Smoky Mountain Highland Games

The 2011 Smoky Mountain Highland Games will be held May 20-22 at Maryville College in Maryville, Tenn.

If you’re interested in Scottish history and culture, the 2013 Smoky Mountain Highland Games is the place to be. From the Kilted Mile to the history of the tartan, this festival is all about all things Scottish. This year, the 32nd games will be held May 17-19 at Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee, and if you’re Scottish, or just like Scots, you need to be there.

Check out the activities and the pageantry this Scottish festival in Maryville, Tennessee has to offer, and take home many years’ worth of memories. The weekend starts out with a Scottish whiskey tasting and seminar at Proffitt Dining Hall, followed by a gala at the Clayton Center for the Arts in the grand foyer on Friday evening.

On Saturday and Sunday, you’ll get to participate in an evening Scottish music festival, called a Ceilidh, as well as Scottish athletic events (both professional and amateur), and a Highland Dance competition. Pipers will be happy to participate in the Piper and Pipe Band performances and competition, and the rest of us will be happy to watch and listen. Expect to see well known musicians, including Celtic Martins, Albannach, Colin Grant-Adams and Father, Son & Friends throughout the day and at the Saturday night Ceilidh Under the Stars, starting at 7 pm.

Kids won’t feel left out, either. There’s scaled down caber tossing for the little ones, as well as Toss the Haggis and a Saturday children’s challenge. The Kid’s Kastle is a big favorite, too. Adults will enjoy axe throwing, running the Kilted Mile (with loaner kilts available for those without), highland wrestling, heavy athletics, a sheep dog competition and more.

Check these out, as well as other vendors on site offering jewelry, clothing, books, music, Scottish meat pies, sausage rolls and more.

If you want to find out about your Scottish ancestry, stop by one of the more than 60 heritage and clan societies that will be on hand to tell you about clan history, genealogy and the history of Scotland. At the Scottish Tartans Museum Tent near the Festival’s front gate, you’ll be able to talk to experts on the development of the tartan and the kilt, as well as other traditional Scottish attire.

This Scottish festival, now in Maryville, TN has been going strong for 30 years, and promises to be just as fun as it ever was. Remember to dress for the weather and that no pets are allowed at the games, and don’t forget to have fun! If you’re interested in finding out more about the Smoky Mountain Highland Games, check out their website at

If you are looking for a place to stay in Townsend, be sure to check out our list of Townsend, TN cabins and Townsend campgrounds.

Below is the full Smoky Mountain Highland Games schedule of events:


3 PM – Scotch Whisky Seminar & Tasting with Colin Grant-Adams, Proffitt Dining Hall
6:30 PM – Kickoff Parade & Concert – Downtown Maryville. Pipe bands, entertainers & more!
6:30 PM – Gala at the Clayton Center for the Arts Grand Foyer


Saturday Music Schedule

8 AM – Gates open
– Merchandise & food vendors open
– Pipers & Drummers registration
– Athlete Registration
12 Noon – Massed Band Presentation
– Opening Ceremonies
1:30 PM – Scotch Whisky Seminar & Tasting, Proffitt Dining Hall
4:30 PM – Massed Bands Presentation
– Pipe & Drum Band Competition, Awards Presentation
– Days End Fade Out
All day – Scottish country dancing, border collie demonstrations, children’s activities, clan challenge, athletics, entertainment, dance & piping competition
7 PM – Ceilidh Under the Stars begins

The caber toss – a Scottish tradition.


Sunday Music Schedule

8:30 AM – Gates Open
– Merchandise & Food Vendors Open
9:30 AM – Worship Service
– Kirking of the Tartans
12 Noon – Pipe Band concert
1:15 PM – Massed Bands Presentation
– Parade of Tartans
1:45 PM – Scottish Dog Parade & Talent Show (Open to everyone. Entries invited.)
All day – Scottish country dancing, amateur athletics, children’s activities, heritage seminars, entertainment
3 PM – Closing Ceremonies – “Amazing Grace” by the pipe bands

Townsend Kicks Off the “Music of the Mountains” Festival

The 9th annual “Music of the Mountains” festival, hosted by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, begins this weekend with its first stop being Townsend, TN.

“We’re very pleased to again partner with the City of Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains Association to offer the public a variety of musical styles for this year’s ‘Music of the Mountains festival,” said Dale Ditmanson, park superintendent. “Our staff has lined up a wide spectrum of old-time, traditional, and bluegrass music performers. With the change to an all day festival we hope to allow more of our visitors to experience the rich traditions of mountain music.”

Beginning Friday at the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center in Townsend at 7 pm, Celtic band Four Leaf Peat gets the festival started off with a rousing concert.

Sugarlands Visitor Center just outside Gatlinburg is the site of all festival goings on Saturday as the Lost Mill String Band, Boogertown Gap Band, Brien Fain, Tony Thomas, Matt Morelock and Ferd Moyse and the Mountain Strings perform that afternoon. Later in the day, at 7 pm Saturday, Steve Brown and Hurricane Ridge play at the Plaza at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg.

Festivities make their way to Cosby, TN on Sunday with “Heritage, Harps and Hymns.”  Performances  get started at 2 pm at the Smoky Mountain Visitor Center in Cosby.

