Red Clay State Park will host its Annual Pow Wow this weekend, featuring traditional Native American dance, food and arts.
Sponsored by the Friends of Red Clay and the Native American Services of Tennessee, the event will include traditional dancers, storytelling, living history demonstrations and more. In addition to musicians and dancers, the festival will feature craftspeople selling their wares and handicrafts at various vendor booths, along with a number of games and activities for the whole family.
The festival is free and open to the public on Saturday and Sunday, with a $5 parking fee per vehicle or motorcycle. Activities will begin at 10 a.m. each day. Friday will be a School Day, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. and is designed for all students, teachers and school faculty members. Reservations for schools are recommended. For information, please call Red Clay’s park office at 423 478-0339.
“Red Clay’s 2012 Pow Wow is a great opportunity to educate families and students about Native American history and the key role it played in shaping Tennessee,” said Carol Crabtree, park manager. “The festival is a way to preserve this heritage for future generations, and we have a talented roster of artists, performers and craftspeople on hand for this year’s event.”
Native American arts and crafts will be demonstrated and sold throughout the event. Traditional and festival foods also will be available, along with some old favorites. Park visitors should bring a blanket or chairs, along with sunscreen and protective shades. Cash is accepted for purchases, with some booths accepting personal checks. For more information and specific event times and activities at Red Clay’s 2012 Pow Wow, please call the park office.
Red Clay State Historic Park is located in the extreme southwest corner of Bradley County, just above the Tennessee-Georgia state line, and is the site of 11 of the last 12 Cherokee Council meetings before the infamous Trail of Tears. The park encompasses 263 acres of narrow valley and forested ridges and features picnic facilities, a loop trail and amphitheater. The park also contains a natural landmark, the Blue Hole Spring, which arises from beneath a limestone ledge to form a deep pool that flows into Mill Creek. The Cherokee used the Blue Hole Spring as their water supply during council meetings. For more information about the park, please visit www.tnstateparks.com/RedClay/.
Tennessee’s 54 state parks and 82 natural areas span the state from the Appalachian Mountains to the Mississippi River and offer an array of diverse natural, recreational and cultural experiences, including hiking, camping, boating and golfing. Celebrating its 75th Anniversary this year, the Tennessee State Parks system was established through legislation in 1937. Today, there is a state park within an hour's drive of just about anywhere in the state, with features such as pristine natural areas and a variety of lodging and dining choices. For more information, visit Tennessee State Parks' website at www.tnstateparks.com.