- Townsend festival -

Spring comes to town with pickin’ and playin’

The Townsend Spring Festival and Old Timers Day is just the thing to rouse anyone from their winter hibernation.

Set to run on April 25 and 26 and May 2 and 3, the four-day event is fun for everyone. Activities throughout both weekends give participants the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, listen to good music and enjoy delicious food.

Herb Handly, vice president of the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau, touted the festival as a time for fun and fellowship that is always the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May. “This focuses on Appalachian music, crafts, foods and the telling of stories about our area,” he said.

For more information, visit www.smokymountains.org. Below is a listing of some of the activities for the 2008 Townsend Spring Festival and Old Timers Day that take place at the Smoky Mountain Visitors Center in Townsend. There are also activities at the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center and at shopping venues and stores along the main road in Townsend.

Friday, April 25: “Nature Celebration Day”

Special activities in and about the great outdoors, plus music, crafts, and Appalachian skills.

• 9 -11 a.m.: Chestnut Top Trail with Dwight McCarter; limit 25 (call 865-448-6134 to reserve a spot).

• 10 a.m.: Hedgewood Gardens Tour

• 12 p.m.: Clogging Instruction and Demo, with Jack and Doris Patton

• 1 -5 p.m.: White Oak Sinks Hike with Jim Burbank; limit 15 (call 865-448-6134 to reserve a spot)

• 2 p.m.: Hedgewood Gardens Tour

Saturday, April 26: “Young Folks and Family Day”

Special activities for children and family fun, plus music, crafts, and Appalachian skills.

• 10 a.m.-5 p.m.: Old Fashioned Kid’s Games

• 10 a.m.-5 p.m.: Ijams Nature Center Booth with animals and hands-on exhibits

• 10 a.m.-5 p.m.: Bill Lea, Cades Cove photographer, book signing

• 11 a.m.-12 p.m.: Young folks’ stories and music, Faye Wooden

• 1-4 p.m.: Storytelling with Lendel Abbott, Faye Wooden, and Dwight McCarter

Sunday, April 27: “Tuckaleechee Cove Day”

Special activities to highlight the beauty and traditions of our mountain community, plus music, crafts, and Appalachian skills.

• 9 -11 a.m.: Walker Valley Ramble with Dwight McCarter

• All afternoon: Porch Pickin’, Gospel Singin’, and old time jam sessions

• 11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Special trip to Tuckaleechee Caverns (fee)

• 1 -4 p.m.: Pottery Demonstration with Carol Ware

• 2 p.m.: Hedgewood Gardens Tour

• 4 - 6 p.m.: “Shadows of the Past” guided bicycle ride with Tim Patterson, “Cycology”

Friday, May 2: “Great Smoky Mountains National Park Day”

A day of appreciation of the beauty, diversity, and history of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and surrounding natural areas, plus music, crafts, and Appalachian skills.

• 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.: Traditional mountain music with Carl and Betty Ross

• 10 a.m.: Hedgewood Gardens tour

• 2 p.m.: Hedgewood Gardens tour

• 1 p.m.: The National Parks Centennial, presentation by Emily Jones

• 3 p.m. - 5 p.m.: “Birth of the National Park” walk with Ann Froschauer

Saturday, May 3: “Old Timers Day”

A tradition of picnics, music, relaxing, and remembering the olden days in Cades Cove and Townsend in the morning, plus music, crafts, and Appalachian skills.

• 8 - 10 a.m.: Townsend Bird Walk with Mark Dunaway

• 10 a.m.--5 p.m.: “Bird Songs of the Smokies” CD signing, Mark Dunaway

• 6 p.m.: “Smokin’ in the Smokies” People’s Choice BBQ awards

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