BANDY CREEK | The Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area will host its 23rd annual Spring Planting Festival on Saturday, April 29. The event is held annually on the last Saturday of April.
Here’s what to expect:
Location: The festival is centered around the Bandy Creek Visitor Center and day use area, as well as the Lora Blevins farmstead that is located a short distance north along Bandy Creek Loop Road. Parking is available in the fields at Bandy Creek, and a free shuttle will run between Bandy Creek and the Blevins farm.
Activities: Traditionally, the people who settled the Big South Fork region were subsistence farmers. Spring was a time to plant crops and vegetable gardens. The produce of these activities would sustain the family and their livestock throughout the year. The Spring Planting Festival is a celebration of this season. The festival presents craft demonstrations like blacksmithing, basket-weaving, hand-spinning, wood-carving, chair-caning, soap-making and more. There are also children’s activities, interpretive talks, and craft and food vendors. Music is performed throughout the day. One of the highlights of the day is the plowing and planting with mule and horse teams that takes place at the Lora Blevins farm.
Time: The Spring Planting Festival is an all-day event, from 9am until 4pm, rain or shine.
Schedule: The day will begin with a birding walk at the Bandy Creek Swimming Pool parking lot, at 8am. Following that:
9am: Plowing of the fields (Lora Blevins Farm)
9:30am: Native herb walk (Leatherwood Ford)
10am: Music by David Howard (Bandy Creek Big Tent)
11am: Music by Spruce Creek Ramblers (Bandy Creek Big Tent)
12pm: Music by Johnny Roger (Bandy Creek Big Tent)
1pm: Music by Standing Stone (Bandy Creek Big Tent)
2pm: Music by Victory Bluegrass (Bandy Creek Big Tent)
3pm: Music by Gerald Handwright (Bandy Creek Big Tent)
All Day: Gardening demonstrations (Lora Blevins Farm)
All Day: Music by Knoxville Area Dulcimer Club (Lora Blevins Farm)
All Day: Music by Smoky Mountain Flute Circle (Lora Blevins Farm)
All Day: Old Timey Toys Display (Bandy Creek)
All Day: Junior Ranger Scavenger Hunt for kids (Bandy Creek Visitor Center)
All Day: Open House Demonstration (Oscar Blevins Farm)
Food: Craft and food vendors will have products for sale at Bandy Creek. Additionally, the Bandy Creek Camp Store (located by the stables west of the Visitor Center) will be open all day with snacks and drinks.