Activities fill grounds, amphitheater at Heritage Spring celebrations

Music and scenes from the past brought the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center to life recently during the inaugural “Smoky Mountain Musical Homecoming” and the Heritage Spring Festival.

The Musical Homecoming began the activities the first weekend in May with a concert in the center’s covered amphitheater at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, May 1. The event featured three local bands: the Country Tennesseans, Smoky Mountain Grass and Mountain Gap.

FenceRail Gap LLC and Kinzel Springs Development sponsored the event.

Visitors enjoyed barbecue and non-alcoholic beverages during the evening concert. The event kicked off a weekend of fun at the Heritage Center. The fourth annual Spring Heritage Festival was held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. the next day on Saturday, May 2.

The Heritage Festival features old-time crafts and food of the past, with the center’s cabins filled with fireside cooking, quilting, basket-weaving and other scenes from the region’s past days. Volunteers in period dress cooked over open fires and treated guests to cornbread and other pioneer favorites as well as crafters demonstrating the skills of pioneer men and women.

The mission of the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center is to preserve, protect and promote the unique history and rich culture of the residents and Native Americans who inhabited the East Tennessee mountain communities that were incorporated into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and its surroundings.

The Heritage Center is located on a five-acre site along state highway 73 in Townsend, Tennessee. For more information, go to www.gsmheritagecenter.org.

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