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Contact: Howard Duncan, 423-286-7275
The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area will host the Thirteenth Annual Spring Planting Day celebration on Saturday, April 27, 2013. 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. EDT. Prospective Junior Rangers will be able to earn a Junior Ranger patch and badge at Spring Planting Day which also coincides with National Park Week.
In order to preserve the historic landscape of the homestead, portions of the festival will be held at the Bandy Creek Visitor Center while other activities will take place at the Lora Blevins homestead. Visitors may park in the lot across from the Bandy Creek Visitor Center. Transportation to the Lora Blevins homestead will be available. Bring a picnic lunch and plan on spending the day. Food and cold drinks will also be available for sale through onsite food vendors.
Bandy Creek demonstrations may include old timey toys, quilting, flint knapping, woodcarving, soap making, basket weaving, hand spinning yarn and old fashioned embroidery. Music will be provided by the Knoxville Area Dulcimer Club and the local bluegrass band Great Day in the Morning. 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 wooden farming implements. 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.
Park rangers will also present a number of interpretive talks scheduled throughout the day near the Bandy Creek Visitor Center:
- There will be a fifteen minute talk at 11:00 a.m., 12 noon, 1:00 p.m., and 2:00 p.m. on an overview of antique tractors
- At 9:30 a.m. there will be a presentation on the history of moonshine in the Big South Fork
- At 10:00 a.m. there will be a talk on how to save your hemlocks
- At 11:00 a.m. there will be a presentation on buried treasure: fossils as a record of the past
- At 12 noon there will be a talk on sharing the outdoors with bears
- At 1:00 p.m. there will be a presentation on closing abandoned oil and gas wells in the Big South Fork
- At 1:30 p.m. there will be presentation on songs of the Big South Fork
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. The event is free of charge and open to the public.For further information, call the Bandy Creek Visitor Center at (423) 286-7275.