Sandhill Crane Festival

  • Tennessee Sandhill Crane Festival 2017
  • Event Schedule
  • Become A Vendor
  • Festival Committee
  • Whether you’re an avid birder or you’ve never seen a Sandhill Crane before, the Tennessee Sandhill Crane Festival represents an extraordinary opportunity to witness a natural phenomenon that is truly unforgettable.

    January 14-15, 2017- Birchwood, TN Group of Sandhill Cranes

    The 26th Tennessee Sandhill Crane Festival will be held Jan. 14-15 at the Hiwassee Refuge and at the Birchwood Community Center.

    TWRA is excited to host the 2017 Tennessee Sandhill Crane Festival in Birchwood on January 14-15 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily. Olan Chlor will once again sponsor the event. Lizzie Condon from the International Crane Foundation will be speaking on Whooping Crane conservation efforts at the International Crane Foundation on Saturday. The festival will also include the popular American Eagle Foundation, live music and crafts.

     

    The 2017 celebration of cranes is a special year, with the 14th North American Crane Workshop annual meeting taking place in Chattanooga, prior to the festival. Crane researchers and conservationists from around North America will attend this prestigious event.

     

    The Tennessee Aquarium is providing guided crane and eagle boat tours on the Hiwassee River.  Two hour tours offer a serene trip, where passengers will enjoy hearing not only about the various migratory and resident birds, but also about the Cherokee heritage in the region and historical Mississippian cultural sites that date back to 1,000 A.D.

     

    The Cherokee Memorial is once again hosting Native Americans folklorists and crafts throughout the weekend. This touching place evokes responsibility and remembrance of our acts as a nation. The memorial also serves as a place of celebration for a people still thriving with a rich tradition and culture.

     

    The entire region buzzes with birds and birdwatchers alike. Along with the star of the weekend, the Sandhill crane, many types of waterfowl, bald eagles, golden eagles, white pelicans and even whooping cranes are spotted each year. Free buses run the short distance from the Birchwood Community Center to the Hiwassee Refuge and Cherokee Removal Memorial. Both the memorial and refuge provide great birding opportunities, with views of the Hiwassee. Volunteers and scopes are set up at each location to help novice birders or curious visitors.

     

    Beginning in the early 1990’s the recovering population of eastern Sandhill cranes began stopping at the Hiwassee Refuge on their way to and from their wintering grounds in Georgia and Florida. TWRA has been managing this refuge for more than 60 years for waterfowl. Therefore, cranes find a perfect combination of areas for feeding and roosting. As many as 12,000 cranes have been known to overwinter at the confluence of the Tennessee and Hiwassee Rivers.

     

    For more information on the North American Crane Workshop visit: http://www.cvent.com/d/yvqn1y.

     

    The Tennessee Aquarium is now registering visitors for crane and eagle watching tours along the Hiwassee at: http://www.tnaqua.org/plan-your-visit/river-gorge-explorer/sandhill-crane-cruises​

     

    For more information on the International Crane Foundation visit: www.savingcranes.org

     

    *Other Sandhill Crane Festival partners include the Tennessee Wildlife Federation, Tennessee Ornithological Society, Birchwood Area Society Improvement Council, Cherokee Removal Memorial Park, Cleveland State Community College, American Eagle Foundation, Chattanooga Chapter TOS, Meigs County Tourism, and Rhea County Tourism.

    Olin Logo  Tennessee Wildlife Foundation Logo   Weclome to Birchwood LogoTennessee Ornithological Society

  • Birchwood Community Center3 Sandhill Cranes
    (formerly, Birchwood School)
     

    Saturday, January 14, 2017

    • 7:00 AM - Doors open for breakfast (cafeteria open throughout the day)
    • 8:00 AM - Vendor area opens and shuttle service begins (buses run to Hiwassee Refuge and Cherokee Memorial from the Birchwood Community Center)
    • 11:00 AM - Official Welcome and music program with traditional heritage music by Tom Morgan and Lynn Haas
    • 12:00 AM - 12:45 PM - Live music by Southern Wind
    • Kids Music Appreciation Program- Local traditional artist, Tom Morgan (cafeteria)
    • 1:00 p.m. – Nashville recording artist,  2ND Nature
    • 2:00 PM - Lizzie Condon from the International Crane Foundation will present on Whooping Crane conservation efforts at the International Crane Foundation
    • 3:00 - 4:00 PM - American Eagle Foundation, Live Raptor Show

    Sunday, January 15, 2017

     

    • 7:00 AM - Doors open
    • 8:00 AM - Vendor area (Gym) opens and first shuttle buses run to Hiwassee Refuge and Cherokee Memorial
    • 11:00 AM - Official Welcome and music program (featuring Nashville recording artist Don King and Friends)
    • Kids Music Appreciation Program- Local traditional artist, Tom Morgan (cafeteria)
    • 1:00 PM - American Eagle Foundation, Live Raptor Show
    • 2:00 PM - Traditional Heritage Music, Tom Morgan, Lynn Haas with friends (Don King)
    • 3:00 - 4:00PM –Festival Wrap-up

    Other Information

    • Parking available at Birchwood Community Center only. Shuttles will be provided to the Hiwassee Refuge and Cherokee Removal Memorial Park both days starting at 8:00 a.m.
    • Native American artifacts and interpreters will be at the Cherokee Removal Memorial Park both days.
    • A Children's Arts and Craft booth will operate during the Festival at the Birchwood Community Center
    • Bird Species list provided at each location
    • TWRA Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge - All day both days - Sandhill Crane and wildlife viewing interpretation and viewing scopes provided by Tennessee Ornithological Society and TWRA Staff
    • The Tennessee Aquarium will run crane and eagle boat tours. Information can be found at: http://www.tnaqua.org/plan-your-visit/river-gorge-explorer/sandhill-crane-cruises​
    • The 2017 North American Crane Workshop takes place in Chattanooga, prior to the festival. Find more information at:  http://www.cvent.com/d/yvqn1y.
  • Please plan on joining us for Tennessee’s premier wildlife extravaganza!

    We would like to invite you to be a vendor participant at the festival. The fee will be $25 for Saturday, or a total of $40 to display on both days.  If you are interested, please notify us as soon as possible.

    Download the vendor application

  • Míme Barnes, Festival Coordinator
    Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
    Office: (931) 456-3068
    mime.barnes@tn.gov​

    Linda Wright, Food & Beverage Coordinator 
    Nancy Williams, Cherokee Memorial Park 
    Sylvia Beavers, Vendor Coordinator 
    Jason Jackson, TWRA Hiwassee Manager 
    Tom Morgan, Music Coordinator