Sycamore Shoals State Park sets events for 2015
Published 9:03 am Friday, January 2, 2015
Carter County has a rich and diverse history and one local state park strives throughout the year to not only preserve that history but to share it with others.
Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area park hosts a variety of events, workshops and educational programs throughout the year.
The park has a full slate of events for 2015, so be sure to mark your calendars so you don’t miss out on the fun when history comes to life at the park.
• Old Christmas: Militia Muster at Fort Watauga
Saturday, Jan. 3 – Sunday, Jan. 4
Christmas isn’t over yet. European migrants brought Old World holiday traditions to America, from the Dutch Sinterklaas to the Twelve Days of Christmas. Discover the English, German, Scottish and Irish roots of our modern holiday celebrations. Activities begin each day at 10 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. on Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday. Contact the park for detailed schedule.
• Colonial Skills and Trades: Militia Muster at Fort Watauga
Saturday, Feb. 14 – Sunday, February 15
Visit Fort Watauga and step into a colorful Revolutionary world. Re-enactors portray a variety of characters, from hunters and farmers to land speculators and backcountry gentry. Walk among colonists and native people who share their past through talks, mini-dramas and demonstrations of 18th century life. Activities begin each day at 10 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. on Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday. Please contact the park for detailed schedule.
• Overmountain Weavers Guild Fibers Show and Sale
Saturday, March 28
Don’t miss this great opportunity to visit with some of the best fiber artists of our region! If you love fibers, this is the place for you! Demonstrations include weaving, spinning, knitting, natural dyeing and more. A variety of handmade items will be offered for sale. The show and sale runs from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. For more information please call 423-543-5808.
• Carter Mansion Celebration and Militia Muster
Saturday, April 11 – Sunday, April 12
Join us for two days of history, traditional arts and family fun as we celebrate the oldest frame house in Tennessee, and the historically prominent Carter family. Travel back to the 1780s and tour the Carter Mansion. Witness living history re-enactors demonstrating aspects of 18th century life, and see local craftsmen showcasing traditional skills. Activities begin each day at 10 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. on Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday. Contact the park for detailed schedule.
• Landscape Seminar & Plant Auction
Saturday, April 18
An exciting array of unusual ornamental and native perennials, trees and shrubs will be auctioned during this event, which takes place from 9 a.m. to noon. This is a great opportunity to add new species to your landscape! Sponsored by The UT Extension Service, East Tennessee Nursery Association and the Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce.
• Community Plant Exchange
Saturday, April 25
The front parking lot will be bustling this morning. Bring cuttings and potted outdoor and indoor plants, to exchange for species you don’t have — a fun way to meet other gardeners and increase your collection. The exchange takes place from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday morning.
• Bird Walk with the Lee & Lois Herndon TOS Chapter
Saturday, May 9
Meet other birders and naturalists at 8 a.m. at Sycamore Shoals for a morning of birding during the migratory season.
• 21st Annual Siege at Fort Watauga
Saturday, May 16 – Sunday, May 17
It is the summer of 1776 and the Watauga settlement is at war. Join us as 200 colonial and Native re-enactors present this dramatic retelling of the Cherokee attack brought on the settlers of the Watauga valley. Visit the living history camps, shop with period vendors and witness battle re-enactments both days. Hear the rattle of muskets, smell the campfire smoke and see history come to life at the Siege of Fort Watauga. Hours are 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. each day. Contact the park for a detailed schedule.
• Saturday, May 30 – Sunday, May 31
A two-day celebration of our Native American heritage! Award-winning dancers, storytellers, artists, and scholars gather at the circle to share knowledge and demonstrate their skills. Join us from 10 a.m. through 6 p.m. to discover Native American arts, music and legends, with an emphasis on the Cherokee culture. Admission Charge. 423-543-5808
• Independence on the Frontier: Militia Muster
Saturday, June 27 – Sunday, June 28
Experience the 4th of July, 18th century-style! What did colonists think about a new nation? Be a guest in Fort Watauga as news of Independence arrives to the colonial frontier. Walk among historical characters and hear their varied reactions to the Declaration, from fear of war to the hope of a brighter future. Activities start at 10 a.m. on both days. The Celebration takes place on Saturday through 4 p.m.; the muster will continue until 3 pm on Sunday.
• Summer Art Show and Sale
Sunday, June 28 – Sunday, July 26
This multi-media exhibit is two art shows in one: 13th Annual Judged Show and the 21st Annual Watauga Valley Art League Member Show. A public Meet-the-Artist Awards Reception will be held on Sunday, June 28 , from 1:30 – 4 p.m. ET.
• Liberty: The Saga of Sycamore Shoals
Weekends in July
The 37th season of Liberty: The Saga of Sycamore Shoals! kicks off Thursday, July 9!
Tennessee’s official outdoor drama is presented by local performers against the backdrop of Fort Watauga. See the Revolution as told by the Overmountain Men: colonists who defied British law and settled on Cherokee lands. These settlers formed an independent government, made treaties with the Cherokee, defended their homes, and fought a British army at the epic battle of King’s Mountain.
Bleacher seating is available in the Amphitheater. Sponsored by Friends of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area.
Performances begin at 7:30 p.m., Thursday through Saturday on July 9-11, July 16-18 and July 23-25. Admission Charge.
• 13th Annual Elizabethton Butterfly Count
Saturday, August 1
Meet naturalist Don Holt at 9 a.m. for this day-long winged adventure across town. Come for all or part of the day. Sponsored by the North American Butterfly Association and Sycamore Shoals. (Rain Date to be announced).
