The first Virginia Highlands Festival took place in Abingdon in 1948. It was born out of a desire to preserve and celebrate the rich culture and heritage of Virginia's Appalachia Mountains region. And what a culture it is! Appalachia is considered the birthplace of old time, country, mountain music. In fact, the Carter Family Memorial Music Center is less than 40 miles west of Abingdon, in Hiltons, VA. Central to the Virginia Highlands Festival is traditional Appalachian old time and bluegrass music. Each year, we look forward to hearing music by folks who spend a whole lot of time pickin' on the porch, and this year is no exception. The Bearded, Houser & Co., and Wolf Creek are just a few of the musicians featured this year. In addition to mountain music, the Virginia Highlands Festival now brings in musicians from around the globe, making this a truly exciting musical event. [caption id="attachment_65" align="alignright" width="300" caption="The Virginia Highlands Festival, in Appalachia. Photo by Festival Photographer Claude Kelly."][/caption] The festival is more than music, of course. It also features antiques and arts and crafts from Appalachia. There are literary events (including a creative writing day), performing arts, and living history events. Abingdon is a charming town, with a large historic district, stunning examples of Federal and Victorian architecture, and brick sidewalks; it feels like living history just to walk down the street. The Virginia Highlands Festival runs Saturday July 24 through Sunday, August 8, 2010, from 10 am to 6 pm. It is located at Virginia Highlands Community College and in historic Abingdon. For more information, visit the festival website. Lodge in a Virginia Appalachia bed and breakfast during the festival for a truly authentic experience. The Virginia Appalachia region is rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. Once you glimpse its charm, you'll need to return again and again. Virginia Appalachia bed and breakfasts will welcome you every time.