Great Smoky Mountains National Park will host a Holiday Homecoming at the new Oconaluftee Visitor Center Dec. 17.
Park staff and volunteers will provide hands-on traditional crafts and demonstrations from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Children and adults can to make a corn shuck doll, buzz button and cinnamon ornaments to take home or to hang on the visitor center tree.
From 1 to 3 p.m., there will be an acoustic old-time jam session focused on holiday music. “Musical expression was and still is often a part of daily life in the southern mountains, and mountain music is strongly tied to the Smokies history and culture,” said Lynda Doucette, supervisory park ranger at the center. “We would like to invite musicians to play traditional Appalachian tunes such as gospel songs and traditional ballads as they were played on the porches in the old days.”
The visitor center, located on U.S. Highway 441 just inside the Cherokee entrance to the park, will be decorated for the holiday season and will include an exhibit on Christmas in the mountains in the past. All activities are free and open to the public.