Cherokee Heritage Day will be celebrated at park August 26

Published 9:26 am Thursday, August 17, 2023

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Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park is planning the third annual Cherokee Heritage Day for Saturday, Aug. 26. Sycamore Shoals, forever linked with the rich traditions and influence of the Cherokee people, will offer a day devoted to sharing Cherokee history and culture through traditional arts and historic presentations.

The day’s activities which begin at 10 a.m. and continue until 6 p.m. and will feature Cherokee history and culture through traditional Cherokee dance, music, language, cooking demonstrations and skills such as basketmaking, finger weaving, beadwork, and woodcarving.

An exciting addition to this year’s event will be Amber Alen and Aaliyah Swimmer, two students in the 2021-2023 Cherokee Language Master Apprentice Program (CLMAP). As part of their outreach project in the program, they developed a puppet show as a way to give the Cherokee language back to the community. These young ladies will present “Cherokee Street” as a part of the day’s activities.

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Another new addition this year will be Kathi Littlejohn, who will present two programs in the auditorium on the relationship between the Cherokee people and Sycamore Shoals. She will have her storytelling CDs available as well.

Nancy Pheasant, renowned shell carving artist, will return to demonstrate her talent, but will also treat guests with Cherokee stories that have been handed down through her family.

Guests will also enjoy seeing the Tsalagi Dancers present traditional Cherokee dances and listening to Jarrett Grey Wildcatt as he shares the beauty of the Cherokee flute.

Many highly talented craftspeople will be demonstrating their skills. Guests will be able to watch and learn as wood carving, beadwork, finger weaving, moccasin making, 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, including making jewelry, face painting and getting names written in the Cherokee syllabary, will also be featured.

There will be a minimal fee for admission of $8 for adults; $3 for ages 7 to 17; and 6 and under are 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.

A detailed schedule of events is available from the park. For additional information call 423-543-5808, visit the Park Visitors Center located at 1651 W. Elk Ave., Elizabethton, or online at,,, and