The festival was started in 1948 by Robert Porterfield, founder of the Barter Theatre, as a simple one-week festival to showcase Appalachian arts and crafts. Every year hundreds of volunteers work to create exciting new events for our festival for you to enjoy.

We also owe our success to the many people who make this Festival happen each year – from our committee members to the many businesses, partner organizations and individual patrons who support the Virginia Highlands Festival. We thank them for keeping Robert and Mary Dudley Porterfield’s vision alive and thriving.

Please enjoy our beautiful mountains, forests, and streams while here and all the activities planned for you throughout Southwest Virginia. There is something for everyone, old and young alike.

Exciting events and an endless variety of activities and performances are planned for the 66th Annual Virginia Highlands Festival, August 1-10, 2014, in Abingdon, VA.