“Music of the Mountains” is a celebration of musical traditions of the southern Appalachian Mountains, showcasing the evolution of mountain music over time,” said Kent Cave, park ranger. “The festival is one of several special events the park has developed to tell the story of the people who lived here prior to the park’s establishment in 1934.

“Musical expression was often, and still is, a part of daily life in the southern mountains, and mountain music is tied to Smokies history like no other part of our culture.”

Seating at Sugarlands Visitor Center (865-436-1291) is limited to 160 persons per concert, and available for free on a “first come, first serve” basis.

2013 Townsend TN Spring Festival and Old Timers Day

This is Townsend’s week – the annual Spring Festival and Old Timers Day, May 3 and 4, 2013! It’s that time of year when bluegrass, clogging, arts and crafts, BBQ, storytelling, and wildflower walks, all come together in harmony and at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains in Townsend, Tennessee.

As always, the Townsend Spring Festival promises to be a weekend packed with events, and to everyone’s delight, great food. Check out the schedule of events including band lineup, food vendors, craft vendors, demonstrators, authors and other activities so that you don’t miss out on your favorite things that early May weekend.


Friday, May 3

3:20pm – ROCKY RIVER

Saturday, May 4



A.J.’s Concessions – Polish sausage, funnel cakes, bloomin’ onion, cheesecake, ribbon fries, Philly cheese steak, chicken tenders, hot wings, french fries, frozen dipt’ banana

Gary Gray Shaved Ice – New Orleans style shaved ice

Foothills Smokers/Marc Horton – Pulled pork BBQ, chicken, ribs, cole slaw, chips

Hearts and Hands – Baked Goods: Homemade cookies, cakes, pies-all donated, packaged

Toby’s Kettle Corn – Kettle corn, caramel apple slices, pork rinds, cotton candy

Karns Community Club – Homemade ice cream

Nana’s Kitchen – Pucker powder candy art

Crockett Creek Muscadine Juice

Nonnie’s Fried Pies

On Site Demonstrators
Blacksmithing – Hugh Bowie
Cornmeal Making – Ronald & Angel Fowler
Beekeeping – Tony & Vernell Holt
Blount County Beekeeping Association – Howard Kerr
White Oak Shingle Making – Sam White
Weaving – Cherokee finger – Charaity Hubbard
Sorghum Molasses – Mark & Sherry Guenther
Antique Weapons Display – David Daily

Exhibit Room
Rug Hooking – Carol McBride
Woodcarving – Lendel Abbott
Quilting – Maetta Conrad, Ila Mae Morton, Marcella Emrick
Charcoal & Pencil Artist – Andy England

Other Activities
Old Harp Singers – Saturday 3:30–5 p.m. in front of Center
Black Bear Education Center & Electric Vehicle Display – Bob Harris In front of Center
Model A Club – Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. in front of Center
Appalachian Bear Rescue – Kathy Sherrard
Appalachian Church Replica and children’s story telling – Sponsored by CHilhowee ARea Ministries
Children’s Area/Games – Days Gone By Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Back Field
Cades Cove Preservation – Meet descendants of Cades Cove
Picking throughout the Grounds – Dedicated tents for Jammer’s
Antique Tractors

Authors: Friday & Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Dr. Lin Stepp – “Second Hand Rose”
Roy Oliver – “The Last Man From Tremont”

Craft Vendors
Appalachian Creations — Danielle Barton
Barry Spruce Photography — Barry Spruce
Baskets & Bowls — Sally Spista
Bearly Baskets — Linda Smith
Bill’s Log Cabin Lamps — Bill Fannin
Bowls & Quilts — Leona & Dalton Jones
Carol Erikson Photography — Carol Erikson
Clay, Wood, Paper — Susan Coe, JoLynn Matthews
Common Sense Candles — Angela Casavant
Martha Crow
Danny Young Photography — Danny Young
Debbie Toney Art — Debbie Toney
Freaks, Inc. — Parker Pressnell, Stacie Huckabe
Greystone Arts — Ken Kant
In The Stix Studio — Sandra Byrne
In The Wild — Jamie Palo and Amber Prakshot
Judy’s Beaded Beauties — Judy Fritts
Lodge Cast Iron — James Lamphier
Love Lies Beading — Renee Parrott
Deborah Lundgren
Maxine Falls Art — Maxine Falls
Mountain Arts — Kevin Reed
Mountain Works — Frankie & Leo Edwards
Natural Affinity Soap — Denisea Mann
Oils by Sharon — Sharon Schoenfeld
Perry’s Woodcraft — Herbert A. Perry
Perspective Unique Photography — Sheila Floyd
Rebecca Hiatt Photography — Rebecca & Jeffrey Hiatt
Rick Kratz Photography — Rick Kratz
Rockytopbob Wood Designs — Robert Law
Sarah B. Weber Fine Art — Sarah Weber
Jean Shamblin
Sing’s Wood Crafts — Steve Sing
T.H.E. Pearl Pagoda — Hui Malkowski
The Amber Lady — Sandra Jaqua
TheLicensePlateMan — Steve Russell
Thomas Pottery Gallery — Larry & Caroline Thomas
Unique & Classy Jewelry — Bobbie Finger
Village Artworks — Corinne Coley
Wood-N-Strings Dulcimer Shop — Mike Clemmer
WoodsbyTom — Tom Sciple

Old Timers Day, Cades Cove
Celebrate the heritage and culture of Cades Cove with the Cades Cove Preservation Association at Old Timers Day at the Cable Mill visitors center. Former residents will speak of growing up and living in this historic valley in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park while musicians play historic mountain music around the lawn at the Mill area. The CCPA will also have historic exhibits and photographs of homesteads that populated the valley.

