Mountain Life Festival returns to Great Smoky Mountains National Park 

by Sep 14, 2023General Announcements0 comments

A mule drives a sorghum press at a previous year’s Mountain Life Festival at the Mountain Farm next to the Oconaluftee Visitors Center. (NPS photo)

GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK, N.C. – Following a three-year absence, Great Smoky Mountains National Park will again host its popular Mountain Life Festival at the Mountain Farm Museum on Saturday, Sept. 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event preserves the legacy of the diverse Appalachian customs practiced for generations by the many families who lived on lands that later became Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The day’s activities reflect the spirit of cooperation that existed among families and neighbors, especially during the harvest. Learn what life was like by interacting with living historians and cultural demonstrators. Share in traditional autumnal pursuits that were an important part of rural life in the mountains, such as blacksmithing, sorghum milling, apple cider pressing, soap making, live music, and more! All activities are free and open to the public.

The Mountain Farm Museum is next to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, two miles north of Cherokee, NC. For more information about the Mountain Life Festival call the visitor center (828) 497-1904. Saturday, Sept. 23, is also a fee-free day across the National Park Service in celebration of National Public Lands Day, so a parking tag is not required for the event or other activities in the park that day. Veterans Day, Saturday, Nov. 11 will be the last fee-free day of the year.

Visitors who wish to buy a weekly or annual tag on fee-free days may continue to do so online, in the park, and at various locations in park communities. Park rangers will continue their parking enforcement efforts on fee-free days, such as issuing warnings and citations for vehicles parked in marked no-parking areas.

  • National Park Service release