Celtic music, traditional mountain music, and bluegrass tunes will waft from the Tennessee side of Great Smoky Mountains National Park next weekend during its 10th annual Music of the Mountains festival.
The event starts Friday, April 25, and continues through Sunday, April 27. Performances will be held in communities neighboring the park as well as at the Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg, Tennessee, on Saturday, April 26.
The festival begins with a concert of Celtic music by The Good Thymes Ceilidh Band on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center in Townsend, Tennessee. General admission is $5.
Music of the Mountains continues on Saturday with a series of free performances of old-time mountain music at the park’s Sugarlands Visitor Center. Programs are planned from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. The park will welcome back the world famous Roan Mountain Hilltoppers – a family that has been playing traditional music for generations. The band will play two sets at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
New this year, in celebration of National Junior Ranger Day, Music of the Mountains will present a special Junior Ranger Program led by Boogertown Gap at 1 p.m. in the Sugarlands Training Room. Kids will learn how to play the spoons and the washtub bass.
The Bluegrass music of Outta’ the Blue can be heard on the plaza outside of the Ripleys Aquarium of the Smokies on Saturday evening from 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. The Sunday afternoon program at the Smoky Mountain Visitor Center in Cosby, Tennessee, will feature traditional Appalachian religious music with an old fashioned community sing along from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. General admission is $4.
“Nothing speaks to the soul like music. And nothing better conveys the essence of our Appalachian mountain heritage,” said Park Ranger Kent Cave. “The Music of the Mountains festival tries to keep the traditions of “homemade entertainment” alive, and this year we are happy to offer a Junior Ranger program that connects kids to this legacy.”
The schedule of events:
* April 25 - Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center, Townsend
7 p.m. – Celtic Music by The Good Thymes Ceilidh Band
* April 26 - Sugarlands Visitor Center, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Admission is free
10 a.m. Lost Mill String Band .
11 a.m. Boogertown Gap
12 Noon Brien Fain
1 p.m. and 2: p.m. Roan Mountain Hilltoppers
3 p.m. Mountain Strings
Special Program for Junior Rangers at 1 p.m.
Join Keith Watson and Ruth Barber of the band Boogertown Gap in the Sugarlands Training Room (below the restrooms) and learn to play the spoons and the washtub bass. This hands-on program is a part of National Junior Ranger Day celebration.
* April 26 - Plaza at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, Gatlinburg
Admission is Free
7 p.m.- 8:30 p.m. – Outta’ the Blue
* April 27 - Smoky Mountain Visitor Center, Cosby
2 p.m.- 4 p.m. – “Heritage, Harps and Hymns” – traditional offerings from Cocke County