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Mountain Life Festival returns to Smokies national park after 3 years

by: Hope McAlee

Posted: Sep 14, 2023 / 01:46 PM EDT

Updated: Sep 14, 2023 / 05:19 PM EDT

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) — The Mountain Life Festival will return to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for the first time in three years, according to a release from the park.

The park will host the Mountain Life Festival at the Mountain Farm Museum on Saturday, September 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., coinciding with fee-free day in celebration of National Public Lands Day.

The park said the event preserves the diverse Appalachian customs that were practiced for generations by the families who lived on the land that became the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

“The day’s activities reflect the spirit of cooperation that existed among families and neighbors, especially during the harvest. Learn what life was like by interacting with living historians and cultural demonstrators. Share in traditional autumnal pursuits that were an important part of rural life in the mountains, such as blacksmithing, sorghum milling, apple cider pressing, soap making, live music, and more! All activities are free and open to the public,” GSMNP said.

The Mountain Farm Museum is located next to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center at 1194 Newfound Gap Road in Cherokee North Carolina. For more information on the festival, the park says to call the visitor center at 828-497-1904.

Since September 23 is also a fee-free day across the National Park Service, a parking tag is not required for the event or for other activities in the park that day. The final fee-free day of the year will be on Veterans Day, Saturday, November 11.