November/December 2018 – Special Events and Workshops

Come Share in the Glorious Cause of Liberty! 

Watauga Valley Fife and Drum Corps

1st and 3rd Saturdays

10am – Noon

The Watauga Valley Fife & Drum Corps performs at historical events, dedications,and parades. Musical experience is welcome but not necessary, just come with a willingness to learn.


Putting in the Park

Friday, November 2

11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Cost: $5.00

Max: 5

Pre-registration required –

Choose “Upcoming Events” in the left hand menu

What is disc golf? Join Ranger Davis in a unique setting around Fort Watauga for an introduction to disc golf! Learn basic techniques for putt and approach, mid-range, and driving, with a “hands on” opportunity using discs that will be provided. Dress appropriately for the weather and bring your own water.


Thus Friends Absent Speak:

The Art of Correspondence – 1750 to 1850                                   

Instructor: Brian Allison                                                      

9:30 am – 11:30 am

Saturday, November 3

Max:   30

Pre-registration: Call the park at 423-543-5808

Cost:   $25.00   (includes instruction, 2 hand cut quill pens, paper & other supplies)

Communication in the 18th century was a very personal endeavor with much time and thought being put into your message. This wonderful workshop will be informative as well as creative as you learn about letter writing of this era, write with quill pen and ink, work with sealing wax and wafer seals, the replication of postmarks, and finishing the letter. To register with your tuition fee and reserve your spot, call the park at 423-543-5808


Affairs of Honor -The Duel                                    

Instructor: Brian Allison

Saturday, November 3

1 pm – 2:30 pm

Pre-registration: Call the park at 423-543-5808

This afternoon session presented by acclaimed author and living historian, Brian Allison, will focus on the art of the duel, also known as Irish Code Duello, in fact and fiction. Journey with us as Brian explains the intricacies of the duel in the 18th and 19th Century, and how it was different in the states like Tennessee, South Carolina and Louisiana. Want to add more to your impression of the period, then this hands on workshop is a must. This informative class will be held at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Parks “Gathering Room” starting at 1pm. Cost: $10 or $5 if taken with his morning session “Thus friends absent speak”. To register with your tuition fee and reserve your spot, call the park at 423-543-5808. 


Banjos through History

Wednesday, November 7

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Cost: $5.00 Adults/ Ages 17 and Under $1

Max: 14

Pre-registration required –

Choose “Upcoming Events” in the left hand menu.

Ever wondered how the banjo came to be? That round, twangy instrument that we commonly associate with Appalachia actually traces its lineage to Africa over half of a millennia ago! Join Ranger Hayslett in historic Sabine Hill for this musical and educational presentation. Foot patting encouraged!


Autumn Heritage Celebration

Saturday and Sunday, November 10 and 11

This year may be drawing to a close, but we aren’t going to let it pass without one more festive weekend at Fort Watauga!   Events for the two days include……


Colonial Harvest Celebration

Saturday, November 10

10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Sunday, November 11

10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Join the festivities at Fort Watauga as the Washington County Militia gather to celebrate recent victories in the War for Independence and give thanks for a bountiful harvest. Enjoy demonstrations of 18th century life and living history presentations.


Fall Fiber Fair

Saturday, November 10

10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Sunday, November 11

10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Fall is the time we plan our winter projects and our handmade holiday gifts! Spend a day visiting our regions’ finest fiber producers and artists! The day will include workshops, vendors with handmade items for sale, raw fibers, and demonstrations of spinning, weaving, and more!


The Liberty Spinners

Tuesday, November 13

9:30 am

This gathering of spinners and fiber artists is open to anyone interested in the art of spinning. Join us at 9:30 am on the 2nd Tuesday of each month (April to November).


