The seventh annual Winter Heritage Festival in Townsend, Tn., is set for Friday and Saturday, Feb. 1-2 with a kickoff reception at the Townsend Artisan Gallery, 7843 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway, on Thursday, Jan. 31 from 5-7 p.m.
The two-day event, complete with hiking, photography workshop, live music, dowsing class, book signings and special presentations about East Tennessee history, Appalachian traditions and the natural beauty of Townsend, Cades Cove and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, takes place at the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center, 123 Cromwell Drive, and the Smoky Mountain Visitor’s Center, 7906 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway.
The Great Smoky Mountain Institute at Tremont, 9275 Tremont Road, is offering a session on winter woody plant identification at its visitor’s center on Feb. 1, at 9 a.m. Director Ken Voorhis will help identify woody plants in the forest.
Two hikes are scheduled beginning with Friday’s trek to Elijah and Polly Oliver’s place in Cades Cove. This 1½ hour hike is led by Park Ranger Mike Maslona at 11 a.m. Hikers are asked to meet at Abrams Falls parking lot.
Janet and Mark Snyder will lead Saturday’s 4½ hour hike on the back road to the Walker sister’s home at 10 a.m. Participants are asked to meet at Metcalf Bottoms.
The Townsend Artisan Guild will conduct an extensive photo workshop for all skill levels at the Smoky Mountain Visitor’s Center on Friday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Susan Cooper, Rex Gullufsen, Ken LaValley and David Rudd will lead the program.
The Cades Cove Preservation Association will conduct a series of individual presentations from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. both days at the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center. There will be family exhibits as former Cades Cove residents and descendants discuss the history of living the Cove.
Adam H. Alfrey will be signing copies of his newly-published book, The Great Smoky Mountains National Park (A Postcard History), on both days at the Smoky Mountain Visitor’s Center. The book contains stories behind vintage national park postcards from public and private collections.
In addition to Charlie Monday hosting a pair of dowsing classes on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., live Bluegrass music will be at the Smoky Mountain Visitor’s Center beginning at noon.
The event wraps up Sunday, Feb. 3, from 2-4 p.m. with a Precious Memories Cades Cove Homecoming presented by the Cades Cove Preservation Association at the Big Valley Resort, 7056 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway.
The Winter Heritage Festival is presented by the Blount Partnership, the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center and the Great Smoky Mountains Association.
For more in depth details and RSVP information for the reception, hikes and photography workshop please visit the following link. www.smokymountains.org/do/events_festivals/winter_heritage.aspx.