The annual Mountain Life Festival in Great Smoky Mountains National Park will take place on Saturday, Sept. 21 from 10am – 4pm at the Mountain Farm Museum adjacent to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center just outside of Cherokee. This event continues to preserve the legacy of Appalachian folkways and is a tribute to the many families who lived on lands that later became the national park.
The Mountain Life Festival shares with park visitors some of the traditional fall activities that were an important part of rural life in the southern mountains, and reflects the spirit of cooperation that existed among families and neighbors. All activities are free and open to the public and will include demonstrations of hearth cooking, apple butter and apple cider making, blacksmithing, lye soap making, food preservation, broom making, quilting, and chair bottoming. Artifacts and historic photographs from the national park’s collection will also be on display.
The sorghum syrup demonstration has been the centerpiece of the event for over 30 years. The syrup is made much the same way it was produced a hundred or more years ago, using a horse-powered cane mill and wood-fired cooker.