The annual event will last through Sunday, but today focused on students and the story about those who inhabited the area before the Europeans arrived on this continent.
“Sponsored by the Friends of Red Clay and the Native American Services of Tennessee, the event will include traditional dancers, storytelling, living history demonstrations and more,” according to Shannon Ashford, communications officer for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. “In addition to musicians and dancers, the festival will feature craftspeople selling their wares and handicrafts at various vendor booths, along with a number of games and activities for the whole family.”
The festival is free and open to the public Saturday and Sunday, with a $5 parking fee per vehicle or motorcycle. Activities will begin at 10 a.m. each day.
James F. Corn III is planning on attending. He said he is currently working his way down the Eastern U.S.
His grandfather was an advocate who worked to preserve the history of Red Clay.
Corn is an advocate with the Friends of Red Clay.
“We invite everyone to come visit and come see the new, priceless collection of Native American artifacts in the Col. James F. Corn Interpretive Center at Red Clay,” said James Corn III.
“Red Clay’s 2012 Pow Wow is a great opportunity to educate families and students about Native American history and the key role it played in shaping Tennessee,” said Carol Crabtree, park manager. “The festival is a way to preserve this heritage for future generations, and we have a talented roster of artists, performers and craftspeople on hand for this year’s event.”
Native American arts and crafts will be demonstrated and sold throughout the event and traditional and festival foods also will be available, along with some old favorites, officials noted.
Park visitors are encouraged to bring a blanket or chairs, along with sunscreen and protective sunglasses.
For more information and specific event times and activities at Red Clay’s 2012 Pow Wow, please call the park office.
Red Clay State Historic Park is located in the extreme southwest corner of Bradley County, just above the Tennessee-Georgia state line, and is the site of 11 of the last 12 Cherokee Council meetings before the infamous Trail of Tears. The park encompasses 263 acres of narrow valley and forested ridges and features picnic facilities, a loop trail and amphitheater. The park also contains a natural landmark, the Blue Hole Spring, which arises from beneath a limestone ledge to form a deep pool that flows into Mill Creek. The Cherokee used the Blue Hole Spring as their water supply during council meetings.
In 2009, the Eastern Band and the Cherokee Nation came together at Red Clay to hold the 25th Joint Council meeting.
For more information about the park, please visit www.tnstateparks.com/RedClay/.