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Volume 26, Number 5 — May 2019

Highlands Festival Names Outstanding Volunteers

Janice and Jim Cowan of Abingdon with their awards.
Janice and Jim Cowan of Abingdon with their awards.

November 30, 2009

ABINGDON, VA — Each year more than 150 volunteers work year-round to produce the Virginia Highlands Festival, a 16-day event held annually in Abingdon for more than 60 years.

The Festival's Board of Directors presents the French Moore, Jr. Award to volunteers who have shown dedication above and beyond usual expectations. The award is named for French Moore, Jr., a former mayor of Abingdon, whose service to the Festival has been exemplary and whose time commitment to the event has been extraordinary.

The 2009 French Moore, Jr. Award was recently presented to Jim and Janice Cowan. Following are excerpts from the award nominations:

Jim and Janice moved to Abingdon in 1998 and opened the Summerfield Inn that same year. Janice still does the cooking for their guests. They attend Christ the King Catholic Church and work with the Jubilee House Retreat Center.

* Jim has been a member of the Festival board for 9 years and has worked with both the Arts & Crafts committee and the Natural Resources committee. He is also an avid photographer and a teacher for the College of Older Adults.

* Janice has been on the Festival Board for 11 years and has served on both the Arts and Crafts Committee and the Antiques Committee. She is an avid collector of silver.

The 2010 Virginia Highlands Festival will be held July 24-Aug. 8. The Festival began in 1948 and, over the years, has grown and flourished. Today it is one of the Top 100 tourist events in North America and one of the Top 20 in the Southeast — offering plenty of entertainment, an enormous antiques market, juried fine art and photography competitions, and a juried arts and crafts show, as well as nationally-known writers, lecturers, and visual and performing artists.

For more information, call the Festival Office (276-623-5266) or visit

A! ExtraTopics: Achievements