Take a FREE Townsend Shuttle

Buses, donated from the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center, will run from the Heritage Center to Trillium Cove to Little River Railroad Museum to the Townsend Visitors Center and back to the Heritage Center. One bus will run from 10:30 am to 6 pm and a second from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm, both days. Two buses will be in operation from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm each day. The last bus will leave the Townsend Visitor Center at 6 pm and return to the Heritage Center, on both Friday and Saturday.

The Spring Heritage Festival and Old Timer’s Day is the first of a few Heritage Days held each year in Townsend, TN. For a complete list of goings-on in Townsend, check out the calendar of events, as well as Townsend cabins if you’re gonna be here for the entire weekend.

Spring Events in Cades Cove

cadescoveblacksmithDuring the months of April and May, Cades Cove really ramps it up with events geared at getting people out into nature. But it’s not just a guided hiking tour, or a day highlighting some of the many historic structures that make up Cades Cove, it’s things like Full Moon tours, blacksmithing, along with birdwatching in the Cove.

And though the ideas may sound simple, they’re pretty effective at drawing a spring crowd. The first event, the Cades Cove Full Moon Tour, takes place in late April on the 25th of the month. That’s followed by another tour the following month on May 23.

Just meet at the Orientation Shelter at the entrance to the Cades Cove Loop RoadThings will get started around 8:30 pm and last till 10:30 pm. It’s a FREE event too. You get to take in Cades Cove from a different, and a very memorable perspective. Don’t forget to bring your walking shoes, some water and a flashlight for this event. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. The Full Moon Tour of Cades Cove is subject to cancellation due to hazardous weather.

There’s just one more date to take advantage of the Let’s Go Birding program put on by Cades Cove – April 27. Just be at the Cades Cove Amphitheatre at 8 am for the program, which lasts till around 10:30 am. This is another FREE program put on by Cades Cove. For all the bird enthusiasts out there, this is a great way to see a number of Smokies species in their natural environment – Cades Cove. It’s a morning of bird watching in a spectacular locale. It’s an easy two-mile walk, and don’t forget to bring along your binoculars. Inclement weather can cause cancellation of the program. Call (865) 448-4104 for additional information.

Blacksmithing was as big a part of early Smoky Mountain life as farming and Cades Cove is keeping the tradition alive. Join Cades Cove in April and May for four blacksmithing events, starting April 27 with additional event dates of April 28, May 25, and May 26.

It will all take place at the Cades Cove Blacksmith building near the Cades Cove Visitor Center/Cable Mill area from 10 am to 4 pm, and like most Cades Cove events it’s FREE! Come learn the art of blacksmithing and why it was such an important part of early Smoky Mountain life. Stop by at any time, the blacksmith program is ongoing through the day. Accessible to persons using wheelchairs.

2013 Smoky Mountain Visitors Center Exhibitors

It isn’t very hard to find things to do in Townsend, Tn. That’s if you know where to look. So if you’re looking mood, look in the direction of the Smoky Mountain Visitors Center starting this month (March) and notice all the cultural and artistic demonstrations going on.

From woodcarving to jewelry displays to photography, crafts, and various art exhibits, the Smoky Mountain Visitors Center in Townsend has something for the artist in all of us. Beginning March 19 and running up to Christmas, various artisans will be selling their pieces at the center and guests can come by and visit with the artists as well.

March 19-21
Woodcarvers – Hezzie Holden, James Dull and Ray Proffitt

March 22-23
Woodcarvers – Lendell Abbott and Hezzie Holden

April 2-3
Jewelry Exhibit – Julia Schirack and Carol Dean

April 5
Jewelry and Art Exhibit – Diana Dearen

April 23-26
Art and Woodcrafts – Myron and Sanford Downs

May 9-10
Cards & Ornaments – Donna Erdman

May 9-11
Assorted Crafts – Norma Tosh
Painted Rocks – Terri Zimmer
Art & Crafts – Deede Edele

May 14-16
Woodturning – Monte Walker
Horseshoe Decorations – Bonnie McCampbell

May 17-19
Art Exhibit – Cathy Coulter

May 21-24
Art and Woodcrafts – Myron and Sanford Downs

May 25-26
Art Exhibit – Roma McCammon

May 28-30
Art Exhibit – Fred Weiser

May 31-June 2
Jewelry & Art – Diana Dearen

June 4-6
Photography – Linda Waterhouse

June 15-16
Photography – Rick Kratz

June 21-23
Photography – Rex Gullufsen

June 28-30
Photography – Barry Spruce

July 2-4
Art & Crafts Exhibit – Deede Edele
Assorted Crafts – Norma Tosh

July 5-6
Fabric Dolls – Carolyn Gregory
Decoupage Plates/Ceramics – Anna Bolton
Assorted Crafts – Juanita Collins

