Sycamore Shoals State Park hosts Cherokee Heritage Day Aug. 27

Published 3:18 pm Wednesday, August 17, 2022

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Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park will host the Second Annual Cherokee Heritage Day Saturday, Aug. 27, with events scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Activities will includes lectures, demonstrations, dancing, storytelling, and much more — all presented by Cherokee guests.
Sycamore Shoals is forever linked with the rich traditions and influence of the Cherokee people, and Cherokee Heritage Day is devoted to sharing Cherokee history and culture through traditional arts and history presentations.
New to this year’s event will be Cherokee elder Fred Bradley, retired from the National Park Service, who will be giving a very informative and entertaining talk on mushrooms. Also new this year will be a panel discussion delving into contemporary Cherokee life.
Guests will also enjoy seeing the Tsalagi Dancers present traditional Cherokee dances, learn some words and phrases in the Cherokee language, and test their knowledge of Cherokee history and culture in a game show atmosphere.
Jarrett Grey Wildcatt will share the beauty of the Cherokee flute, and many highly talented craftspeople will be demonstrating their skills. Guests can watch and learn as wood carving, beadwork, finger weaving, pottery and many other works of art are created on site. These rare and beautiful pieces of handmade, traditional arts and crafts will be available for purchase.
Activities for children will include include making jewelry, grinding corn, and using a pump drill.
There will be a minimal fee for admission of $8 for adults; $3 for ages 7 to 17; and 6 and under will be admitted free. Friends of Sycamore Shoals will have concessions and drinks available throughout the day.
This educational and colorful family event is presented by Indian Creek Productions, Inc., a non-profit organization that promotes American Indian education. Sponsors include Friends of Sycamore Shoals and the Hampton Inn of Johnson City.
The schedule of events for the day include:
– 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.: The Cherokee at Fort Watauga by Chad Bogart
– 10:30 a.m to 11 a.m.: Cherokee Flute by Jarrett Grey Wildcatt
– 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.: Cherokee Storytelling by Jonathan Feather
– 11:30 a.m. to 12 noon: Cherokee Language Lesson by Jarrett Grey Wildcatt
– 12 to 12:30 p.m.: “Are You Smarter Than A Park Ranger?” by Mark and Sherry Finchum
– 12:30 to 1 p.m.: Traditional Cherokee Dance Presentation by the Tsalagi Dancers
– 1 to 1:30 p.m.: Cherokee History and Culture by Shennelle Feather
– 1:30 to 2 p.m.: Cherokee Flute by Jarrett Grey Wildcatt
– 2 to 2:30 p.m.: Cherokee Storytelling by Jonathan Feather
– 2:30 to 3 p.m.: Cherokee Language Lesson by Jarrett Grey Wildcatt
– 3 to 3:30 p.m.: Traditional Cherokee Dance Demonstration by Tsalagi Dancers
– 3:30 to 4:15 p.m.: The Language of Mushrooms (auditorium) by Fred Bradley
– 4:15 to 5 p.m.: Contemporary Cherokee Life (auditorium) by Indian Creek Productions, Inc.
A variety of excellent demonstrations of contemporary Cherokee crafts will be featured in the park auditorium. Sharon McCoy will demonstrate beadwork; Ray McCoy will do woodcarving, and Toni Tahquette will demonstrate finger weaving.
Outside the Visitor Center, several Cherokee craftsmen will demonstrate traditional arts.
Inside the fort, Ramona Lossie will create beautiful baskets; Bradley Welch will explain the art of traditional pottery making, and Jimmy Harlan will demonstrate his weapons. He will demonstrate the use of a blowgun as well.
Under the trees will be Ernest Grant who will make wampum jewelry and bandolier bag making; Stephan Walkingstick, stone carving and making arrowheads; Jonathan Feather will display his collection of Cherokee crafts and Allen Fugate will demonstrate silversmithing.
Also located outside is a circa 1828 Cherokee campsite featuring a wedge tent for sleeping and a lean-to kitchen area complete with period travel kitchen with wrought iron fire utensils and dining items. Visitors can experience campfire cooking and learn more about this significant period in Cherokee history.
All proceeds from admissions go to Friends of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park to support this event. This event is made possible through the support of the Hampton Inn, Johnson City, and Friends of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park.

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