The theme of the festival is “Persistence, Resistance and Perseverance: The Formation of the Eastern Band.” The event will include traditional singing and dancing, Cherokee foods, Cherokee plants and uses, hikes led by Herbalist Darryl Patton, Cherokee artisans, 18th and 19th century living historians, storytelling and much more.
Visitors can also enjoy a traditional game of stickball and listen to lectures about the Cherokee removal and the formation of the Eastern Band. There will also be a temporary exhibit in the visitor’s center focusing on the theme of the festival.
In addition, the first female tribal chair Terri Henry will visit on Saturday and Chief Michell Hicks will visit on Sunday.
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 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. For more information about the park, visit http://tnstateparks.com/parks/about/red-clay.
Tennessee’s 55 state parks offer diverse natural, recreational and cultural experiences for individuals, families, or business and professional groups. State park features range from pristine natural areas to 18-hole championship golf courses.
There is a state park within an hour’s drive of just about anywhere in the state, offering a variety of recreational, lodging and dining choices.