July 7
Fabric Dolls – Carolyn Gregory
Decoupage Plates/Ceramics – Anna Bolton

July 9-11
Art Exhibit – Gloria Nelson
Pottery Exhibit – Carol Ware

July 12-14
Art Exhibit – Roma McCammon

July 16-18
Woodcrafts – Charles Goosie
Art Exhibit – Randy White

July 19-21
Jewelry Exhibit – Corinne Coley
Photography Exhibit– Rex Gullufsen

July 23-25
Photography Exhibit – Barry Spruce

July 26-28
Art Exhibit – Cathy Coulter

July 30-August 1
Woodturning – Monte Walker
Horseshoe Decorations – Bonnie McCampbell

August 2-4
Art Exhibit – Roma McCammon

August 6-8
Art Exhibit – Diana Dearen
Art Exhibit – Gloria Nelson

August 9-11
Art Exhibit – Fred Weiser

August 13-15
Art Exhibit – Randy White
Art Exhibit – Larry Burton

August 23-25
Art Exhibit – Cathy Coulter

August 27-29
Art Exhibit – Maxine Falls

August 30-September 1
Art Exhibit – Kim Hart

September 3-5
Woodcrafts – Charles Goosie
Art Exhibit – Randy White

September 6-7
Assorted Crafts – Juanita Collins

September 6-8
Stained Glass – Larry and Paula McLain

September 10-12
Decoupage Plates and Ceramics – Anna Bolton
Jewelry Exhibit – Corinne Coley
Gourds & Gourd Art – Laurie Weiand

September 13-15
Woodcarving Exhibit – Hezzie Holden
Cigar Box Stringed Instruments – James Dull
Pottery Exhibit – Carol Ware

September 17-19
Woodturning – Tom Sciple

September 20-22
Art Exhibit – Cathy Coulter

October 1-3
Art Exhibit – Roma McCammon

October 4-6
Fabric Dolls – Carolyn Gregory
Pottery – Carol Ware

October 5-6
Photography – Rick Kratz

October 8-10
Woodcarving – Hezzie Holden
Cigar Box Stringed Instruments – James Dull
Art & Crafts – Deede Edele

October 11-13
Jewelry Exhibit – Julia Schirack and Carol Dean
Photography Exhibit – Rex Gullafsen

October 15-17
Art Exhibit – Randy White
Woodcrafts – Charles Goosie

October 18-20
Photography – Barry Spruce

October 22-23
Assorted Crafts – Norma Tosh
Cards and Christmas Ornaments – Donna Erdman
Painted Rocks – Terri Zimmer

October 24-25
Basket Making – Karen Kenst & Bonny Kate Sugg
Wool Applique’ – Joyce Jarman

October 26-27
Art Exhibit – Fred Weiser

October 29-31
Art Exhibit – Maxine Falls

November 1-3
Stained Glass – Larry and Paula McLain

November 2-3
Photography – Rick Kratz

November 6-8
Woodturning – Monte Walker
Horseshoe Decorations – Bonnie McCampbell

November 9-10
Art Exhibit – Kim Hart
Jewelry Exhibit – Corinne Coley
Gourds & Gourd Art – Laurie Weiand

November 12-14
Photography – Linda Waterhouse
Decoupage Plates and Ceramics – Anna Bolton
Assorted Crafts – Juanita Collins

November 15-17
Woodturning – Tom Sciple

November 19-21
Art and Jewelry Exhibit – Diana Dearen

November 22-24
Art Exhibit – Fred Weiser

November 26-27
Woodcarving – Hezzie Holden
Cigar Box Stringed Instruments – James Dull

November 29-30
Jewelry Exhibit – Corinne Coley

December 7-8
Townsend Artisan Guild

December 10-12
Art and Jewelry Exhibit – Diana Dearen
Assorted Crafts – Juanita Collins

December 13-15
Art Exhibit – Kim Hart
Woodcarving – Hezzie Holden

December 17-22
Blown Egg Ornaments – Corinne Coley
Woodcarving – Hezzie Holden

March is Hoppin’ in Townsend

March looks to be a pretty busy month in Townsend, Tn. With the town set to host three large shows highlighting the work of woodcarvers and quilters, the Townsend Visitors Center likely won’t see a break until the first of April. Each event will take place in the exhibit room at the visitors center.

Intricate quilts made from members of the Foothills Quilters Guild in Maryville, TN will be on display from March 1-16. Hand-made and machine-made large and small quilts will both be featured as a part of this exhibit. Visitors will get to see the true craftsmanship, talent and skill of the Guild’s members.

The Foothills Quilters Guild strives to promote and encourage the unique art of quilt-making and instill an appreciation and pride in preserving the area’s heritage. The Guild welcomes beginners to professional quilters to join in an effort to carry on such a time-honored tradition. The Guild meets at the First Church of the Nazarene, located at 1610 E. Broadway in Maryville, on the first and third Thursday of each month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Collected at the first meeting in July, a yearly fee is required of each Guild member.

