Sycamore Shoals to host events celebrating the new year and old traditions in early 2022

Published 3:09 pm Wednesday, December 29, 2021


Sycamore Shoals Historic State Park will host several events to celebrate the new year and Old Christmas traditions.

On Jan. 1, the park is hosting a sold-out “First Footing,” a walking/hiking tour, where participants will gather at the Carter Mansion in Elizabethton and travel to several different areas, learning about each and their significance to the area. Those on the tour will get to enjoy the beauty of the Carter Mansion and learn about 18th century New Year, 12th Night traditions and superstitions such as first footing, queen’s cake, and the kissing bough.

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And while Christmas may have just passed for 2021, those who haven’t gotten their fill for the December holiday can experience the good cheer in January with Sycamore Shoals’ Old Christmas at Fort Watauga which takes place Jan. 8-9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

The event revives traditions celebrated in Colonial America. According to the state park, “Christmas in Colonial America was a 12-day celebration ending on January 5th, or ‘Twelfth Night.’ European migrants brought Old World holiday traditions to America, from the Dutch Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas) to the Twelve Days of Christmas.”

“Liberty! The Saga of Sycamore Shoals,” Tennessee’s official outdoor drama and arguably the biggest event of the year for Sycamore Shoals State Park, will be conducting auditions. Auditions will be held on Saturday, Jan. 15, as well as Sunday, Jan. 23, both days from 1-5 p.m.

The actual performances of the drama will be held in June with Friday and Saturday performances taking place on June 3 and 4 and 10 and 11, with Thursday, Friday, and Saturday performances taking place on June 16, 17, and 18 as well as June 23, 24, and 25.

For more information on any of these upcoming events, visit