Fire Starting Basics

Wednesday, November, 14

11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Cost: $5.00

Max: 5

Pre-registration required –

Choose “Upcoming Events” in the left hand menu

Interested in learning the art of building a fire? Develop your outdoor skills by joining Ranger Jason Davis for a hands-on tutorial about basic fire starting tips and techniques.  We will be using both colonial era flint and steel as well as modern tools.  Topics include: how to make char cloth, good and bad natural fuel sources, fire building strategies, and improvising with everyday items. Please dress appropriately for the weather.  Bring your own gloves and water, all other supplies will be provided. 


Watauga Valley Art League Meeting and Program

Sunday, November 18                                                                         1:30 pm

This monthly meeting is open to all!  Each month a unique program is planned that ranges from talks, to demos, to hands on projects.


Walking in Frontier Footsteps – After Thanksgiving Day Hike

Friday, November 23

11:00 am

Join Ranger Davis for a special guided interpretive walk through the grounds of Sycamore Shoals and along portions of the walking path on Friday, November 24. Discover the historical events that took place surrounding Sycamore Shoals and their significance to the formation of our State and Country. Dress appropriately for the weather as we will be taking a casual stroll on the walking path and through the park grounds. Meet in the picnic area beside the Visitor Center, at 11:00 am. Please no pets. Hike is by reservation only and subject to cancellation due to significantly inclement weather.


Old Time Music Jam – Led by Art Lang

Sunday, November 25

1:30 pm – 4:00 pm

Enjoy the rich musical traditions of our region each month. Old time musicians of all levels are welcome. Don’t play and instrument? Come on over, kick back, and enjoy the tunes!


 Tomahawk Tossin’                                                                                  

Thursday, November 29

10:00 am – 11:00 am

Cost: $5.00 Adults/ Ages 17-12 $1

Max: 6

Pre-registration required – sycamore-shoals

Choose “Upcoming Events” in the left hand menu.

Join ranger Hayslett in Fort Watauga to learn about how the tomahawk was used by natives and settlers alike in the 18th century. Proper methods of tomahawk throwing will be demonstrated and taught to participants ages 12 and above. Participants must be 12 years and older with adult supervision. Wear close toed shoes and get ready to have some safe fun!


 Christmas at the Carter Mansion

Friday, November 30 and Saturday, December 1

6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Cost: $7.00- Adults/$3.00- Ages 7 to 17/6 and under Free

Pre-registration required –

Registration Opens on November 1st – Choose “Upcoming Events” in the left hand menu

Spend a candlelit evening in the oldest frame house in Tennessee, decorated with bright greenery for the holidays. Enjoy music, refreshments and historic interpreters acting out scenes from an 18th century Christmas. 


Winterfest Art Show

December 2 – 16

Opening Reception: Sunday, December 2

1:30 pm – 4:00 pm

Kick off the holidays at Sycamore Shoals! The Watauga Valley Art League exhibition and sale begins with a reception on December 3 with great opportunities for holiday shopping! Artwork from the Watauga Valley Art League will remain on display during regular park hours throughout the month of December until January 7th, 2018. 


Lamplight Christmas Wreath Exhibit

December 2 – 16

Tuesday – Saturday

9:00 am – 4:00 pm


1:00 pm – 4:30 pm

A visit to the park Visitors Center is sure to inspire as the rooms will be graced with wreaths of all designs and colors hung from old time lampposts. Please contact the park to request a place in this show. Wreaths will be made by community members, civic groups and schools to bring to life the Christmas spirit of our region.



Traditional Arts Workshops

To join one or more classes, you must register in advance by

calling 423-543-5808 and pre-pay.

If you would like to receive updated information throughout the year, please send your email address to 


Visitors Center Hours:

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM Monday through Saturday

1:00 PM – 4:30 PM Sunday

Our Visitors Center is closed on most State holidays.

Park grounds are open from dawn until dusk.

In the event of extremely inclement winter weather, contact the park about program cancellations and park office closings.


For more information contact:

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park

1651 West Elk Avenue

Elizabethton, TN 37643

(423) 543-5808