Fall Creek Falls State Park will host its 34th Annual Mountaineer Folk Festival Sept. 7-9, offering a weekend of traditional music, country cooking, pioneer skills demonstrations and more than 100 craft booths.
“This time-honored festival is a fun, family-friendly event, celebrating the heritage of the Cumberland Plateau,” said Park Manager Jim Hall. “There will be great music, food and activities, with exciting opportunities for all ages. We hope you can come out and join us.”
The three-day festival kicks off Friday, Sept. 7 at 6:30 p.m., with a special performance by the Rhythm Express Cloggers. An old-fashioned square dance will follow with music provided by the Blue Creek Ramblers and Roan Mountain Hilltoppers. The old-time train music of Roy Harper and a special appearance by the West Girls will add to the opening night’s fun. Friday evening’s activities will also include storytelling and music at the Inn.
Beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8, will be pioneer demonstrations, storytelling, crafts and food booths. Saturday’s music lineup will include the New Binkley Brothers Band, Lantana Drifters, Catoosa Canyon and Cumberland. Saturday’s special musical guest will be Carrie Cagle Hassler. There also will be storytelling around the campfire on Saturday night. Music and demonstrations will continue on Sunday, Sept. 9, with crafts and foods booths officially opening at 10 a.m. Music stages will open at 1 p.m. on Sunday, highlighting both gospel and traditional secular music. Sunday’s great music lineup will include the Bluetastics, Hickory Wind, and Just Looking Around.
Pioneer demonstrations throughout the weekend will include sorghum molasses making, blacksmithing, spinning, weaving, broom and soap making, among other time-honored skills. A Civil War encampment will feature cannon firing and drills. Two stages will highlight both music and storytelling, with 20 different groups and individual performers sharing a variety of music. More than 100 craft booths will display an array of handmade wares, including woodworking, wrought iron, folk art, soaps and candles, leatherworks and basket weaving. Tempting visitors’ taste buds, local groups will be on hand to serve homestyle country cooking, offering a variety of menu options. Geared toward the younger crowd, a special “Kidz Korner” stage will offer hourly activities both days, including craft making, old-time toys and games, and storytelling.
The event is open to the public and there is a suggested $3 daily entry fee or $6 for entry during the entire weekend, with all proceeds benefiting the festival. The event is co-sponsored by Fall Creek Falls State Park, the Tennessee Arts Commission and Friends of Fall Creek Falls, an organization focused on preserving the natural and cultural riches of the park.
Fall Creek Falls State Park is a 26,000-acre paradise in the Cumberland Plateau area. Located just 40 miles south of Cookeville and 65 miles north of Chattanooga, the park offers incredible scenic beauty and recreational opportunities. Beautiful waterfalls, tremendous canyons and dense forests are protected within the park’s boundaries. Visitors will find a 250-site campground, a hotel and conference center, an award-winning golf course and 30 cabins among the parks many amenities. Readers of Better Homes and Gardens and Southern Living voted the park one of the most popular family destinations.
For more information about the 34th Annual Mountaineer Folk Festival, please call the Betty Dunn Nature Center at 423 881-5708. Call the Tennessee State Parks reservation line toll free at 800 250-8610 to make a reservation at the park’s inn or visit the park’s website at www.tnstateparks.com/FallCreekFalls.