Archive for the ‘Festivals’ Category


Featuring, The Handy Dandy Railroad, The Southeast Threshers Reunion is the greatest steam, gas and antique farm machinery show in the Southeast, featuring 800 antique tractors and gas engines, arts & crafts, border collie demonstration, 15 restored buildings, music, food and more. The festival is held in Denton Farm Park in Denton, NC, which is located in southern Davidson County.


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Bryson City, NC – June 2009 – Railfest 2009, a Great Smoky Mountains Railroad festival, will return to the Bryson City Depot, September 18th through 20th. This three day gathering for railroad enthusiasts and history buffs from around the world provides an opportunity to ride special excursions, see railroad memorabilia and experience music of the rails. Thousands return each year along with first time visitors to enjoy a taste of railroad food, storytelling, dancing, live music, special excursions and events unavailable any other time of the year.

The 28th Annual Fireman’s Day highlights Railfest on Saturday. Festivities will include rides on the 1939 Dodge American La France Fire Truck, the Firecracker 5-K Run, All-Male Miss Flame Beauty Pageant, and their famous Bar-b-que. Remember to purchase a Bryson City Firemen’s Tee Shirt.

Saturday festivities include special train rides, motorcars on display, seventh annual mountain craft fair with over fifty vendors, a children’s talent contest along with the winner’s jamboree, and a bouncy train for children to enjoy. The popular Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Depot Band will be the headliner of the event’s musical entertainment.

Sunday features a Nantahala Gorge “Photo Special” Excursion. This eight-hour roundtrip excursion takes passengers from Bryson City to Andrews, and includes two photo run-by opportunities, as well as a picnic lunch. Visitors to Bryson City will enjoy gospel music throughout the day.


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Source: Salisbury Post

By Mark Wineka

SPENCER — Never go to the Family Rail Days Festival at the N.C. Transportation Museum without riding the rails.

Don and Anne Sebastian settled into an open-air passenger car Saturday and gave 4-year-old grandson Jacob a window seat.

“There’s a lot of history here, and a lot of people don’t realize how far back this goes,” Don said before the train rocked to a start.

Don Sebastian can’t help but be nostalgic when he visits the museum grounds, where Rail Days will continue from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today.

Thousands of men used to work here in the days when Spencer Shops served as Southern Railway’s major steam locomotive repair facility between Washington and Atlanta.

And one of those men was Sebastian’s father, Walter, who worked at least 40 years at the Roundhouse. Don grew up in Spencer, when the shops were central to everyone’s lives.

As the museum passenger train made its trip around the grounds Saturday, everything seemed to stir a memory for Sebastian.

At lunchtime, workers would play horseshoes on the hill next to the Master Mechanic’s office.

Over there, across the street from the Roundhouse, used to be the YMCA, which stayed open practically all night.

Southward, Don recalled how he and friends would make elaborate tunnels in the mountains of hay stored on the shops site. They did, that is, until railroad detectives caught them.

Their punishment — the worst thing of all — was that the detectives called their fathers.

In the steam engine days, Sebastian said, smoke and cinders blew all across town. Women in Spencer would time the hanging of their wash by how much smoke was in the air, Sebastian said.

He and Anne later had a home on Hudson Avenue. They bought the house next to them and eventually tore it down to salvage the wood.

Cinders from the steam engine days were accumulated in the house’s attic, Sebastian said.

You only learn these kinds of things riding a train.


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By Mike Conley | The McDowell News

Last year, Old Fort celebrated its railroad heritage with exhibits, music and fun-filled activities for young and old alike. The first-time event proved to be a hit.
On Saturday, the town will again commemorate the days when steam was king and folks traveled everywhere on steel wheels and rails.
The Second Annual Railroad Day in Old Fort will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Depot, which for many years was a station for the Southern Railway. The event is free to the public.
Train enthusiasts, and all those who are children at heart, will enjoy the model railroad exhibits inside the Depot, which also has displays of old railroad memorabilia. Wes Lael of Old Fort Model Trains is coordinating the model railroad exhibits.
The Depot’s visitors center and railroad museum will be open, along with the former Southern Railway bay window caboose nearby.
Outside, the celebration will feature a talented face painter, Joan Jackson, who is ready to create some “cheeky” masterpieces for the youngsters. Bouncin’ Kids from Nebo will set up inflatables in Bradley Park, directly across the street from the historic Old Fort Arrowhead.
The Flying Rock Band will entertain the crowd with covers of classic rock songs from the 1960s through the 1980s. Nathan Ebanks, Rick Travis, Rob Hoffner and Gillaaron Houck enjoy interacting with their audiences. You might recognize Houck from his years as an actor. One of his roles was the character of Leroy on the hit television show, “The Dukes of Hazzard.” The band will play in the courtyard outside the Depot. Folks are asked to bring lawn chairs and meet the band. The music is expected to start around noon, depending on the setup time.
During the late 19th century, Old Fort was a popular tourist destination. The Western North Carolina Railroad built the first train depot, Henry’s Station, two miles east of the historic Round Knob Hotel. In 1879, the depot burned followed by the loss of the Round Knob Hotel. The hotel was built very close to the tracks. Sparks generated a fire in 1903 burning the hotel to the ground. In 1881, the second depot opened and that facility is active today operating as a visitor center and railroad museum. For many years, it was a passenger station for the Southern Railway.
Nearby Andrews Geyser is another railroad landmark. It was named after Col. A.B. Andrews, the second vice president of the Richmond and Danville Railroad and one of the early leaders of the Southern Railway.
Lodging and area information are available online at or call the McDowell Tourism Development Authority toll free at (888) 233-6111 for additional details.

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Train Festival in Owosso, MI

Posted: March 15, 2009 in Festivals

This just looks like way too much fun to leave off this website…


7 Steam Locomotives to be Operating at Festival plus HUGE Model Train Layouts, a Miniature Railroad and More.

Coming July 24-26, 2009, the sounds of steam whistles, the clickety-clack of steel wheels on rails, the smell of coal smoke and excitement of children of all ages will take over the Steam Railroading Institute in Owosso, Michigan. This quaint American Town is located in the central region of Michigan just outside of Lansing. All the charm of Owosso will welcome tens of thousands of visitors from all over North America and other regions of the world to TrainFestival 2009. The theme of the weekend will be Trains, Trains, Trains!

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Apple Festival…And Trains!

Posted: September 1, 2008 in Festivals

Do you have a special place in your heart for trains?

Doing their part for the Apple Festival, Apple Valley Model Railroad Club (AVMRC) is sponsoring “Railroad Days” and an open house today and tomorrow (sorry about the short notice).


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