• 9th Bi-Annual Newell Hendershot Watermedia Exhibition
Saturday, August 8 – Friday, August 28
Don’t miss this unique show which comes to us once every two years. Artists belong to at least one of the following Tennessee art organizations: Bristol Art Guild, Kingsport Art Guild, Tennessee Watercolor Society, or Watauga Valley Art League. Please join us from 1:30-4 p.m. for an opening reception on Saturday, August 8.
• 14th Annual Sycamore Shoals Celtic Festival
Friday, September 11 – Sunday, September 13
Join us on Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the 14th Annual Sycamore Shoals Celtic Festival
Friday Night Torchlight Ceremony at 6:30 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday Night Concert at 6:30 p.m.
Celebrate Appalachia’s Celtic heritage. Opening with a torchlight ceremony Friday night, Clans and Family Societies will be on hand to help with family history; dance, music, food, vendors, demonstrations, re-enactments of 18th and 19th Century heritage lectures. There will be a special musical concert on Saturday evening. Admission Charge.
• Gathering at Sycamore Shoals
Saturday, September 19
On Saturday the 19th of September 2015, The Tennessee Society Sons of the American Revolution will celebrate the 235th Gathering at Sycamore Shoals. This is a celebration of the Overmountain Men coming together to march to King’s Mountain and defeat Loyalist forces under Col. Patrick Ferguson. We will have a Memorial Service and a wreath laying service. The public is invited to attend and to participate in the wreath laying.
For more information please contact Ronnie Lail at 423-914-8677 Wataugatnssar@gmail.com.
• Overmountain Victory Trail March
Friday, September 25
Members of the Overmountain Victory Trail Association have recreated the historic march to King’s Mountain since 1975. On September 25, marchers will cross the Watauga River at Sycamore Shoals, just as the Overmountain militia crossed 235 years ago.
• Overmountain Victory Trail Celebration
Saturday, September 26 – Sunday, September 27
Join us for an encampment by the Overmountain militia before the Battle of King’s Mountain in 1780. Live some of the most crucial days of the American Revolution! Activities begin each day at 10 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. on Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday.
• 21st Annual Sycamore Shoals Quilt Show
Thursday, October 1 – Sunday, October 4
Join us for the 21st Annual Sycamore Shoals Quilt Show.
Thursday, Friday and Saturday, October 1, 2 & 3 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday, October 4 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm
This four-day exhibition, sponsored by the Sycamore Shoals Stitchers, features a show and demonstrations by local quilters. Bed quilts, wall hangings, holiday and baby quilts, miniatures and antique quilts will be on display.
• 18th Annual Fort Watauga Knap-In
Saturday, October 3 – Sunday, October 4
Knapping—with a “K”—has nothing to do with sleep! Knapping is the art of making stone tools, and the Knap-In at Fort Watauga is our celebration of Tennessee Archaeology Week. Watch primitive skills craftsmen make arrowheads, spear points and other survival tools. There will be demonstrations of primitive tools such as the bow, arrow and atlatl throughout the day.
• October Bird Walks with the Lee and Lois Herndon TOS Chapter
Saturday, October 10
Meet other birders and naturalists at 8 a.m. for a morning of birding during the migratory season.
Additional dates: Oct. 10, Oct. 17, Oct. 24, Oct. 31.
• Spinning and Fiber Meet
Saturday, October 10
Join us from 9 a.m. through 4 p.m. for a day of all things fibers, as area fiber artists, producers and vendors share their knowledge of spinning, felting, rug hooking, basketry, weaving, fiber production and so much more! Workshops will also be offered throughout the day.
• Scary Stories at Fort Watauga
Thursday, October 29
Strange things happen around All Hallows Eve, especially at an old fort by the river. Bring the family and join us for tales of woe and terror, the weird and macabre, with a touch of wit thrown in for good measure. Don’t be afraid, Fort Watauga at Sycamore Shoals isn’t haunted… we think! Activities begin at 7:30 p.m.
• Walk in Their Boots: A Military Timeline
Saturday, November 7
In honor of Veteran’s Day, join re-enactors and historians from across the nation for this unique look at our country’s military history. Learn how our armed services evolved throughout the years, from the Revolutionary War to modern conflicts. Join us from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. for a variety of activities, including uniform displays, living history camps, weapons demonstrations and battle re-enactments.
• Colonial Harvest Celebration
Sunday, November 8
The festivities continue at Fort Watauga as the Washington County Militia gathers to celebrate recent victories in the War for Independence and give thanks for a bountiful harvest. Enjoy demonstrations of 18th Century life and living history presentations from 10 a.m. through 3 p.m.
• Winterfest Art Show
Sunday, November 29 – Sunday, January 3
Kick off the holidays at the Winterfest Art Show at Sycamore Shoals.
November 29, 2014 until January 3, 2015
Opening Reception: Sunday, November 29 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The Watauga Valley Art League exhibition and sale begins with a reception on November 29 with great opportunities for holiday shopping! Artwork from the Watauga Valley Art League will remain on display during regular park hours throughout the month of December until January 3, 2015.
• Christmas at the Carter Mansion
Friday, December 4 – Saturday, December 5
Spend a candlelit evening in the oldest frame house in Tennessee, decorated with bright greenery for the holidays. Enjoy music, refreshments and historic interpreters acting out scenes from an 18th century Christmas. This Christmas celebration is by reservation only and space is limited. Contact the park at regular operating hours for more information.