Smokies association throws a big party

Moonshine tasting, auctions, hikes, talks, hunts, barbecue, dancing and star gazing are just a few of the activities planned for Great Smoky Mountains Association’s Membership Appreciation Weekend Sept. 13-15 in Townsend, Tenn.

The organization is celebrating its 60th anniversary with a party to honor its 19,000-strong members. GSMA supports the national park through funds raised primarily from sales of publications for the park and from its membership program.

Beginning Friday, Sept. 13, there will be a barbecue dinner, birthday cake, a cakewalk, moonshine samples and music by strings musicians Michael Searcy and Darrell Acuff. Sam Venable, storyteller, humorist and columnist for the Knoxville News Sentinel, will close the evening.

Saturday, Sept. 14, features hikes, Civil War and black bear educational talks, mountain crafts activities, geocaching in the Townsend area, and a star gazing party in the evening. Children’s activities will be available throughout the day. Sunday’s activities include  a volunteers meeting, a bike ride around Townsend, a hike and a driving tour of Cades Cove.

The deadline to register is Aug. 31. Registration can be done online, by phone or email. New members are also welcome to join. or 888.898.9102 x222 or x254.

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