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Fort Loudoun State Historic Park, Sequoyah Birthplace Museum Host Great Island Festival

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 | 05:20am

22nd Annual Event Will Be Held September 7-8, Featuring Living History Demonstrations

VONORE, Tenn. – Fort Loudoun State Historic Park and the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum will host the 22nd Annual Great Island Festival Saturday, Sept. 7 and Sunday, Sept. 8, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day.

“Visitors of all ages can enjoy a stroll through the Fort Loudoun 18th Century Trade Faire,” Park Manager Eric Hughey said. “Merchants and artisans will also be on hand to peddle food and wares reminiscent of the time.”

Demonstrations and re-enactments will take place throughout the weekend. In addition, visitors can learn about slate tombstone carving, 18th century fishing, blacksmithing and carpentry. Music and other entertainment will include the Traveling Caudells, Out of the Ordinary, the Beggar Boys, Thunder and Spice and Four Sheets to the Wind. Common Stock’s Curious Booth of Wonders and the Amazing Juggling Budabi Brothers will also entertain visitors of all ages. The Faire Wynds Circus will return this year, featuring musicians, a conjuror, equalibrialist, contortionist and an escape artist.

At Sequoyah Birthplace Museum, visitors will have the opportunity to step back in time to experience Native American food, Cherokee arts and crafts demonstrations, music and dance. Special demonstrations and displays will include Cherokee life in the 1700’s and a Civil War encampment and battle re-enactment. Museum visitors will have the opportunity to meet members of Oklahoma’s Cherokee Nation and North Carolina’s Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Entertainment will be provided by flutist Tommy Wildcat, the Warrior Dancers of Ani-Kituhwal and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians official ambassadors.

On Sunday, Tom Belt, a Cherokee Nation citizen, will speak to visitors about the Trail of Tears and the Cherokee Historical Society will perform a special Trail of Tears program. Other weekend activities will include darts, beads, talking sticks and face painting.

The Great Island Festival is named for the “Great Island,” a Cherokee village site 250 years ago. Today, Fort Loudoun State Historic Park and the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum occupy an island created by the Tellico Lake Project.

Adult admission is $5 for the Trade Faire and $5 for the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum. Children 12 and under are admitted free. Advance tickets are on sale at both locations. Festival parking will be located at Sequoyah Birthplace Museum, located at 576 Highway 360 in Vonore. Free shuttle buses will provide transportation for visitors from each site.  For more information about the Great Island Festival, contact Fort Loudoun State Historic Park at 423-884-6217 or Sequoyah Birthplace Museum at 423-884-6246.

Fort Loudoun State Historic Area is a 1,200 acre site on the location of one of the earliest British fortifications on the western frontier, built in 1756. Nearby were the principal towns of the Cherokee Nation including Tenase, namesake of our state and Tuskegee, birthplace of Sequoyah. Today the fort and the 1794 Tellico Blockhouse overlook TVA’s Tellico Reservoir and the Appalachian Mountains and are located one mile off Highway 411 on Highway 360 in Vonore.

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