Here's A Handy List of 2012 Workshops In And Around Great Smoky Mountains National Park

If you're a diehard fan of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, here's a handy list of some of the classes and workshops to be held in and around the park next year.


2012 Winter Classes and Workshops: January-March, 2012

One thing that makes East Tennessee and the Great Smoky Mountains such a unique area is the Appalachian arts, crafts, and trades that have been practiced for centuries. This year during a three-month period, Townsend is hosting a variety of classes and workshops giving locals and visitors alike a chance to tap into some of the area’s most time-honored traditions. This year’s winter classes and workshops include basket making, all-level guitar flatpicking, wool appliqué, broom making, photography and rug hooking. These one-of-a-kind crafts and talents can be learned by all who are interested.

WHEN: January-March, 2012, various dates and times

WHERE: Townsend Visitors Center
7906 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway
Townsend, TN 37886

CONTACT: For more information, please visit www.smokymountains.org/classes-workshops.html or contact the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-525-6834 or (865) 448-6134. Registration is required for classes.

Winter Heritage Festival in the Smokies: February 2-5, 2012

The 6th Annual Winter Heritage Festival in the Smokies is a celebration of East Tennessee history, Appalachian traditions, and the natural beauty of Townsend, Tenn., Cades Cove and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The winter festival offers everyone an opportunity to enjoy and learn about the area’s heritage and traditions through a variety of presentations, storytelling, music, exhibits, nature walks and tours. The four-day event will take place at several locations in the Townsend and Maryville area, including the Townsend Visitors Center, the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center, the Little River Railroad Museum, and the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

WHEN: February 2-5, 2012

WHERE: Townsend Visitors Center, Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center, and other locations
7906 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway
Townsend, TN 37886

CONTACT: For more information, please visit www.smokymountains.org/winter-heritage.html or www.smokymountainfestivals.org or contact the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-525-6834 or (865) 448-6134.

Smoky Mountain Fiber Arts Festival: March 16-17, 2012

East Tennessee is bursting with unique, Appalachian arts and crafts, and the Smoky Mountain Fiber Arts Festival provides locals and visitors alike an interactive, community event connecting festival-goers with fiber arts activities. The festival will include Border collie sheep-herding, sheep-shearing, classes, workshops, marketplace of vendors, and art exhibits. Educational demonstrations of fiber arts processes, such as spinning, weaving, needlecrafts and dyeing, and hands-on activities will take place for all ages to enjoy.

WHEN: March 16-17, 2012

WHERE: Townsend Visitors Center, Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center, and other locations
7906 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway
Townsend, TN 37886

CONTACT: For more information, please visit www.townsendfiberarts.com or contact the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-525-6834 or (865) 448-6134 or the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center at (865) 448-0044.

2012 Arts and Crafts Demonstrations and Exhibits: April-December, 2012

For those interested in learning a new skill, developing a hobby or simply learning about a craft and creating a unique work of art, the Townsend Visitors Center showcases talented artisans and local exhibitors from early spring to mid winter. Guests can visit and buy from many of the exhibits while enjoying and learning about timeless Appalachian arts and crafts.

WHEN: April-early December, 2012, various dates and times

WHERE: Townsend Visitors Center Exhibit Room
7906 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway
Townsend, TN 37886

CONTACT: For more information, please visit www.smokymountains.org/arts/arts-crafts-demos.html or contact the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-525-6834 or (865) 448-6134.

Herb and Wildflower Day: April 7, 2012

The Great Smoky Mountains are home to more than 1,500 kinds of flowering plants, and Herb and Wildflower Day is an opportunity to enjoy the area’s natural beauty in the springtime. Held at the Townsend Visitors Center, the event brings together expert botanists and naturalists to educate and lead visitors on both short walks through the woods and longer nature explorations. Herb and Wildflower Day also celebrates the Smoky Mountains’ natural beauty with locally grown plants, delicious baked goods, fine hand-made pottery, landscaping classes and garden tours.

WHEN: Saturday, April 7, 2012
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

WHERE: Townsend Visitors Center
7906 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway
Townsend, TN 37886

CONTACT: For more information, please visit www.smokymountains.org/info/herb_wildflower.html or contact the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-525-6834 or (865) 448-6134.

Townsend in the Smokies Spring Festival and Old Timers Day: May 4-5, 2012

Celebrate East Tennessee’s blossoming natural beauty in the springtime while learning a little about the unique and enduring heritage of Townsend, Blount County and the Great Smoky Mountains at the 20th Annual Townsend in the Smokies Spring Festival and Old Timers Day. The festival celebrates Appalachian history, culture, and traditions through activities and events ranging from bluegrass music and the annual Young Pickers Contest to wildflower walks and cast iron cooking. Traditional storytelling, arts and craft demonstrations, and authentic, Southern food give festival-goers a feel of true Appalachian life.

