Experience Appalachian fun at Townsend In the Smokies Spring Festival

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TOWNSEND, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The Townsend in the Smokies Spring Festival has been scheduled for May 4 and 5, and it promises to provide a family-friendly atmosphere for music, dancing, arts and crafts, demonstrations, games, and of course, food.

The event was scheduled to take place at the Smoky Mountain Visitors Center located at 7906 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway in Townsend. Parking fees will be $10 a day, with proceeds benefiting the Townsend Volunteer Fire Department, and two-day parking passes are available at the Visitors Center for $15. A free shuttle service will also provide transportation to and from the different Townsend sites participating in the festivities from 10:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. on both days.

The festival will center around traditional and contemporary bluegrass and mountain music; clogging and square dancing; arts and crafts; Appalachian demonstrations; old-fashioned kids' games; and Southern food.

Folks will be able to enjoy an interactive walking tour that features a full-sized engine, coal and water tank at the Little River Railroad and Lumber Company Museum, and attendees can shop at the Townsend's downtown -- Trillium Cove.

The following events will be offered at the festival:

Music and dancing

On Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. until after 9 p.m., musical performances have been scheduled, and bluegrass will sound from impromptu jam sessions on all areas of the grounds. An evening square dance has been planned for Saturday at 8:10 p.m.

Bands scheduled to play at this year's festival include Notchy Creek, Jay Tipton Band, Carolina Bluegrass, Hot Water, Wilson Family, Blackberry Jam, High Point Quartet, Steve Jordan Band, Jones Brothers, Mike Clemmer, Gravel Road, Lost in Tyme, Saving Grass, Muleskinners, Blue Streaks, Appalachian Drive and Raven Welch.

Arts, crafts and demonstrations

Arts and crafts booths will be set up on the grounds, and local artisans will demonstrate their talents, such as cornmeal making, using antique farm equipment, and apple and peach butter making. Visitors will also be able to walk through a replica of an old Appalachian church at the Cades Cove Preservation.


Local storytellers will tell tales of mountain stories and Appalachian heritage, and Roy Oliver, author of Last Man from Tremont will hold signings on Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

The Tennessee Pottery Festival will also be taking place on May 5 at the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center, located at 123 Cromwell Drive.

For more information about the festival, call the Smoky Mountain Tourism Development Authority at 800-525-6834 or 865-448-6134, or visit smokymountains.org.