Sycamore Shoals seeking entries for annual Lamplight Wreath Exhibit

Published 9:35 am Thursday, October 19, 2017

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park is preparing to bring the warmth of holiday cheer to the park, and they are asking community organizations to lend them a helping hand.

Each year, the park features a Lamplight Wreath Exhibit which features Christmas wreaths displayed on lamplight posts throughout the park’s Visitors Center.

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In years past the park hosted a Christmas tree exhibit, but the park’s museum began to undergo a massive renovation and upgrade, the event was switched from trees to wreaths.

“We still wanted to add that warmth of the holiday season to our visitors center,” Park Manager Jennifer Bauer said.

The wreath display coincides with the annual Watauga Valley Art League’s Winter Art Show. The two events go hand-in-hand to help bring holiday cheer to the park, according to Bauer.

“We scatter the lampposts throughout the art show and the visitors center,” Bauer said. “That way visitors to the park can wander through the art exhibit to see the works of art as well as the wreaths.”

Each year the wreath exhibit features about 20 wreaths created by local businesses, churches, and community organizations.

“We would love for it to grow,” Bauer said of the exhibit.

Each year, the wreath exhibit shares its theme with the Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce’s downtown Christmas Parade. This year’s theme will be “Christmas Around The World” and those creating wreaths for the exhibit are asked to design them with that theme in mind.

Over the years the exhibit has seen a variety of themes from a Carter County Christmas to Dr. Seuss.

“I enjoy the themes that are sort of warm and fuzzy,” Bauer said with a laugh. “My personal interests are sort of the old time Christmas themes and, of course, the historical themes.”

Among the things Bauer enjoys about the event each year are seeing all of the different creative ways groups interpret the theme and the smiles on the faces of the visitors when they walk through the exhibit.

“I love seeing all of the people who come to the park in a busy month like December with everything for the holidays going on,” Bauer said. “They come here for a little while just to unwide and relax. It’s nice to have the color and warmth of holiday cheer the wreaths bring.”

Applications to participate in the annual exhibit are now available at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park. Applications can be picked up in person or emailed to interested parties. Applications must be returned to the Park by November 3 in order to reserve space for the event. Wreaths must be delivered to the park no later than November 17. The exhibit will open on November 18 and run through the first weekend in January.

For more information, contact Leslie Brockley at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park at 423-543-5808.