35th Annual Pioneer Day

35th Annual Pioneer Day hosted by Mountain Gateway Museum & Heritage Center

A 5K run, a classic car show, a health & wellness fair, and a street dance are all activities being held in conjunction with Mountain Gateway Museum’s 35th Annual Pioneer Day festival on Saturday, April 27, in Old Fort.

Begun in 1984 to celebrate and help preserve the history, heritage, and traditional lifestyle of people in western North Carolina’s mountains, Pioneer Day features Southern Appalachian crafts, live bands, food trucks, vintage farm tools and equipment, Civil War re-enactors, special exhibits, authors, animals, children’s games, and much more. The family fun-filled festival will kick off at 10 a.m. and run until 4 p.m. on the museum’s grounds at the intersection of Catawba Avenue and Water Street, just a quarter-mile off Interstate 40 at Exit 73 in Old Fort. Festival admission is free, and parking will be available in the lot at the end of Water Street.

The day’s activities will get under way at 7 a.m. with registration for the 4th Annual Super Leader 5K race at Old Fort Elementary School, 128 Mauney Ave. However, online registration will be available until 8 p.m. Friday, April 26. Registration costs are $10 per youth age 18 and under ($15 on race day); $15 per adult ($20 on race day); and $40 for a family of four ($60 on race day). All proceeds will be used to benefit the school’s Leader In Me initiative.

At 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 27, the Route 70 Cruisers will open their annual Mountain Thunder Benefit Car Show on Commerce Street, behind Old Fort Town Hall. An estimated 200 to 400 classic cars will be on display during the show, which will be held rain or shine, until 2 p.m.The grand prize is a Performance GM 350 engine, and the “Cruisers Prize” is a set of four new tires with a value up to $500, provided by Baker Automotive of Marion. All vehicles are welcome to participate in the car show. All proceeds will benefit local charities. Contact Phillip Poe at 281-798-4805 for more information.

The Health & Wellness Fair is a new component of Pioneer Day this year. Organized by the Old Fort and