The 40th Annual Hilltop Festival in Rutherfordton is definitely extra special this year. As always, admission is free. It will incorporate block after block of Main Street and also the side streets of the Rutherford County seat.
Established in 1787, Rutherfordton is one of the oldest towns in western North Carolina. Downtown Rutherfordton, where the 40th Annual Hilltop Festival will take place, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. While moving forward year after year, Rutherfordton manages to maintain it’s old time charm. The Hilltop Fall Festival embraces everything that is family and everything that is fun.
This year’s live entertainment, on stage in front of the courthouse, includes “Throwdown Jones”, 11am-1pm, National Mountain Dulcimer Champion, Bradley Ellis, 2-3pm, and “JunkPuncher” from 3-5pm. The special attraction is the addition of 12 year old Bradley Ellis who will make his first appearance since winning the National Mountain Dulcimer Championship in September.
On Main Street there will be endless activity going on and special street shows including a 5K Race and Fun Run beginning at 8am, the eighth annual Tour de Pumpkin bike ride benefitting Rutherford Housing Partnership, at 10am. The annual K9 costume contest takes place at 11am. The next feature is the “Over The Mountain Victory Men” marching in period outfits with their drum and fife corps, (they’ll also share historic stories on the court street stage). There will be dance groups performing, belly dancing, zumba activity, and a special flash mob. On second street beginning at 1pm there will be a cornhole tournament with a cash prize of $100. Something special for the kids are pony rides and Truman’s Playland.
Vendors will offer homemade crafts and art. Of course, the famous good eats will also be there. What would the festival be without corn dogs, funnel cakes, roasted corn, popcorn, barbecue, ice cream, fresh squeezed lemonade and orangeade? The Hilltop Festival has it all.
This annual all day street party welcomes the fall in a tradition that spans four decades. You definitely will want to be there.