Published On: Thu, Aug 22nd, 2013

Great Island Festival scheduled for Sequoyah Birthplace Museum

The Sequoyah Birthplace Museum, Tennessee’s only tribally-owned museum, and Fort Loudoun State Historic Area are partnering for the Great Island Festival on Sept. 7-8 from 10a.m. – 5p.m. each day.

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 1700’s and a Civil War encampment and battle re-enactment.

The Warriors of Anikituwah lead a dance at a previous Great Island Festival held at the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum near Vonore, Tenn.  (DAWN ARNEACH/One Feather contributor)

The Warriors of Anikituwah lead a dance at a previous Great Island Festival held at the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum near Vonore, Tenn. (DAWN ARNEACH/One Feather contributor)

The 22nd Annual Fall Festival’s theme is “175th Anniversary of the Trail of Tears: Remembering the Trail”.  The highlight of this year’s festival is flutist Tommy Wildcat who is a member of the Cherokee nation.  Visitors will be able to meet and talk with Cherokees from the Cherokee Nation the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.  Meet and chat with Miss Cherokee and have your name written in Cherokee.  Special entertainment will be provided by the Warriors of Ani-Kituhwa.  A stickball game will also be held, and on Sunday, Tom Belt, a Cherokee Nation Citizen, will be talking with visitors about the Trail of Tears. Authors Bill Landry, of the Heartland Series, and Nancy Pafford will be on hand for book signings on both.  The Cherokee Historical Society will be performing a special program on the Trail of Tears.

Other activities include posters from Cherokee Elementary school.  Darts, beads, talking sticks, face painting and free Cherokee name cards will be available for children.  A children’s blowgun competition will be held on Saturday and an adult blowgun competition on Sunday.  Traditional Indian Fry bread and Indian tacos, and other food and drinks will be sold.

The 18th century Trade Faire at Fort Loudoun will feature encampments of soldiers, settlers and Native Americans.  There will be demonstrations throughout the day in artillery and musketry, along with several battles and skirmish re-enactments.  Merchants and artisans will be on hand to peddle food and wares reminiscent of the time.  Period food will be sold by “Two French Tarts”

Music and other entertainment acts will include The Traveling Caudells, a traditional vocal duo; Out of the Ordinary, featuring a hammered dulcimer, English guitar, harp and vocals; and the Beggar Boys, talented singers and fiddlers.  Two new musical groups will be performing this year, The Four Sheets to the Wind and Thunder and Spice, as well as the Amazing Juggling Budabi Brothers will also delight and astonish visitors of all ages. Returning this year will be Faire Wynds Circus, featuring musicians, a conjuror, equalibrialist, contortionist and an escape artist.

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

Tickets are $5 each and children 12 and under are free.  Advance tickets available at both locations.  A shuttle bus will be available between the museum and Fort Loudoun State Historic Area.

Info: Sequoyah Birthplace Museum (423) 884-6246 or Fort Loudoun State Historic Area (423) 884-6217

- Sequoyah Birthplace Museum