Celebrate The Festival Of Christmas Past In The Great Smoky Mountains

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - by Amanda Stravinsky

Festival of Christmas Past, an annual celebration of the Smoky Mountains culture, with an emphasis on the Christmas season, will be held Dec. 8 at the Sugarlands Visitor Center in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The event is free to the public.

“Around Christmas time, people gathered in churches, homes and schools and many of them celebrated the holiday through music, storytelling and crafts. The Festival of Christmas Past allows us to pause and remember some of these traditions,” said Kent Cave, the north district resource education supervisor.

The festival will be held 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will include old-time mountain music and traditional harp singing. Demonstrations of traditional domestic skills such as the making of rag rugs, apple-head dolls, quilts and apple butter will be ongoing throughout the day.  There will also be several chances to experience these traditions hands-on, with crafts to make and take home.

The Christmas Memories Walk will be held at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to teach visitors about the spirit of the season in these mountains in the time period from the 1880s to 1930s.

“Local craftspeople and musicians come together to share their ancestral skills with the public during this annual festival. We invite the public to participate in the day’s activities and learn about winter life and work in the Great Smoky Mountains,” said Cave. 

For more information on the event, contact Dana Soehn, Dana_Soehn@nps.gov or 865 436-1207.

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