Great Smoky Mountains National Park Ready For 36th Annual Festival of Christmas Past

The 36th edition of Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Festival of Christmas Past is set for Saturday at the Sugarlands Visitor Center.

Festival of Christmas Past is an annual celebration of the history and culture of the Smoky Mountains with an emphasis on the Christmas season. "We try to recreate some of the sights and sounds of an old-fashioned mountain Christmas," said Kent Cave, North District resource education supervisor.

The festival will include old-time mountain music featuring the "Lost Mill String Band," "Boogertown Gap" band, and "South of the River Boys." Demonstrations of traditional domestic skills such as the making of mountain berry baskets, apple-head dolls, quilts, and apple butter will be ongoing throughout the day. Other special programs that will be presented include:

  • 9:30 a.m. - 11 a.m. Old-fashioned Harp Singing led by Bruce Wheeler, Paul Clabo and Martha Graham
  • 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Charles Maynard telling stories of the holiday season
  • 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Christmas Memories Walk - Costumed interpreters will lead a short walk from the visitor center and talk about life in the mountains during the holidays in the early days of the 1880s to the 1930s
  • 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Lost Mill String Band
  • 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Bill Proffitt and the South of the River Boys
  • 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Christmas Memories Walk
  • 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. "Stories of the Past" panel discussion, presented by the Smoky Mountain Historical Society
  • 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Boogertown Gap

"Local volunteer craftspeople and musicians come together to share their ancestral skills with the public during this annual festival. We invite the public to participate in the day's activities and learn about winter life and work in the Great Smoky Mountains," said Cave.