Winter Heritage Festival Provides Cultural Insight Into Appalachian Heritage

Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - by Amanda Stravinsky

The 2014 Winter Heritage Festival will offer attendees a first-hand look inside the cultural traditions, heritage and history of the Appalachian region Feb. 6-9 at various locations throughout Townsend and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Many events require pre-registration.

“This festival offers an intimate, insider’s look into Cades Cove and the surrounding area with songs, stories and accounts of the region and its heritage from the people that lived the history and who have expertise on a wide range of topics,” said Tami Vater, director of tourism for the Blount Partnership. “There are also events like hikes, candy-making and workshops in photography and dowsing that get attendees actively involved.”

The festival will kick-off on Thursday, Feb. 6 with a reception at the Townsend Artisan Gallery. Hikes Feb. 7 to the Walker Sisters House and Elijah and Polly Oliver’s place in Cades Cove with a park ranger will take place as well as a photography workshop and talks at the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center with Appalachian historians and local legends.

The Chocolate B’ar will offer a beginner’s candy making course Feb. 8. The day will continue at the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center with more local tales from historians, demonstrations and lessons on the “Art of Dowsing.” Live bluegrass music performances at the Visitors Center in Townsend will also be featured.

The festival will conclude on Feb. 9 with an open homecoming reunion of former residents of Cades Cove hosted by the Cades Cove Preservation Association.

For more information and a full schedule of events, visit or call 800-525-6834.

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