Sequoyah Birthplace Museum, Tennessee’s only tribally owned museum, will host its 28th annual Cherokee Fall Festival from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 7-8.
This year’s theme will be “Cherokee Folklore, Legends and Traditions.”
Visitors will have the opportunity to step back in time to experience food, Cherokee arts and crafts demonstrations, music and dance.
A blacksmith will be doing on-site demonstrations in the shop both days. Other demonstrations and displays will include Cherokee life in 1700s and a Civil War encampment.
Attendees will be able to meet and talk with Cherokees from the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Nation in North Carolina. Special entertainment will be provided by the Warrior Dancers of Ani-Kituhwa, who are the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation official ambassadors.
Tennessee State Parks will be doing a Birds of Prey program both days.
Other activities include art and posters from Cherokee Elementary School (at the amphitheater), meeting and chatting with Miss Cherokee Mystical Spirit Walela Armachain, Cherokee cooking demonstrations in the museum’s multi-purpose room, a Civil War gun display inside the museum, having your name written in Cherokee, and checking out the reconstructed 1800s dog-trot log cabin. Darts, beads, talking sticks, games, face painting and free Cherokee name cards will be available for children. The popular children’s blowgun competition and adult’s blowgun competition will also be held on both days, as well as a Civil War battle re-enactment.
Traditional Indian Fry bread, Indian tacos and other food and drinks will be sold.
The tentative schedule of events for the two-day festival is as follows:
- 10 a.m. Gates open
- 10:30 a.m. Opening ceremony (Saturday only) at the hay circle, featuring the Honor Guard and Miss Cherokee
- 11 a.m. Tennessee Birds of Prey Program at the hay circle
- 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Sunday only) Bill Landry book signing in the museum
- 11:30 a.m. Cherokee storytelling with Mike Crowe at the hay circle
- 11:45 a.m. Flute playing by Matt Tooni at the hay circle
- 12 p.m. Warriors of Ani-Kituhwa at the hay circle
- 12:45 p.m. Tennessee Birds of Prey Program at the hay circle
- 12:45 p.m. Adult blowgun competition on the grounds
- 1 p.m. Civil War artillery demonstrations (Saturday) in the field
- 1 p.m. Infantry demonstrations (Sunday) in the field
- 1:30 p.m. Children’s blowgun competition near the Blacksmith Shop
- 2 p.m. Civil War battle re-enactment in the field behind the festival
- 2:45 p.m. Miss Cherokee Mystical Spirit Walela Armachain at the hay circle
- 3 p.m. Cherokee storytelling with Mike Crowe at the hay circle
- 3:30 p.m. Flute playing with Matt Tooni at the hay circle
- 4 p.m. Warriors of Ani-Kituhwa and community dance at the hay circle
- 5 p.m. Grounds close
The Cherokee Fall Festival will be held rain or shine.
Admission is $10 for adults. Tickets for children ages 13-18 are $5. Children ages 12 and under will be admitted for free. A family rate of $25 is also available.
This event is funded in part by a Tennessee Arts Commission Rural Arts Program Grant, the Cherokee Preservation Foundation and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians.
For more information about the Cherokee Fall Festival, contact Sequoyah Birthplace Museum at 423-884-6246.