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, .

Townsend, Tn Fall Itinerary

Fall season on the “Peaceful Side of the Smokies” might lead one to think that gorgeous views and vistas of fall foliage may be all that Townsend, Tn has to offer during the autumn months. Well, that’s as far from the truth as saying Cades Cove is a “so-so” place to take pictures. From the town’s Fall Heritage Festival and Old Timers Day to the numerous chances to catch local musicians and artisans throughout the area, Townsend, Tn is a hive for fall activity and family fun of all kinds.

So you’re in Townsend for a few days, or a long weekend this fall, well let’s start out with the reason most people come the Smokies each fall – the gorgeous fall colors. Townsend is the perfect place to catch fall in all its splendor whether you’re taking a quick trip around Cades Cove loop road or a longer drive down Rich Mountain Road. Both routes give you a good chance at taking in some picturesque fall scenery. And you can do everything in a day, probably even half a day then get back to town to do something else. If you’re wanting to get a bit further away from town, try driving the Foothills Parkway or the Cherohala Skyway. Both have plenty of magnificent overlooks and historic destinations located along the way.

You’ve got to at least set aside one day just to try the offerings from a few good Townsend restaurants. We suggest a different meal from a different restaurant for each meal. Try camp cooking for at least one meal, or going on a picnic. Some of the area’s best BBQ can be found at such events as the Fall Heritage Festival and Old Timers Days (Sept. 28 & 29), as well as all kinds of specialty sandwiches, homemade ice cream and desserts, and any other kind local festival-type food you could think of.

Now, while there does seem to be quite a few things to do around town, don’t forget to stray a bit into nature. As mentioned, take a picnic and explore the byways of the Smoky Mountains. Pack a backpack and hike to a beautiful, quiet area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There are numerous hikes around Townsend, and especially the Cades Cove area. Find out about biking Townsend, or just stroll over to a nearby stream and throw a line in.

There are musicians and crafts people around town too numerous to even list. The arts and crafts of Townsend come alive in Townsend’s Artisan Guild. Most artists are in their stores daily and love for people to come by and talk with them about their craft…. And purchase a few things too. Whatever you choose to do, you’re sure to make memories that will last a lifetime. So come to Townsend, TN this fall and spend a day or two and get back to the “Peaceful Side of the Smokies”.

Smoky Mountain Pottery Festival

Where can you see an artist whose work is displayed in galleries across America and is known in artistic circles as one of the best in his craft? This year, it’s basically right in your backyard at the Smoky Mountain Pottery Festival in Townsend as Jim Reinert is the featured artist at the 2012 version of the festival.

Around 30 potters and masters of clay from around the region are expected to be in attendance at the Townsend Visitors Center June 2. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 2. Artists will show off their skills of hand building, Raku and horsehair firing demonstrations. Children will be able to take part in hands-on activities with Carol Ware.

Reinert received an MFA in ceramics from Michigan State University in 1976. He currently works in Owosso, MI as an active studio potter. Reinert has been involved for many years with the Lansing Community College ceramics and art programs in addition to serving as an instructor at the Potters’ Guild since 1974. He was a founding member of the MI Guild of Artists and Artisans and maintains an active profile in its operation. The guild produces one of the three Ann Arbor summer art fairs.

Hugh Bailey, a 50-year potter whose creatures and various animals are renowned, and Joe Frank McKee of Treehouse Pottery in Dillsboro, N.C., will also be at the festival presenting their wares. The children’s tent, where young people and families can learn how to work with clay, will be overseen by Maryville native Carol Ware.

A grant from Arts Build Communities, a program funded by the Tennessee General Assembly and administered in cooperation with the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Arts and Culture Alliance of Greater Knoxville, is what makes this festival possible every year.

The festival also includes food booths and music, and is located at 7906 East Lamar Alexander Parkway in Townsend.

Troutfest 2012

Townsend plays host to another big festival in May (19 & 20), this time welcoming anglers of all ages to Troutfest 2012 – a flyfishing expo/fundraiser. Troutfest organizers say they expect another big crowd this year, upwards of 4,000 attendees.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park Fisheries Department, Friends of the Smokies Fisheries Scholarship Fund or other youth educational conservation projects all benefit from the money raised through Troutfest. This year, the event looks to be one of the largest held for fly anglers in the Southeast United States.

