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Hawk Festival takes flight in Mendota next weekend

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Mendota Heritage Festival 3

The Mendota Heritage Festival is being held at the old Hamilton Elementary School, now a community center on Mendota Road.

Mendota Hawk and Heritage Festival takes flight in the isolated community of Mendota, Virginia, next weekend.

It’s a one-day party, held Saturday, Sept. 24, with most activities at the Mendota Community Center – what was once an elementary school.

A scenic spot in Washington County, Virginia, Mendota sits along the North Fork of the Holston River at the base of Clinch Mountain.

Hawks travel over this area and can be observed on Clinch Mountain at large rock outcrops at the base of the Mendota Fire Tower.

Celebrating Mendota as a bird-watching place is a big part of the festival. Yet so is the rest of the history of Mendota – once home to a handful of stores and an active railroad, where you could board a passenger train at the old Mendota Depot, Dottie Dye, a community historian said.

The festival kicks off with a library book sale at 9 a.m. at the Mendota Public Library inside the old school building.

Throughout the day, look for Deborah Prescott demonstrating natural fiber and weavings. You can also see Dye showing off basket weaving

Also, look for vendors and a bake sale all day, 10 a.m. to 4 pm.

“We’ve got a lot to offer,” Dye, the president of the Mendota Community Association, said.

Randy Smith, a retired teacher from John S. Battle High School, will be on hand to speak on mammals of Southwest Virginia at 11 a.m. at the Mendota Community Association meeting room.

In turn, Ron Harrington of the Bristol Bird Club will speak on hawks at 10 a.m. inside the library.

Other events include a car show running all day plus a bubble demonstration for kids to play at 3 p.m., sponsored by the Goodson Kinderhook Fire Department.

“There are bubbles everywhere. It’ really something to see,” Margie Dean, the branch manager of the Mendota Public Library, said.

jtennis@bristolnews.com

276-791-0709; @BHC_Tennis

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