Despite the federal shutdown, the Museum of Appalachia near Norris is still open, and the 34th annual Tennessee Fall Homecoming is happening this weekend, officials said.
The Fall Homecoming is scheduled from Friday, Oct. 11, to Sunday, Oct. 13. It will feature more than 400 traditional musicians, singers, cloggers, and buck dancers, a press release said.
It said the three-day Homecoming is one of the nation’s largest, most authentic music and folk festivals.
“Each day, all day, musicians perform on five unique stages, filling the air with bluegrass, old-time, Southern gospel, and Americana music,” the release said. “Homecoming includes historic demonstrations of mountain skills, Revolutionary War and Civil War encampments, and a large arts and crafts fair featuring authentic Appalachian artisans. Pinto beans cooked over an open fire, home-made ice cream, Dutch oven cobbler, sassafras tea, and barbecue are some of the southern delicacies available for purchase.”
The museum is a Smithsonian Affiliate Museum, which has triggered calls about the status of the museum and the Fall Homecoming. The federal government shut down Tuesday, Oct. 1, after Congress failed to pass a spending bill.
The press release said first-time performers at the Fall Homecoming this year are Blue Highway, The Box Cars, Chris Jones and The Night Drivers, and The Dale Ann Bradley Band. The 2013 lineup also includes returning favorites Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, The Grascals, Blue Moon Rising, and Brand New Strings, plus many local and regional performers.
Fall Heritage Day, with special interactive programs for schoolchildren, is Thursday, Oct. 10th. This day of traditional music, historical games, and hands-on pioneer activities is designed for public and private school groups, home-schooled groups, and individual parents and children, the release said. Three-day Homecoming tickets include admission to Fall Heritage Day.
The museum offers a picturesque backdrop for this annual festival, with dozens of historic log buildings, display halls filled with authentic artifacts, and gardens and farm animals, surrounded by split-rail fences. A self-guided tour of the Museum and parking is included in Homecoming admission.
All homecoming proceeds further the museum’s mission to preserve Appalachian history and heritage. A nonprofit organization since 2003, the museum is an official affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.
For homecoming tickets, call (865) 494-7680 or buy them online at www.museumofappalachia.org. Tickets will also be available at the gate; plenty of free parking is available.
The museum is located one mile east of Exit 122 on I-75 at Exit 122.