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Arts & Entertainment

Franklin Museum Director an Internationally Recognized Designer of Historic Tartans

When he was asked to design a tartan to honor a historic visit to Scotland last fall by Pope Benedict XVI, Matthew Newsome was just a little surprised, first and foremost because he isn’t even Scottish.

“I thought the fact that I wasn’t from Scotland was going to be a strike against me,” said Newsome. “If I were them, I would want someone born and raised in Scotland to do this design.”


Macon County quilting enthusiasts are making final preparations for a new festival debuting in Franklin this weekend that will showcase the art and artistry of quilting. As part of the first annual “Airing of the Quilts,” downtown merchants and homeowners will be “airing” their quilts on Saturday, May 7, by hanging the bright bursts of color on storefronts, porches and fences throughout Historic Downtown Franklin.

Mother’s Day weekend was intentionally chosen as the ideal weekend to hold the event. “We're honoring mothers and grandmothers and the tradition of quilting,” said Deb Heatherly, chairman of the Macon County Quilt Trails and owner of Deb's Cats and Quilts.

Asked where the idea of an “airing” festival came from, she explained: “A long time ago, bed linens and things weren't washed during the winter. When spring cleaning came, you had to air everything out – clean the windows, sweep out the house and air your bed linen. That's where the term ‘airing of the quilts’ came from.”


Hundreds hit the streets of Clayton, Ga., last Saturday for the 12th annual Celebrate Clayton festival. The event featured a flag ceremony by Boy Scout Troop 40, National Anthem sung by syndicated radio personality Moby, Native American dancers and 95 vendors from throughout the region who set up tents on Main Street.

Presentations were given by The Plainsmen Drum and Dance, shown above, Bryson City Belly Dance and Movement, Curtis Blackwell & the Dixie Bluegrass Boys, and the Eli Carlan Band.

Photos by Davin Eldridge

The Heritage Alive! Mountain Youth Talent Contest was held at Greening Up the Mountains in Sylva, on April 23. The contest was co-sponsored by Jackson County 4-H and Catch the Spirit of Appalachia.

Pictured are talent show participants, (front row, L-R) Zeb Ross, Waynesvillle, Best of Show Second Place; Cassidy Quillen, Third Place; Madison Pressley of Franklin; Amelia Ray, Emelyn Ray, Taylor Douthit; (Left of banner, L-R): Tristan Byrd, Levi Ross, Addison Costa, Judges Award; Sidney Parham, Third Place; Kaitlyn Karcher; (right of banner, front, L-R): Meredith Page, Jenna Eyler, Julie Nelms, Robbinsville, Best of Show First Place; (Right of banner, back, L-R) Madison Page, Jared Turbyfill, Ashton Turbyfill.


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