Lincoln Memorial University


Mountain Fiesta to Celebrate Appalachian, Latin Cultures

Harrogate, Tennessee, April 6, 2018— Advanced Spanish students from the J. Frank White Academy (JFWA) will host The Mountain Fiesta in Cumberland Gap, Tennessee, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., April 21, 2018. 

“This event is a celebration of the richness and uniqueness of Latin America, set in the heart of the Cumberland Gap,” said JFWA Spanish Instructor Zachary Greene. “We are offering an opportunity to experience and appreciate the similarities and differences between our mountains in Appalachia and the mountains of Latin America.” 

The day-long street fair and party will take place in downtown Cumberland Gap around the LMU Convention Center (601 Colwyn St.), with musical performances, dance lessons, family games, art exhibits, cultural displays and more. SalsaKnox Dance Company from Knoxville will be demonstrating and teaching traditional Latin dances including salsa, cumbia and bachata and music performances will take place throughout the day. Food vendors representing Cuba, Bolivia, Puerto Rico, Mexico and more will be on hand as well as the Gatos Tacos food truck. 

Greene’s students, including Courtney Roberts, Olivia Robertson, Bri Tinnel, Will DeBusk, Hunter Holt, Bailey Brewer, Elizabeth Beason, Rose Mountain and Beraya Piercy, worked to plan the event in conjunction with the LMU Paul V. Hamilton School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, LMU Office of Multicultural Services, Arts in the Gap, LMU Brazil Club, the City of Cumberland Gap, All Star Printing, Papa Chum’s, Gap Creek Coffeehouse, Angelo’s in the Gap, Pineapple Tea Room, HOLA Morristown and St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Middlesboro, Kentucky. In addition to planning the event, the students researched traditions and customs of different Latin American countries including meals, celebrations, games, activities and more. 

Appalatin will be performing April 20, 7:30 p.m. at the Convention Center and April 21, at the event. Appalatin’s foot-stomping, hip-swinging sounds unite Appalachian folk and high-energy Latin music. The name, Appalatin, reflects the combination of musicians from Kentucky, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Guatemala. Their all-acoustic performances of traditional strings of guitar, mandolin, upright bass, and charango, indigenous Andean flutes, hand percussion, harmonica and vocal harmonies have brought joy to listeners of all ages. 

After starting out playing at a coffee shop in 2006, the band has since performed at some of their region’s most prestigious stages and venues. Since the release of their first album in 2011, the band has shared the stage with Red Baraat, Sam Bush, Claire Lynch, The Black Lilies, La Santa Cecilia, Ben Sollee and many others. In May 2013, they performed for more than 10,000 people in Louisville’s Yum! Center at the Dalai Lama’s Public Talk. They have also appeared on radio shows such as Michael Jonathon's Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour, Red Barn Radio, 91.9 FM WFPK’s "Live Lunch", Kentucky Homefront and were featured on West Virginia Public Radio’s “Inside Appalachia.” The track “Alpa Mayo,” from their album “Waterside,” has appeared on PRI’s “The World.” 

In 2014, the band received the Americana Award by the Louisville Music Awards Academy. They are the feature of an Emmy-nominated PBS-affiliate documentary in the Kentucky Muse series, now distributed nationwide on public stations.  The band has been recording its third studio album and is set to release it in spring 2018. 

Admission to The Mountain Fiesta is free. Follow the event Facebook page at for updates. 

The J. Frank White Academy is a private coeducational college preparatory school located on the campus of Lincoln Memorial University and serves students grades 4-12 from Claiborne, Union, Campbell and Hancock counties in Tennessee; Bell County, Kentucky; and Lee County, Virginia. For more information contact the Academy Office at 869-6234 or visit



423.869.3611 | 800.325.0900
6965 Cumberland Gap Parkway
Harrogate, TN 37752