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Fall events are featured at Sycamore Shoals this month

John Thompson • Updated Oct 29, 2019 at 10:06 PM

ELIZABETHTON — Fall is now fully in place at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park and the calendar of events for the month of November reflects the change of season. Such events as the harvest celebration and the Fall Fiber Show highlight the month.

Despite the time of year, the Watauga Valley Fife & Drum Corps will practive weekly. The group is a component of the Washington County Militia and performs at historical observances, dedications and parades. If you would like to join the corps, musical experience is welcome but not necessary, just come with a willingness to learn how to interpret history through music.

The first event for the public is an introduction to disc golf. Ranger Jason Davis will teach the basic techniques for putt and approach, mid-range, and driving, with a hand-on opportunity, using discs that will be provided.

Putting in the Park will be offered on Thursday, Nov. 7, from 11 a.m. until noon. The cost is $5 and pre-registration is required at www.tnstateparks.com/parks/sycamore-shoals. Choose “Upcoming Events” in the left hand menu. Cash payments must be made at the park office during regular operating hours prior to registration cut-off date. Meet in the Visitor Center.

A tomahawk throwing workshop will be offered on Friday, Nov. 8, from 11 a.m to noon. The cost will be $5 and pre-registration is required at www.tnstateparks.com/parks/sycamore-shoals.

The class will help students master the unique frontier skill of tomahawk throwing by joining Davis for a hands-on tutorial. Topics will include proper technique and release, as well as versatile applications of tomahawk use in the outdoors. No children younger than 12 may participate. Parents who wish to be present but not participate do not need to register. Meet inside Fort Watauga.

The Autumn Heritage Celebration will be held on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 9-10. This year may be drawing to a close, but the park is not going to let it pass without one more festive weekend at Fort Watauga. The celebration will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 9 and 10 a.m. until 3 p.m on Nov. 10.

Join the festivities at Fort Watauga as the Washington County Militia gathers to celebrate recent victories in the War for Independence and give thanks for a bountiful harvest. Enjoy demonstrations of 18th century life and living history presentations.

The Fall Fiber Fair will also be taking place at the same time.

Spend a day visiting our region’s finest fiber producers and artists. The day will include workshops, vendors with handmade items for sale, raw fibers, and demonstrations of spinning, weaving, and more.

The Watauga Valley Art League Meeting and Program will take place on Sunday, Nov.17 at 1:30 p.m.

This monthly meeting is open to all. Each month a unique program is planned that ranges from talks, to demos, to hands-on projects.

A traditional arts workshop will be offered on Saturday, Nov. 23, from 9 a.m. until noon. The workshop is on the Reed Star basketry technique. The instructor is Jane Doan and the the cost is $25

Most materials are provided, students should bring alligator clips or small clothes pins and a small towel.

Register by calling the park at 423-543-5808.

There is also a treat for coffee lovers on Saturday, Nov. 23, from 11 a.m to 12:30 p.m. with Colonial Coffee: a Revolutionary Drink. The cost is $8. Pre-registration required at www.tnstateparks.com/parks/events/sycamore-shoals.

If you think having coffee with friends at your favorite coffee shop is a modern trend, think again. After the British taxation of tea in the American colonies, drinking coffee became something of a patriotic duty for many 18th century colonists. Coffee houses were very popular places to gather, share news, and talk politics … namely independence from Great Britain. Join Museum Curator Chad Bogart at Fort Watauga and learn about the history of coffee in Colonial America. Roast up some beans, use a hand mill to grind the coffee, brew a pot over the open hearth, and enjoy a hot cup of history.

The park will also offer a chance to walk off some of the Thanksgiving feasts with Walking in Frontier Footsteps — After Thanksgiving Day Hike. It will take place on Friday, Nov. 29, at 4:30 p.m.

Join Davis for a special guided interpretive walk through the grounds of Sycamore Shoals and along portions of the walking path. Discover the historical events that took place surrounding Sycamore Shoals and their significance to the formation of Tennessee and the nation. Dress appropriately for the weather as we will be taking a casual stroll on the walking path and through the park grounds. Meet in the picnic area beside the Visitor Center at 4:30 p.m. Please no pets. Hike is by reservation only and subject to cancellation due to significantly inclement weather.

The last event of most months is the Old Tim Music Jam, led by Art Lang. This is because it is always scheduled for the last Sunday of each moth. This November will be no exception, as the jam will take place from 1:30-4 p.m.

Enjoy the rich musical traditions of our region each month. Old time musicians of all levels are welcome. Don’t play and instrument? Come on over, kick back, and enjoy the tunes.

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