Friday, December 13, 2013

Great Smoky Mountains to host Christmas Events

Great Smoky Mountains National Park will host the 38th annual Festival of Christmas Past celebration tomorrow, December 14th, 10:-0 am to 4:00 pm, at the Sugarlands Visitor Center. The event, sponsored in cooperation with Great Smoky Mountains Association, is free to the public.

Festival of Christmas Past is an annual celebration of the culture of the Smoky Mountains, with an emphasis on the Christmas season. "Around Christmas time, people gathered in churches, homes, and schools and many of them celebrated the holiday through music, storytelling, and crafts. Festival of Christmas Past allows us to pause and remember some of these traditions," said Kent Cave, North District Resource Education Supervisor.

On Saturday, December 21, Great Smoky Mountains National Park will host a Holiday Homecoming at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center where children and adults will have an opportunity to learn about and experience some of the traditions surrounding an Appalachian Christmas. Park staff and volunteers will provide hands-on traditional crafts and activities from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. the park will host the monthly acoustic old time jam session.

“Musical expression was and still is often a part of daily life in the southern mountains, and mountain music is strongly tied to the Smokies history and culture,” said Lynda Doucette, Supervisory Park Ranger. “This month our music jam will focus on traditional holiday tunes. We would like to invite musicians to play and our visitors to join us in singing traditional Christmas carols and holiday songs as was done in the old days.”

The visitor center will be decorated for the holiday season and will include an exhibit on Christmas in the mountains. Hot apple cider and cookies will be served on the porch and a fire will be in the fireplace. All activities are free and open to the public. Support of this event is provided by the Great Smoky Mountains Association.

The Oconaluftee Visitor Center is located on Newfound Gap Road (U.S. Highway 441), two miles north of Cherokee, N.C. For more information call the visitor center at (828) 497-1904.



Jeff
Hiking in the Smokies

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