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39th Annual Festival of Christmas Past set for December 13

festival of christmas past
NPS/Bielenberg Old Fashioned Harp Singers share their music and entertain a crowd at Sugarlands Visitor Center at the Festival of Christmas Past. Image courtesy of NPS.

GATLINBURG, TN — Great Smoky Mountains National Park will host its 39th annual Festival of Christmas Past celebration on Saturday, December 13, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at Sugarlands Visitor Center. The free event is sponsored in cooperation with Great Smoky Mountains Association.

“The Festival of Christmas Past is a program we look forward to every year,” said Catlin Worth, Acting North District Resource Education Supervisor. “Celebrating the holiday season with traditional mountain music, storytelling, and crafts allows visitors and staff the unique opportunity to experience and preserve the Christmas traditions of the people who once called this place home”

The festival will include old-time mountain music and traditional harp singing. Demonstrations of traditional domestic skills such as the making of fabric spinning, historic toys and games, rag rugs, apple-head dolls, quilts, and apple cider 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 popular Christmas Memories Walk will be held again this year at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., to teach visitors about the spirit of the season in these mountains during the 1880s through the 1930s.

The full schedule of events for the day includes:

• 9:30 a.m. - "Old-fashioned Harp Singing" led by Bruce Wheeler, Paul Clabo and Martha Graham

• 11:00 a.m.– Old Time Music with Boogertown Gap Band

• 11:00 am to 12:30 pm and 2:00 pm to 3:30 p.m. - Christmas Memories Walk - Costumed interpreters will lead a short walk from the visitor center and talk about life in the mountains during the holidays in the early days of the 1880s to the 1930s

• 12:00 p.m. - “Stories from the Past” presented by the Smoky Mountain Historical Society

• 1:00 p.m. – Stories of old-time Christmas in Appalachia with Sparky and Rhonda Rucker

• 2:00 p.m. – Bill Proffitt and South of the River Boys

• 3:00 p.m. – Old Time Music with Lost Mill String Band

Published December 10, 2014

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