Throughout the weekend, some of the best fly tyers from the region will be demonstrating their skill and imparting their knowledge on flyfishing. Demonstrations are FREE and the tyers specialize in flies for bass, panfish, saltwater, and trout. Get up close and talk with such notable fly tyers as Mike Adams, Walter Babb, Ray Ball, Troy Basso, Jack Gregory, Rex Wilson, and more.

Notables including Lefty Kreh, Bob Clouser, Jason Borger, Zach Matthews as well as other fly fishermen will be featured in free seminars both days. This is a great chance to meet and talk shop with a few of the legends in the sport.

All the year’s new fishing gear will be prominently displayed as national fly tackle manufacturers will be on hand in Troutfest’s national exhibition tent.

Also on hand in the exhibition tent will be local and national fly shops, artists, non-profit organizations and government fish and game agencies including Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The Little River Chapter of Trout Unlimited puts on Troutfest every year. The Chapter entity provides funding with other sponsors to underwrite this event. The Chapter holds all funds and disperses profits to Great Smoky Mountains National Park Fisheries Department and Friends of Great Smokies National Park Fisheries Scholarship Fund. Profits will be also be used for youth education fishery programs. Some funds will be retained as seed money for next year’s Troutfest.

Many of the volunteers are LRCTU members but many more come from other non-profit organizations such as other TU Chapters, The Fly Fishing Federation and individuals who are not connected with non-profit organizations. You do not need to be a TU member to volunteer or participate. All donations are tax deductible.

Troutfest 2012 in Townsend, Tn will be held on the grounds of the Townsend Visitors Center.

Townsend Visitors Center
7906 East Lamar Alexander Parkway
Townsend, TN

Townsend Herb and Wildflower Day

Townsend, Tn and nature go hand in hand. With many events and attractions centered around the area’s more natural aspects, it’s no wonder that one of the more popular events is the annual Herb and Wildflower Day, Saturday, April 7. This Spring, Townsend’s Herb and Wildflower Day will be held at the Townsend Visitor Center, 7906 East Lamar Alexander Parkway, Townsend, TN  37882, 865-448-6134. Some of the many things to do during the event include  illustrated talks about wildflowers, herbs, and area natural history, naturalist-led walks in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, plus cooking demonstrations and classes centered around herbs, opportunities to purchase plants from area gardeners, as well as fresh baked goods, and pottery.

Townsend Herb and Wildflower Day Schedule:

7am – Bird Walk with Carey Jones, Great Smoky Mountains National Park park ranger.  Meet on the back porch of the Townsend Visitors Center.

9am – “Spring Wildflowers of the Smokies”, talk by Tom Harrington, Great Smoky Mountains National Park volunteer guide.

10am – “Forest Communities”, talk by Paul Threadgill with Maryville College.

11:30am – “Cooking with Herbs”, cook and learn with Paula Begley of Little River Outfitters.

12:30-1:30pm – Lunch break.  Shop and browse through all the plants, baked goods, and pottery available at the visitors center.  Explore town and eat at one of the many great Townsend restaurants.

10am-3pm –  Plant sales from Honey Rock Herb Farm, Trillium Cove Home and Garden, and The Lily Barn; pottery from Marge Murphy, and baked goods from Wild Mountain Rose Bakery.

Wildflower rambles and hikes.  Advance registration required *. Call 865-448-6134:

1:30-3:00pm – * Chestnut Top Trail, “What’s in Bloom”; easy stroll with Tom Harrington, Volunteer, Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Meet at the trailhead at the Townsend “Wye”.
1:30-4:00pm – * White Oak Sinks; moderately strenuous hike with Jim Burbank, Volunteer, Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Meet on the porch at the Townsend Visitors Center.

Here is a list of Wildflower Hikes.

If you’re in Townsend, TN for the weekend, check out our recommendations for some of the best Townsend, TN cabins, as well as the full Townsend calendar of events.