will be on hand to sell beautiful, handmade items. Jeff Wilson of Brushy Mountain Pottery and Lyle Wheeler will be on hand to demonstrate pottery and blacksmithing and woodworking. Handcrafted jewelry and specialty items by Deb Goodman, Classic Country, Mara’s Creations and A Purpose Again will be available. Handmade baskets and soaps by Brey Quality Crafts. Jams, Jelly and Blueberry Smoothies by Green Mesa Farms. In addition, Carolina in the Fall will feature great snacks and beverages provided by Talia Espresso, Anchor Coffee, Kettlebear Kettlecorn, Carolina Shaved Ice and Shiner’s Stash Beef Jerky.

Many other activities are scheduled to take place during the festival. For musicians who want to bring their instrument and enjoy some jam time, the Wilkes Acoustic Folk Society will be hosting the Picking Place on Main Street in front of the Heritage Museum. Corn hole will be ongoing on the festival grounds with a tournament scheduled for Saturday afternoon. Clogging and Mountain Barn Dance lessons will be available to those who want to get out of their seats and move.

The North Carolina Banjo Championship sponsored by Deering Banjos will take place at the Heritage Stage on Saturday morning with the winner receiving a beautiful Deering White Lotus Banjo valued at $2,700. Also occurring Saturday morning is the second annual Chad Lovette Memorial Trial Run to benefit the American Cancer Society. If you want to participate in either the Banjo Competition or the Trail Run, register on-ine or be at the proper location by 8 a.m. Information about both events is available on the festival website.

In its third year, Carolina in the Fall Music and Food Festival received one of five coveted nominations for the 2016 Event of the Year Momentum Award from the International Bluegrass Music Association. The award will be presented at the IBMA Awards luncheon on Sept. 27 during the World of Bluegrass Awards ceremony in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Festival tickets are available for purchase on the festival website, at the festival offices located at 1305 South Collegiate Drive, Wilkesboro or at the festival.

Local accommodations consist of campgrounds and area hotels. The Town of Wilkesboro is opening up the Sewerfest Campground for the Carolina in the Fall festival. Contact them at sewerfest@wilkesboronc.org to reserve your campsite or click the link on the festival website.

Carolina in the Fall Music and Food Festival is made possible through the partnership of Heart of Folk LLC, Wilkes Communications Inc., The Kruger Brothers and the Town of Wilkesboro.

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