Video taken by Ryan Long
Join us on July 4th 2023 from 9 am to 3 pm for our Independence Day celebration during this annual family event featuring:
Bluegrass Music Historic Demonstrations
Arts & Crafts Country Store
Free parking and free admission, donations are encouraged. 5,000 sq. ft. Pavillion. Please bring your own chairs for seating. Event will happen rain or shine.
Hillbilly Day began between 1959 and 1961 to celebrate the Fourth of July and to showcase local talent in the areas of fiddling, square dancing, buck dancing, and political oration. The first gathering included music played in the back of a pickup, and a greased pole competition for the young, with money at the top as the prize. It has been an annual event that draws at least 5000 people to the small community of Mountain Rest on the Fourth of July. Homemade food and Bluegrass music are plentiful all day long, as well as demonstrations and competitions for sheep shearers, yodelers, and cloggers. Whoever has a talent is invited to come onstage, young'uns and old-timers. The crowd cheers for the most authentic hillbilly costume, and some them have been the same outfit worn by the same person for the last 50 years!
Children have run around barefooted and rolled in the sand to prepare to pile on top of each other to climb the greased pole where money has pinned at the top. Of course, it's a team effort, and the child on the bottom of the pile has to have strong shoulders. Tug-of-war, tossing games, chicken coops, goat pens, roosters, rabbits, soap making, pottery throwing, face painting, fabric crafts, hillbilly T-shirts, corncob pipes- you name itm it's there- even a blacksmith and wood carvers. Grills and smokers are aplenty with chicken and barbeque; there are homemade cakes and pies, and of course, ice cream.
Watch out, because when the greased pig is let loose, it will run under your feet, followed by dozens of fast children racing to catch it, knocking over everything in their path. Lifelong Walhalla resident Randy McCoy describes Hillbilly Day and the Mountain Rest boys: "As a kid, it was the highlight of the summer, especially the greased pig contest. I remember one year in particular when I was in about the fourth grade. I was a lean little Walhalla boy. Well, they released that pig, and I ran hard and was way out ahead of the rest. I got to the pig first, grabbed him, and got him pinned to the ground. It was the greatest moment...but it was short lived. All those Mountain Rest boys jumped on me and my pig. It was a big pile up, and I was on the bottom with the pig. I hurt all over...and then, somehow, Biscuit Wilbanks came out of the pile with the pig. I didn't stand a chance. Those Wilbanks boys were tough, I'm telling you... and they shore liked their pig."
We have booths available for rent for Hillbilly Day. Booths cost $50 to rent, if reserved before June 4th (after June 4th the fee goes up to $60). We ask that our vendors sell handmade goods.
We are also interested in artisans who might like to demonstrate their craft, for example: soap making, pottery, woodworking, candle making, etc. If you are interested please contact Deidra Cooper @(864) 873-8021 (please text, and let me know what you are contacting me about).
If you would like to register to be a vendor please call and check availability FIRST then click on the link below. Please print the form, fill it out, and send it along with a check payable to Mountain Rest Community Club. Please note that in the event of July 4th being on a Sunday that we will hold Hillbilly Day on Saturday July 3rd instead.
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