From March 19-30, the visitor’s center in Townsend will be the place to view local woodcarvers’ creations. Stop by and see some of our local woodcarvers as they demonstrate the craft of turning a piece of wood into a work of art. They’re really talented, enjoy showing off their wares and talking about how they got into woodcarving. You might even pick up a few pointers yourself if you’ve tried your hand at the meticulous art.

Woodcarvers including Hezzie Holden, James Dull, Chris Rayburn and John Keydash will be among those representing the Smoky Mountain Woodcarvers Supply Store at Nawger Nob in Townsend. The store offers woodcarving classes that teach this time-honored Appalachian craft, along with a wide selection of woodcarving tools, such as chip carving knives, mesh sandpaper and beginner kits.

Lendel Abbott will also be demonstrating his knife woodcarving. Abbott created and donated the Visitors Center’s hand-carved mantel, which is hand-carved with a cabin and mountains in the background and is stained light brown.

The exhibits will be free of cost and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Townsend Visitors Center is located at 7906 E Lamar Alexander Pkwy in Townsend, TN.

Smoky Mountain Fiber Arts Festival

Townsend’s Smoky Mountain Fiber Arts Festival (April 19-20) is an interactive arts event connecting the community with fiber arts activities. The festival will include fiber animal exhibitions, vendor market, classes, demonstrations of spinning, needlecrafts, dyeing, weaving, and many other fiber processes. You’ll also have the chance to participate in hands-on projects for children and adults, view local artists’ work, purchase fiber craft supplies, and get information about local fiber activities, groups, and businesses.

This year’s fiber arts festival will take place in the Townsend Visitors Center as well as at the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center. Both are top notch facilities for the Smoky Mountain Fiber Arts Festival. You’ll find fiber arts classes and demonstrations, vendor shopping, great food, good friends and a memorable experience in each setting.

In all, this event celebrates all things Fiber Arts, beginning with the raw materials (catch the sheep herding and sheep shearing demonstrations at the festival), through the creative processes (check out the classes and non-animal demonstrations at both locations), and finally, the end product (visit a great collection of vendors who will fill your every supply and project need)!

Townsend is known as the “Peaceful side of the Smokies”, and a place that’s far different from other communities near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We hope you’ll enjoy your visit and check out what all Townsend has to offer including Townsend cabins, all the Townsend events, and some of the Townsend restaurants.

Goings on at the Townsend Visitors Center: Border Collie Sheepherding by Leigh Anne and Paul Tucker and Sheep-shearing by William Rick, plus demonstrations of weaving, spinning, and other fiber crafts.

Occurring at the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center: Fiber classes and workshops, marketplace of vendors, demonstrations, museum exhibits of Smoky Mountain cultural history. Click here for the list of VendorsAlso, if you’re interested in participating, check out the vendor application.

Click here for the list of Classes with instructors, dates and times, descriptions, and fees. Class registration form.

At the Townsend Artisan Gallery: Exhibits of fiber arts and many other beautiful works by local artisans.

Please call 865-448-6134, 800-525-6834 for more information and schedules.
Vendors: contact Nancy at 
Instructors: contact Deborah Adams, .

Basket Making at the Smoky Mountain Visitors Center

ArtWalk_4853_t607Townsend is a place that visitors come throughout the year for a number of reasons whether it be to visit and explore Cades Cove, swim at the “Wye” during the summer months or attend one of the many festivals like the town’s Spring Festival & Old Timers Day. One thing that Townsend offers throughout the year are a number of classes. One of the more popular ones is the basket making classes held every February and April in town.

For anyone interested in learning more about the skill of basket making, join renowned basket maker Karen Kenst for a series of basket making classes at the Smoky Mountain Visitors Center during the upcoming months of February and April.

If her name sounds familiar, it’s because Kenst has been a regular at Townsend festivals, as well as events throughout the Smokies. Her basket making skills have drawn in people from all over the country who come to the Great Smoky Mountains and her work has been featured at events and in the Great Smoky Mountains Arts & Crafts Community.

Please call Karen at 865-983-3352 for registration information.

Dates and times for basket making classes with Karen Kenst:


14 Beginner Market Basket — 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
16 Beginner Market Basket — 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
21 Advanced Easter Williamsburg Basket — 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
23 Advanced American Celebration Basket — 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
4 Intermediate Tree Note Basket — 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
6 Intermediate Tree Note Basket — 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
11 Advanced Lake Cattail Basket — 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
27 Advanced Christmas Tree Carry All Basket — 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

2013 Townsend Winter Heritage Festival

2013 Winter Heritage Festival Schedule

Presentations and programs throughout Townsend and the national park, celebrating the region’s cultural history.

Thursday, Jan. 31
5-7 p.m. Townsend Winter Heritage Festival Kickoff & Reception
Join us for the Winter Heritage Festival Kickoff & Reception at the Townsend Artisan Gallery located at 7843 East Lamar Alexander Parkway. Refreshments provided by the Townsend Artisan Gallery and the Blount Partnership. Call 865.983.2241 to RSVP.

