Get into the holiday spirit at Great Smoky Mountains National Park with two exciting holiday events on December 9th and a focus on Appalachian Christmas Music. The Festival of Christmas Past, Present, and Future at Sugarlands Visitor Center and the annual Holiday Homecoming at Oconaluftee Visitor Center will both offer free entertainment and activities for visitors. At the Festival of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, enjoy live Appalachian music, a display of Christmas trees through the decades, caroling, and hands-on crafts for kids.
The Holiday Homecoming at Oconaluftee Visitor Center will feature demonstrations of Appalachian Christmas traditions and winter preparation, including hearth cooking, blacksmithing, and broom-making. Don’t miss the chance to join in an old-time jam session with dulcimers, fiddles, and banjos. These events are part of the “Christmas Across the Mountains” celebration and are sure to bring holiday cheer to all who attend.
Festival of Christmas Past, Present, and Future at Sugarlands Visitor Center
Celebrate the holiday season at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park by attending the Festival of Christmas Past, Present, and Future at Sugarlands Visitor Center. This event, which is part of the “Christmas Across the Mountains” celebration, is free and open to the public.
At the festival, you will have the opportunity to enjoy authentic Appalachian music performed by the talented band, Wild Blue Yonder. Let the soulful sounds of their music transport you to a different time and place as you soak in the festive atmosphere.
One of the highlights of the festival is the display of Christmas trees through the decades. Take a walk down memory lane as you marvel at the beautifully decorated trees that showcase the evolution of Christmas decorations over the years. From vintage ornaments to modern designs, these trees will fill you with nostalgia and holiday cheer.
Join in the joyous tradition of caroling at the festival. Sing along to your favorite Christmas carols and spread the holiday spirit with your fellow visitors. The sound of voices raised in song is sure to create a magical atmosphere that will warm your heart.
For the younger visitors, there will be hands-on kids’ crafts available. Let your children’s creativity shine as they create their own holiday-themed crafts under the guidance of talented artists. This interactive experience will not only entertain them but also provide them with a deeper appreciation for the arts and crafts that have flourished in the Appalachian region.
In addition to the music, trees, caroling, and crafts, the festival will also feature a history of arts and crafts in the mountains. NPS rangers, volunteers, and staff from Gatlinburg’s Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts will share their knowledge and expertise on the rich artistic heritage of the region. Learn about the traditional techniques and materials used in Appalachian crafts and gain a greater understanding of the cultural significance of these art forms.
To end the festival on a meaningful note, there will be a special “Memories Walk” on Fighting Creek Nature Trail at 2 p.m. Join NPS volunteers as they share heartwarming Christmas stories that will transport you to the past. This walk is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the memories and traditions that make the holiday season so special.
Holiday Homecoming at Oconaluftee Visitor Center
Another must-attend event during the “Christmas Across the Mountains” celebration is the Holiday Homecoming at Oconaluftee Visitor Center. This event, like the Festival of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, is free and open to the public.
At the Holiday Homecoming, you will have the chance to learn about the winter holiday traditions of the people who call Southern Appalachia home. The Mountain Farm Museum will come to life with demonstrations by rangers and volunteers, showcasing the unique Appalachian Christmas traditions and winter preparation techniques.
Experience the art of hearth cooking, a traditional method of cooking over an open fire that was commonly used in the past. Watch as skilled demonstrators prepare mouthwatering dishes using historical recipes and techniques. The smells and tastes of these nostalgic culinary delights will transport you back in time.
Witness the masterful craft of blacksmithing, a skill that was vital to the communities of the Appalachian region. Blacksmiths will demonstrate their prowess in shaping metal, creating useful tools and decorative items. This ancient art form is a testament to the resourcefulness and creativity of the people who lived in these mountains.
Broom-making is another fascinating demonstration that you can witness at the Holiday Homecoming. Learn how brooms were traditionally made by skilled craftsmen using natural materials. Marvel at the precision and artistry that goes into creating these everyday objects that were once an integral part of Appalachian households.
As the event draws to a close, join in an old-time jam session filled with the melodious strains of dulcimers, fiddles, and banjos. Let your feet tap and your heart sing along to the lively Appalachian tunes performed by talented local musicians. This jam session is a true celebration of the musical heritage that has flourished in the mountains for generations.
Free and Open to the Public – Enjoy Some Great Appalachian Christmas Music
Both the Festival of Christmas Past, Present, and Future at Sugarlands Visitor Center and the Holiday Homecoming at Oconaluftee Visitor Center are free and open to the public. These events provide a wonderful opportunity for locals and visitors alike to embrace the holiday spirit and learn about the cultural traditions of the Appalachian region.
Don’t miss out on these fantastic celebrations during the “Christmas Across the Mountains” event. From authentic Appalachian music to hands-on crafts and informative demonstrations, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Immerse yourself in the beauty and charm of the Great Smoky Mountains this holiday season, and create lasting memories with your loved ones.