GATLINBURG, Tenn. – Great Smoky Mountains National Park announces the 41st annual Festival of Christmas Past celebration scheduled 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 9 at Sugarlands Visitor Center.
The event, sponsored in cooperation with Great Smoky Mountains Association, is free to the public.
The festival will include old-time mountain music, traditional shape note singing, mountain craft demonstrations, and a living history walk. Visitors can also experience these traditions through hands-on activities such as make-and-take craft stations. Hot apple cider will also be served throughout the day.
“Around Christmas time, people gathered in churches, homes, and schools where they celebrated the holiday through music, storytelling, and crafts,” said Stephanie Sutton, North District Resource Education supervisor.
“The Festival of Christmas Past allows us to pause and remember some of these traditions.”
The popular Christmas Memories Walk will be held at 11 a.m. Costumed interpreters will lead a short walk from the visitor center and talk about life in the mountains during the holidays. Through this living history program, visitors will experience the spirit of the season in the mountains during the early days.
The full schedule of events at Sugarlands Visitor Center includes:
9:30 a.m. Shape Note Singing
11 a.m. Old-time mountain music with Lost Mill
11 a.m. Memories Walk
12 p.m. Old-time mountain music with Boogertown Gap
1 p.m. Smoky Mountain Historical Society
2 p.m. Appalachian Christmas Music and Storytelling - NPS Staff