Great Smoky Mountain Institute at Tremont (9275 Tremont Road, Townsend, TN 37882, 865-448-6709)
Friday, Feb. 1
9 a.m. Do you know what to look for to identify trees and shrubs in the wintertime? Come along with Tremont Director Ken Voorhis into the forest and discover a number of leafless characteristics that will help you identify woody plants. The Smokies are a great place to explore in the wintertime! Meet at Tremont visitors center at 9 a.m., Friday, Feb 1 — prepare to be outside and on the trail.Tremont is located in the national park. Take Hwy 73 to the Townsend Wye, turn right toward Cades Cove, then take first left onto the road to Tremont. Tremont institute is 3 miles down this road, on the left. The visitors center is the first building, on the left, right after you cross the bridge.

Smoky Mountain Visitor’s Center (7906 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway, Townsend, TN 37882)
Friday, Feb. 1
The Townsend Artisan Guild presents a photography tour for beginning to intermediate photographers using basic cameras to SLRs for $25.After several presentations on camera functionality, composition, and lighting, the participants have an opportunity to apply those principles with the guidance of Guild photographers at the Smoky Mountain Visitor’s Center.RSVP to Susan Cooper at or 865.448.0859
9:00-9:15 a.m. Welcome, Introduction, Coffee and muffins provided
9:15-10:30 a.m. How the Camera Works for Your Creative Vision
10:30-11:15 a.m. Elements of Composition: What Rules to Break
11:15-noon Using Light to Define the Subject
12:00-12:30 p.m. Lunch
12:30-2:00 p.m. Photograph in the Buildings at the Heritage Center
2:00-2:30 p.m. How to use Black and White to Improve Visualization
2:30-3:00 p.m. Q&A, Wrap Up
Susan Cooper has studied with nationally known professional photographers and captures images that reflect the natural world around us: landscapes, close-ups, wildlife and abstracts.Rex Gullufsen’s photographic experience includes weddings, documenting tours for choral performances, still lifes and natural surroundings. He captures stories through composition, texture, color and light.Ken LaValley has captured award winning images of youth sports, professional sports, concerts, weddings, and wildlife. He takes of advantage of light and luck to capture an image of one split second.

David Rudd has a long history of working in the wet darkroom and producing outstanding black and white images. His diligent study of the digital age and photographic techniques compliments his eye for unique compositions

Photography Exhibit and Artists Reception: Laurel Valley Resort (702 Country Club Drive, Townsend, TN 37882) is hosting an artist’s reception to which the participants and other visitors will be invited. Friday, Feb. 1 from 4-6 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 1
11:00 a.m. Hike to Elijah & Polly Oliver’s place in Cades Cove (1.5 hours)
Meet at Abrams Falls parking lot (half way around Loop Road). Dress for the weather. Subject to cancellation for inclement weather.Join Cades Cove Park Ranger Mike Maslona for a walk to Elijah & Polly Oliver place in Cades Cove. Learn about the family and see the only park historic site that has all the support buildings still there and available to see.Also, learn how the park’s historic preservation team maintains and repairs over 100 historic structures throughout the park, and how park partnerships with groups help to preserve the cultural history of the park.Email or 865.448.4104 to RSVP
Saturday, Feb.2
10:00 a.m. Hike the original back road to Walker Sisters House (4.5 hours)
Meet at Metcalf Bottoms. Bring waterproof boots, water, lunch and snacks. Rain gear advised.Join Janet and Mark Snyder as they lead this moderate hike which takes you by the home sites of family and friends of the Walker Sisters. We will visit the home site of the only sister to marry. A greater appreciation of the Little Greenbrier Community will be achieved.Call 865.448.1183 to RSVP.

CCPA has family exhibits on the second floor at the Heritage Center both days, from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m., where former Cades Cove residents and descendants are on hand both days to visit with people about their lives in the Cove. The exhibits contain photographs, family albums and artifacts for viewing by the public.

Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center (123 Cromwell Drive, Townsend, TN 37882)
Friday, Feb. 1
9:00-9:45 a.m. Joel Zachry – “How to Get Eaten by a Bear – Things you should know”
Join naturalist and author Joel Zachry for an informative “show and tell” narrative on safely traveling in the backwoods of our Southern Appalachians. As he provides a historical perspective on the bear and its life cycle he will share factual information on the past 100 years of human fatalities. In addition, Zachry will recant his own experiences, some funny missteps and others with serious outcomes, from backpacking the Smokies since 1975, completing the 2,175 miles of the Appalachian Trail and guiding hikers in Alaska for twenty-five years.
10:00-11:00 a.m. Betty Boone Best – “A granddaughter tells about the war in Blount County”
Betty Boone Best was born in Blount County and graduated from schools at Happy Valley, Lanier, Maryville College and the University of Tennessee. She taught language and Tennessee history at Walland School before retiring from William Blount High School as a librarian. She is a member of the Blount County Genealogical and Historical Society and is presently editor of the Blount Historical Journal. Her hobbies are family and local history research and writing.
11:15-12:15 David Ledbetter – “Little River Railroad”
David Ledbetter is a member of Cades Cove Preservation Association, having as president, vice president and board member. He currently serves as coordinator with the maintenance supervisor for Great Smoky Mountains National Park where he plans projects and workdays in the park and leads a full moon walk in Cades Cove once a month. A native of Miller’s Cove, the Ledbetter family settled in the White Oak Sinks and lived there for many years before moving out in 1929. David is the great grandson of Matthew Manuel (Bud) Ledbetter who was the first of his line to settle in the White Oak Sinks.
11:15-12:15 David Ledbetter Jr. – “Fire Towers From the Smokies”
David Ledbetter, Jr. (Davey) is the son of David and Paulette Ledbetter and is the great great grandson of Matthew Manuel (Bud) Ledbetter who settled in White Oak Sinks. Davey has hiked to the White Oak Sinks and seen where his family farmed the area for many years. Davey enjoys hiking and especially finding old home sites. He is currently mapping these areas and putting it together with his family names.
12:15-1:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30-2:30 p.m. Judy Myers Johns & Verna Burchfield Myers – “Aunt Becky Cable”
Judy Myers Johns grew up in Cades Cove and is a descendant of John and Lauraine Oliver, from Russell Gregory (Gregory Bald), Robert Burchfield and John P. Cable. She lived in three houses in Cades Cove without electricity, learned to cook on a woodstove and did “washing” in a gasoline powered washer with a wringer for the rinse tub. Her parents (Hugh and Verna Burchfield Myers) and grandparents (Charlie and Mae Shuler Myers) farmed the Cove and raised cattle. Judy worked as a historical interpreter at Cable Mill, became a National Park Ranger, left to work in nuclear security before becoming a Vice President of Emergency Preparedness for international work with a fortune 100 company.Verna Lee Burchfield Myers was born on Mill Creek in Cades Cove in Oct. 1932 as the second of three children. At a early age the family moved to Townsend and then to Maryville as her father sought employment at a diary farm and then the Aluminum Company of America. In 1948 she married Hugh Myers and moved back to Cades Cove where they farmed and ran Cades Cove Riding Stables until 2009. Verna is very in-tune with her heritage and “regrets not taking an interest” in that heritage until later in her life. Verna has fond memories of Cades Cove and takes time to document old family photos and short stories that have been passed down through the years.
2:45-3:45 p.m. Allen Coggins – “An armchair tour of the Smokies: From Sugarlands to Clingmans Dome”
Allen Coggins is a freelance writer and part-time subcontractor with Oak Ridge Associated Universities. His presentation today is based upon his nearly decade long experience as a Smoky Mountain tour bus guide. He is author of the book, Place Names of the Smokies, which was published by the Great Smoky Mountains Association in 1999. His latest book, Tennessee Tragedies: Natural, Technological, and Societal Disasters in the Volunteer State, was just published by the University of Tennessee Press.
4:00-5:00 p.m. Panel Discussion: Former residents of Cades Cove
Saturday, Feb. 2
9:00-9:45 a.m. Joel Zachry – “Special Creatures of our Smokies and Southern Appalachians”
Join naturalist and author Joel Zachry as he shares some of our region’s most Fascinating creatures through his years of observing and photographing Smokies flora and fauna. For this presentation he goes beyond the ability to imply capture the organism but to also explain interesting facts about how each survives in the wild and coexists with others in its habitat. As a career biologist, Zachry will share his views on favorite landscapes, wildflowers and mammals that make our national park a special place.
10:00-11:00 a.m. Betty Bales & Becky Thompson – “Dinner on the ground”
Betty Bales is a native Tennessean who lives in Maryville and is a registered nurse with Blount Memorial Hospital. Betty is the granddaughter of John and Lilly Cooper Whitehead, descendants of Cades Cove. She enjoys researching the history of her Smoky Mountain Heritage, working with women’s ministries and serving in the mission field both locally and in South America.Becky Thompson is very proud of her Smoky Mountain Cades Cove heritage in the Whitehead and Cooper families. She is often found taking pictures and exploring the many trails, churches and heritage sites in the mountains.
11:15-12:15 Missy Tipton Green – “Tuckaleechee Cove”
Missy Tipton Green was born and has lived all her life in Blount County, and descends from the first land grant owner in Cades Cove, William “Fighting Billy” Tipton. She has penned three books, two being co-authored with Paulette Ledbetter. She enjoys researching the history of Cades Cove and Blount County, and genealogy. She is a charter member of the Cades Cove Preservation Association, serving on the Board of Directors for 11 years, past secretary, past treasurer, and past co-director of the Cades Cove Museum.
12:15-1:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30-2:30 p.m. Larry Sparks – “Tom Sparks – The Spencer Field herder”
Larry Sparks is a Cades Cove native, one of twelve children born to Asa and Amy Burchfield Sparks. His presentation is about his grandfather Tom Sparks, a former owner of Spence Field, where he herded livestock for several years. Sparks’ ancestors were among the first to own land and live in the Cove. His immediate family was forced to sell their land with the establishment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the 1930s, but although most neighbors moved out, his family remained in the Cove as leaseholders until 1960. He serves on the board of the Cades Cove Preservation Association, and is a member of the First Families of Tennessee as a descendant of Col. John Tipton. He writes and presents Cades Cove history.
2:45-3:45 p.m. Bernard Myers – “Myers Town”
Bernard Myers was born to Golman and Viola Burchfield Myers of Cades Cove, living there until the age of nine attending the Cable School for one year before it closed down; he finished school at Townsend High School.
4:00-5:00 p.m. Panel Discussion: Former residents of Cades Cove

