Appalachian History, Culture, Smoky Mountain Beauty Showcased at Annual Townsend Fall Festival
The foothills of the Smoky Mountains come to life with bluegrass music, arts and crafts, time honored traditions and Appalachian cooking at the Townsend in the Smokies Fall Festival and Old Timers Day sponsored by LeafFilter North of Tennessee, Renewal by Andersen, Big Meadow Campground & RV, Great Smoky Mountains Association, Smoky Mountain River Rat, Tremont Lodge & Resort and the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center.
Scheduled for Sept. 27-28 at the Smoky Mountain Visitor Center in Townsend (7906 E. Lamar Alexander Pkwy.), the Fall Festival provides an atmosphere where family and friends of all ages can partake in time-honored Appalachian traditions at the free community event that begins at 10 a.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday. Parking is $10 per day with proceeds benefiting the Townsend Volunteer Fire Department. Two-day parking passes are available online at www.smokymountains.org for $10 or for $15 on site Friday.
For everyone’s convenience, a free shuttle service provides transportation to and from the different Townsend sites participating in the weekend’s festivities from 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. both days.
“The festival provides an opportunity for our community to share the area’s history and heritage with families, friends and visitors. We all cherish our traditions, and there is no better way to celebrate them than to showcase them during the beautiful fall weather at the festival,” said Kim Mitchell, Blount Partnership Tourism Director.
The festival centers around traditional and contemporary bluegrass and mountain music; along with clogging and square dancing; art and craft booths; numerous Appalachian demonstrations; old-fashioned kids’ games; and Southern food, such as fried pies and kettle corn.
In addition to all that will be taking place at the Smoky Mountain Visitor Center, other sites throughout Townsend will host a variety of activities for locals and visitors to enjoy over the weekend. The Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center plays host to the Blue Ribbon Country Fair on Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and a Blue Ribbon Concert featuring the guitar stylings of Steve Kaufman on Friday at 7 p.m.
Festival-goers can take the opportunity to enjoy an interactive walking tour featuring a full-sized engine, coal and water tank at the Little River Railroad and Lumber Company Museum, as well as a unique shopping experience at Townsend’s downtown – Trillium Cove.
Whether you are searching for an Appalachian piece of artwork for your home, hungry for some delicious barbeque or just looking to enjoy the many bluegrass performances, there is just about something for everyone to enjoy at this special two-day event.
Music and Dancing
On Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. until after 9 p.m., musical performances are scheduled on stage inviting locals and visitors to bring lawn chairs from home and sit back, relax and enjoy the toe-tapping, mountain tunes. Bluegrass music will also resonate from impromptu jam sessions in all areas of the festival grounds.
A tradition of the annual spring festival is to highlight and showcase music with Appalachian roots. This year’s festival will present the unique sounds and musical talent of bands, including Carolina Bluegrass, Oakland Road, Steve Jordan Band, Wilson Family, Blackberry Jam, Blue Shadows, Appalachian Grass, Grandview Pickers, Rail Riders, Blue Ridge Grass and more.
Arts, Crafts and Appalachian Demonstrations
The festival grounds showcases numerous art and craft booths, and local artisans demonstrating their talents. Among the many unique demonstrations will be cornmeal making, apple butter making and blacksmithing as well as pottery sculptures, rug hooking and oil painting.
In addition, visitors will have the chance to learn about the area’s natural history with the Cades Cove Preservation Association and walk through a replica of an old Appalachian church. The church replica at this year’s festival will be sponsored by Chilhowee Area Ministries.
Storytelling and Local Authors
Local storytellers will educate and entertain visitors of all ages at this year’s spring festival, delighting them with mountain stories that will paint a picture of Appalachian heritage.
The spring festival’s featured author is Roy Oliver who wrote Last Man from Tremont. He will sign on Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
About the Townsend in the Smokies Fall Festival and Old Timers Day
The Townsend in the Smokies Fall Festival and Old Timers Day, Sept. 27-28, 2019, takes place on the grounds of the Smoky Mountain Visitor Center at Townsend, located at 7906 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway. The event is free and family-oriented. Pets are no longer permitted on the festival grounds; and this will be strictly enforced for the health and safety of both people and pets.
For more information on the Townsend in the Smokies Spring Festival and Old Timers Day, including updates on the schedule, please call the Smoky Mountain Tourism Development Authority at (800) 525-6834 or (865) 448-6134 or visit smokymountains.org.