The Townsend festival was created to celebrate the heritage of the Smoky Mountains, and to keep Appalachian culture alive while giving visitors a hands-on look into the unique traditions. The festival began with bluegrass bands and musicians jammin’ and has since grown into a family event, with many activities attracting people from across the country.

WHEN: May 4-5, 2012
9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily

WHERE: Townsend Visitors Center
7906 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway
Townsend, TN 37886

CONTACT: For more information, please visit www.smokymountains.org/info/spring_festival/springfestival.html or www.smokymountainfestivals.org or contact the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-525-6834 or (865) 448-6134.

Trout Fest: May 18-20, 2012

With more than 800 miles of fishable streams holding rainbow, native brook, and brown trout, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is well-known for its excellent trout fishing. Trout Fest, also known as the Great Smoky Mountains Fly Fishing Exposition, provides avid fly fisherman in the region a chance to enjoy their valued sport surrounded the natural beauty of the Smoky Mountains. The proceeds from the three-day event are donated to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Fisheries Department, Friends of the Smokies Fisheries Scholarship Fund, and other youth educational conservation projects. The annual event is sponsored by the Little River Chapter of Trout Unlimited.

WHEN: May 18-20, 2012

WHERE: Townsend Visitors Center and the Great Smoky Mountain National Park
7906 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway
Townsend, TN 37886

CONTACT: For more information, please visit www.troutfest.org or contact the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-525-6834 or (865) 448-6134.

Smoky Mountain Highland Games: May 18-20, 2012

The 2012 Smoky Mountain Highland Games is a three-day event where attendees can experience a “Gathering of the Scottish Clans,” one big family reunion with excitement, education and entertainment. The Games are centered around a field of athletic competition, along with music and dance competitions. The event’s entertainment will include country dancing, bands, balladeers, comedians, a dog show, a kid’s playground, and clan competitions. An element of educational learning will be available for guests who find their last name on one of the Clans’ tents: learning your family history and how it relates to the Clan. Visitors will leave the Smoky Mountain Highland Games with a fun, educational experience and a since of what it means to be Scottish.

WHEN: May 18-20, 2012

WHERE: Maryville College
502 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway
Maryville, TN 37804

CONTACT: For more information, please visit www.smokymountaingames.org or contact the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-525-6834 or (865) 448-6134.

Smoky Mountain Pottery Festival: June 2, 2012

The annual Smoky Mountain Pottery Festival gathers skilled, talented studio potters from around the region in a juried event to exhibit, sell and demonstrate their craft. The festival emphasizes the finest pottery available in East Tennessee and the Great Smoky Mountains, while providing an opportunity to educate others about the time-honored tradition of pottery and the various styles and methods used by potters in the past and present. The pottery festival will have 30 pottery booths, an educational children’s tent, music and food for all to enjoy. This year’s special guest demonstrators include Joe Frank McKee and Hugh Bailey, as well as the festival’s featured potter, Jim Reinert. In 1976, Reinert received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Michigan State University and currently works in his pottery studio, Reinert Pottery, in Owosso, Mich. He is a founding member of The Guild of Artists and Artisans in Ann Arbor, Mich., and serves as the vice-chair on its board of directors.

WHEN: Saturday, June 2, 2012

WHERE: Townsend Visitors Center
7906 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway
Townsend, TN 37886

CONTACT: For more information, please visit www.smokymountains.org/pottery-festival.html or www.smokymountainfestivals.org or contact the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-525-6834 or (865) 448-6134.

Townsend Heritage Festival and Old Timers Day: September 28-29, 2012

The 20th Annual Townsend Heritage Festival and Old Timers Day includes a wide array of East Tennessee traditions and experiences for guests including bluegrass and mountain music, clogging, storytelling, children's activities, crafts by local artisans, great Southern food and demonstrations of a variety of Appalachian skills, such as basketry, spinning, weaving, woodcarving, sorghum molasses and apple butter making, beekeeping and blacksmithing. The two-day festival is free for all ages, and it celebrates Southern Appalachian Mountain culture and heritage. It has been voted several times as one of the top 20 events in the Southeast.

WHEN: September 28-29, 2012
9 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day

WHERE: Townsend Visitors Center
7906 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway
Townsend, TN 37886

CONTACT: For more information, please visit www.smokymountains.org/info/heritage.html or www.smokymountainfestivals.org or contact the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-525-6834 or (865) 448-6134.

Comments

And don't forget the popular Blue Ribbon Country Fair at Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center in Townsend on September 29! It's an old-time county fair with everything from baked goods competition (including "Best Pie in the Cove") to a cattle show, the hands-on children's exhibit "Farmer in the Cove," Lodge Ladies Skillet Throw, watermelon seed-spitting contest, rooster crowing, hog calling and much, much more! It's old-fashioned family fun at its best. Watch website for information on the 2012 edition.