Smoky Mountain Visitor’s Center (7906 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway, Townsend, TN 37882)
Saturday, Feb. 2
The class consists of the history of dowsing, what to expect from their visit and my experiences using the rods for underground objects (water, graves, pipes, etc.). We will demonstrate the dowsing rods and forked stick with each visitor is given a set of dowsing rods to try what they have learned. The class continues outside, weather permitting, to locate water and a trip to the cemetery if they wish.
10:30-11:30 a.m. Charlie Monday – “The Art of Dowsing: Do you have the gift?”
2:00-3:00 p.m. Charlie Monday – “The Art of Dowsing: Do you have the gift?”

Smoky Mountain Visitor’s Center (7906 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway, Townsend, TN 37882)
Saturday, Feb. 2
12:00-2:00 p.m. Live Bluegrass music will be performed
3:00-4:00 p.m. Live Bluegrass music will be performed

A homecoming of former residents of Cades Cove, to be held Sunday, Feb. 3 from 2-4 p.m. at Big Valley Resort, 7056 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway in Townsend. The Big Valley Resort is on the right just after the four-lane highway starts in Townsend. Turn right at the motel just past the porta-potty yard and drive to the clubhouse at the end of the road. Light refreshments will be served.

Smoky Mountain Visitor’s Center (7906 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway, Townsend, TN 37882)
Feb. 1-2
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park (A Postcard History)
Author Adam H. Alfrey will be on hand both days to visit and sign copies of his new book, The Great Smoky Mountains National Park (A Postcard History). Drawing from public and private collections of vintage postcards, Alfrey, curator of exhibitions at the East Tennessee History Center, illustrates how a rallying cry for preservation, pleasure and profit sustained a successful grassroots campaign to create Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited national park in the United States.

2013 Townsend, Tn Calendar of Events


Jan. 31-Feb. 2: Winter Heritage Festival in the Smokies. An event celebrating the human history, natural beauty, and cultural traditions of Townsend, Cades Cove, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Guests can enjoy a variety of presentations, storytelling, music, walks, exhibits, and tours—at the Visitors Center, Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tremont, and other businesses and organizations around Townsend. Townsend Winter Heritage Festival


Feb. & April: Basket Making with Karen Kenst. Join Karen as she instructs on the fine art of basket making. Check out the schedule and register.


March 1-16: Smoky Mountain Quilt Show

March 17-31: Woodcarver’s Show

March 22-24: Smoky Mountain Quilter’s Road Show


April 15-20: Smoky Mountain Fiber Arts Festival. Hosted by the Townsend Artisan Guild, Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center, and the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau. This interactive fiber arts event connects the community with fiber arts activities.  The festival will include Border collie sheep-herding, sheep-shearing, classes and workshops, arts exhibitions, educational demonstrations of fiber processes, spinning, weaving, needlecrafts, dyeing, hands-on projects with children and adults, Fiber Arts Market and more. Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center and Smoky Mountain Visitors Center in Townsend.


TownsendStageNPTMay 4-5: Townsend Spring Festival and Old Timers Day. A heaping helping of your favorite bluegrass music, a Young Pickers Talent Contest, arts and crafts, Appalachian skills, wildflower walks and garden tours, storytelling, BBQ and other good food at the town’s annual Spring Festival and Old Timers Day. Townsend Spring Festival and Old Timers Day

May 9-10: BTA Class (Information coming soon)

May 14: Tourism Reception (Information coming soon)

May 17-19:  Smoky Mountain Highland Games. Maryville College. A celebration of Scottish Heritage at the foot of the Smoky Mountains with traditional games, a gathering of the clans, Scottish dance, music, and athletic contests.  Smoky Mountain Highland Games

May 28-June 2: H.O.G. Rally


June 3-30: Smoky Mountain Photographer’s Showcase (Information to come)

June 9-15; 16-22: Steve Kaufman’s Acoustic Kamps and Concert Series – Steve Kaufman’s workshops in flatpicking guitar, fingerpicking guitar, mandolin, Old Time Banjo, Bluegrass Banjo, Old TIme Fiddle, Bluegrass Fiddle, dobro, Mountain dulcimer, Songwriting, Vocal class and Bass. At Maryville College.


July 4-6: Red, White & Blue Show (Information to come)

July 12-14: Smoky Mountain Classic slow pitch softball tournament


Sept. 27-28: Townsend 21st Annual Fall Heritage Festival and Old Timers Day. The fall version of Townsend’s spring classic featuring some of your favorite bluegrass music, clogging, arts and crafts, sorghum molasses making and other Appalachian skills, artisan demonstrations, family activities, and good food.  Fall Heritage Festival and Old Timers Day


Oct. 11-13: Foothills Fall Festival in Maryville


Nov. 4-5: BTA Class (Information coming soon)


Dec. 6: Smoky Mountain Visitors Center Holiday Open House

For more information about each of the Townsend events and festivals contact Jeanie Hilten at the Townsend Visitors Center at 865-448-6134 or 800-525-6834.