The mountain community of Townsend, Tn. will come alive on Sept. 27 and 28, with Appalachian celebrations at various locations throughout the town.
The flagstone event, the Townsend in the Smokies Heritage Festival and Old Timer’s Day, will once again showcase bluegrass music, clogging and square dancing, arts and crafts, demonstrations, and Southern cuisine at its finest. Other events will be held throughout the community, and there will be a free shuttle from 10:30 to 6 p.m. each day with stops at Trillium Cove, Little River Railroad Museum, the Smoky Mountain Visitors Center at Townsend and the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center.
“It’s amazing to see everyone come together and transform Townsend into a living tribute to the region’s Appalachian culture,” said Tami Vater, director of tourism for the Smoky Mountain Tourism Development Authority. “It’s a great way to spend a weekend having fun with the family and learning about mountain heritage.”
Old Timers Day, Cades Cove
On Sept. 28, celebrate the heritage and culture of Cades Cove with the Cades Cove Preservation Association (CCPA) at Old Timers Day at the Cable Mill Visitors Center located on the 11-mile Cades Cove Loop Road. Visitors will can take a peak into the past as former residents speak of growing up and living in this historic valley in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park while musicians play historic mountain music around the lawn at the Mill area. The CCPA will have historic exhibits and photographs of homesteads that populated the valley and the people who lived there.
Blue Ribbon Country Fair
Held at the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 28, the Blue Ribbon Country Fair celebrates all that is good about an old-fashioned county fair, complete with poultry, honey, baked goods, canning, student art and woodworking, floral design, and produce competitions. The event includes games and contests, livestock displays, live music and more. Special exhibits include the Townsend Artisan Guild’s art project tent for both children and adults, and the popular Farmer in the Cove interactive exhibit for young visitors. Admission for this event is $5 per person and free for Heritage Center members.
Railroad Days at Little River Railroad & Lumber Co. Museum
The Railroad Days at the Little River Railroad & Lumber Co. Museum is one of the biggest attractions during the fall festival. Held on Sept. 28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Railroad Days celebrates the spirit of those who built America through the lumber and railroad industry. Visitors can take a glimpse into the lives of those who worked in the lumber and railroad industries as well as learn more about the equipment used for lumber and railroad during the 1900s through the indoor and outdoor exhibits.
Trillium Cove, at 117 Painted Trillium Way in Townsend, provides visitors a unique shopping experience for anything one might be looking for. Shoppers can browse original artwork at the Cades Cove Gallery; sort through antiques and Vera Bradley bags at the Blackberry Briar; buy stained glass and home décor gifts at Cabin Treasures; or select handmade jams and jellies at Hassell Creek; experience Serenity Salon and Boutique or enjoy authentic Cuban food and drink at The Lil Cuban Cafe.
Young Pickers Competition
On Sept. 27, from 6 to 9 p.m., at the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center, young musicians ages 18 and under will compete in the five accustic categories of Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin, Fiddle, and Open. Following the competition, an informal discussion on what judges look for, led by 2012 National Champion and former Young Pickers winner Sarah Morgan, will include a Q&A for the audience to understand how the winners are chosen.
Townsend in the Smokies Heritage Festival and Old Timer’s Day:
The Townsend in the Smokies Heritage Festival and Old Timer’s Day, Sept. 27-28, takes place on the grounds of the Smoky Mountain Visitors Center at Townsend, located at 7906 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway. The event is free and family-oriented. Pets are not permitted on the festival grounds due to health and safety regulations.
Festival sponsors include Premier Sponsors: Laurel Valley Resort, The Daily Times, Knoxville Coca-Cola, Erie Insurance, and WIVK; Silver Sponsor: Great Smoky Mountains Association, Big Meadow Family Campground, and Cades Cove Cellars; Friends Sponsors: Wood-N-Strings Dulcimer Shop, Townsend Great Smokies KOA, CBBC, Pioneer Cabins & Guest Farm, Townsend Shopping Center, Keep Blount Beautiful, Jeepism, Ingram, Overholt &Bean P.C., and Carriage House Restaurant; Tent Sponsor: Wood-N-Strings Dulcimer Shop.
For more information on the Townsend in the Smokies Heritage Festival and Old Timer’s Day, including updates on the schedule, please visit smokymountains.org or smokymountainfestivals.org or call the Smoky Mountain Tourism Development Authority at 800 525-6834.