Festival Of Christmas Past Coming To Great Smoky Mountains National Park On December 8

Ranger Brad Free leads a guided hike at Cataract Falls near the Sugarland Visitor Center. Photo by Kay Scott.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park will be offering its annual Festival of Christmas Past on December 8.

Co-sponsored by the park and Great Smoky Mountains Association, this will be the 37th edition of the festival that takes place each year on the second Saturday of December. The event will be held at the Sugarlands Visitor Center just inside the Gatlinburg park entrance. This is also the location for park headquarters.

Headed up by Ranger Brad Free, a 13-year veteran of the Smokies, the festival will include storytelling, music, and guided walks. Hands-on demonstrations typically include blacksmithing, music, fabric spinning, quilting, weaving, doll making, apple cider pressing, and apple butter making. The festival offers an opportunity to learn about winter life in the Great Smoky Mountains.

The Sugarlands Visitor Center includes a museum, exhibits, a large gift shop, and an excellent 20-minute film. According to a park official, adequate parking should be available at the visitor center. For questions call the visitor center at (865) 436-1291. Additional information will soon be published on the park website.