By Mike Conley | The McDowell News
Old Fort will again celebrate its railroad heritage with exhibits, music and fun-filled activities for young and old alike.
The Third Annual Railroad Day in Old Fort will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Depot, which for many years was a station for the Southern Railway. The event is free to the public.
At Railroad Day, folks will be able to enjoy trackless train rides around the streets of Old Fort. There will be face painting for the kids and the local band Rewind will provide music.
Larry Weed will have two model railroad layouts set up inside the Depot. One will be a Z-scale layout, which is a very small scale, and another will be an HO-scale Thomas the Tank Engine layout. These exhibits have been set up through Old Fort Model Trains.
Local resident Karen Allison will have her custom T-shirts and other items that feature the railroad track and tunnels that wind through the Swannanoa Gap between Old Fort and Ridgecrest. The Western North Carolina Model Railroaders will have a display at Saturday’s event. Representatives of the McDowell Quilt Trail will be on hand with interesting quilt block items for sale.
The Depot’s visitors center and railroad museum will be open, along with the former Southern Railway bay window caboose.
The event is hosted by the Old Fort Mountain Heritage Alliance. The alliance is a committee working in corporation with the town of Old Fort, HandMade in America’s Small Towns Program and the N.C. Rural Center’s STEP program to increase economic development opportunities in Old Fort.
The alliance’s Web site is http://www.downtownoldfort.org/.