April 23, 2012
Contact: Howard Duncan
In conjunction with National Park Week, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area will host the Twelfth Annual Spring Planting Day Celebration on Saturday, April 28, 2012. The event will take place in the areas adjacent to the Bandy Creek Visitor Center and the Lora Blevins home place from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Prospective Junior Rangers will be able to earn a Junior Ranger patch and badge at Spring Planting Day which coincides with Junior Ranger Week.
In order to preserve the historic landscape of the homestead, portions of the festival will be held at the Bandy Creek Visitor Center and at the Lora Blevins homestead. Visitors may park in the parking area across from the Bandy Creek Visitor Center. Transportation to the Laura Blevins homestead will be available. Bring a picnic lunch and plan on spending the day. Food will also be available for sale through onsite food vendors.
Bandy Creek demonstrations may include quilting, flint knapping, woodcarving, soap making, basket weaving, hand spinning yarn and chicken scratch embroidery. The Knoxville Area Dulcimer Club will perform throughout the day. As a special attraction, antique tractors and farm equipment will be displayed in the field just across from the Visitor Center.
Demonstrations scheduled for the Blevins farmstead include blacksmithing, plowing with mule and horse teams, planting sorghum seed, and making fence palings. Children of all ages will be delighted to see various farm animals at the barn. Other displays at the farm include herbs and their uses and historic photographs of people who once lived in Big South Fork. Visitors will have an opportunity to see a bit of an earlier way of life when people depended closely on the land for their survival.
The Spring Planting Festival was begun in April of 2001 as a celebration of spring and as a way to involve local communities and park neighbors. Over the years, the event has become somewhat of a homecoming for area residents.
Join National Park Service staff and volunteers as they demonstrate traditional crafts and skills associated with farm life and chores. The event is free of charge and open to the public; however, the festival may be cancelled in the event of inclement weather.
For further information, call the Bandy Creek Visitor Center at (423) 286-7275.