Published On: Mon, Dec 5th, 2011

Park to host Holiday Homecoming

      Great Smoky Mountains National Park will host a Holiday Homecoming at the new Oconaluftee Visitor Center on Saturday, Dec. 17.  Park staff and volunteers will provide hands-on traditional crafts and demonstrations from 10a.m. to 1p.m. Children and adults will have the opportunity to make a corn shuck doll, buzz button, and cinnamon ornaments to take home, or if they wish, to hang on the visitor center tree.

      From 1-3p.m. there will be an acoustic old time jam session focused on holiday music. “Musical expression was and still is often a part of daily life in the southern mountains, and mountain music is strongly tied to the Smokies history and culture,” said Lynda Doucette, Supervisory Park Ranger, Oconaluftee Visitor Center.  She continued, “We would like to invite musicians to play traditional Appalachian tunes such as gospel songs and traditional ballads as they were played on the porches in the old days.”

      The visitor center will be decorated for the holiday season and will include an exhibit on Christmas in the mountains in the past.  Hot cider and cookies will be served on the porch accompanied by a glowing fire.

      The Oconaluftee Visitor Center is located on Newfound Gap Road (U.S. Highway 441), two miles north of Cherokee, N.C.  For more information call the visitor center at (828) 497-1904.  All activities are free and open to the public.  Generous support of this event is provided by the Great Smoky Mountains Association.