Tag Archives: Sycamore Shoals

26th Annual Siege of Fort Watauga

Saturday and Sunday, May 15 and 16

On Saturday, May 15th and Sunday, May 16th, Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park will host nearly 150 living history re-enactors for the 26th annual Siege of Fort Watauga. Colonial, British, and Native re-enactors will converge at the re-created Fort Watauga at Sycamore Shoals to relive the days when America’s first frontier was the land beyond the blue ridge.  

Join us from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm each day as Sycamore Shoals once again becomes the scene of war during the Siege of Fort Watauga. Step back in time as you visit the fort, militia camps, British encampment, and Native American camp. Be immersed in the 18th century as you witness daily aspects of colonial frontier life. See the clash of two cultures as the attack on fort Watauga is recreated both days at 1:30 pm.  

During the event, take advantage of colonial merchants selling period wares in “Sutler’s Row”. There will be several vendors offering a myriad of 18th century reproduction items for the colonial enthusiast or the primitive decorator. Vendors this year include; Ft. Vause Outfitters specializing in finished leather goods, Windhil Woolens offering hand processed and dyed woolen goods such as yarn, blankets, and clothing, Walnut Hill Embellishments specializing in 18th century reproduction and historically inspired jewelry, Trader Bob offering a wide selection of hides and pelts, and Wintergreen Farms specializing in antique and original items. Several other vendors will offer everything from 18th century reproduction clothing and gear, to replica housewares and military accouterments.   

Several Revolutionary War living history units will be in attendance and will make the 18th century come to life during the weekend. Units include the 2nd Regt. SC Continental Line, the South Carolina Rangers, and Musgrove’s Mill Militia all based in South Carolina, and British units; the 71st Highland Regiment, and the British Legion. The host unit is the Washington County Regiment of North Carolina Militia based at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park. Also, enjoy musical entertainment from The Sons of Liberty, and the Watauga Valley Fife & Drum Corps.  

Numerous individuals also participate in the event portraying many 18th century walks of life including Cherokee Natives, Backcountry Hunters, Farmers, Housewives, Indentured Servants, Commoners and Gentry. This year we are excited to host the Scoundrels’ Alley who will represent the lowest class of colonial society and showcase the “dirty jobs” available in the 18th century through presentations entitled An Honest Days Work

Precautions will be taken to minimize the spread of Covid-19. All event activities will occur outdoors. Visitors are asked to stay 6 feet apart from other guests. Face masks are required inside all state park facilities. Face masks are recommended outdoors if social distancing cannot be maintained. Park buildings are subject to closure if maximum capacity is exceeded. Restrooms will also close periodically for cleaning.  

Admission to the event is free and food concessions will be available. Bring the entire family and see how your ancestors played a crucial role in our region’s history and in the formation of our nation. Witness the 18th century come to life, hear the rattle of muskets, smell the campfire smoke, and “Share in the Glorious Cause of Liberty” at the Siege of Fort Watauga

A detailed schedule will be available soon!

This event is sponsored by The Washington County Regiment of North Carolina Militia living history organization and The Friends of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park. 

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park 

1651 W. Elk Avenue

Elizabethton, TN. 37643

Phone:    423-543-5808   




Veteran’s Night highlights the opening of LIBERTY!’s 2nd week of performances on July 21


Watching the cast of Liberty! share the stories of Sycamore Shoals is humbling, exciting, and above all…….inspirational.   Comprised of over 100 volunteers, our neighbors from throughout the Tri-Cities and beyond, come together each January to begin auditions and rehearsals for the July drama. Giving an enormous amount of time and energy, they ask nothing in return – just the opportunity to be a part of ensuring that historic events of national significance are always remembered. Within their hearts you will find a passion and strong desire to honor our ancestors – patriots in the truest sense of the word.

Leaving the comforts of home, long hunters, and then families, began leaving the 13 colonies to begin a new life, free of the rule of the British Libertyking. They crossed over the mountains beyond the Proclamation Line of 1763 discovering land that was cleared, yet uninhabited. The “Old Fields” of the Watauga quickly became the heart of frontier settlements on land belonging to the Cherokee. Set in the 1770’s, Liberty! relates the good times and the sad times; the struggles and the sacrifices – of families who were willing to take incredible risks to create a democratic society against a multitude of obstacles.

Liberty opens its second week of performances on Thursday, July 21, and continues Thursday through Saturday through July 30th. With just two more weeks to go, we hope you will mark your calendars now to attend Tennessee’s Official Outdoor Drama – Liberty! The Saga of Sycamore Shoals in Elizabethton, Tennessee.

On Thursday, July 21, the Friends of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park, the Liberty! Cast, and the park staff, wish to thank and honor our veterans by offering each veteran and an escort, free admission to Liberty! on this night.

Additionally, on Friday, July 22, an interpreter for the hearing impaired will be signing the play as it is performed.

Set beside the Watauga River, the story unfolds with Fort Watauga as the backdrop. The outdoor amphitheater provides bench seating with backs and an opportunity to sample great food within a short distance from your seat at Carter’s Store Concessions.

Thursday through Saturday, July 21 – 23 and 28 – 30, we offer a dinner theater, by reservation only. Your one price ticket provides you with a great meal and your admission to Liberty!

Liberty! continues July 21 – 23 and the 28 – 30, closing the 38th season on Saturday, July 30th. General Admission seating and Dinner Theater reservations can be purchased in advance online at www.TheLibertyDrama.com

For additional information please contact the park.

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area

1651 W. Elk Avenue

Elizabethton, TN 37643



Liberty! to offer reduced admission opening night….


Friends of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area is pleased to be able to offer special ticket pricing for opening night, Thursday, July 14th!  

“First Night” is an exciting time for our Liberty! cast who have been working and practicing tirelessly since early April preparing for the 38th season of Liberty! On Thursday, July 14th, adults and seniors can attend Liberty! for $8.00 per person, children ages 6 to 17 years for $5.00, and 5 and under are free.

The drama is presented for nine nights each July running Thursday through Saturday, July 14, 15, 16; 21, 22 & 23, and 28, 29, and 30.   The box office opens nightly at 6 pm and the show begins at 7:30 pm.

Photographed by Bruce Green

We also offer the option to purchase your tickets in advance, online at www.TheLibertyDrama.com.   All seating is general admission.  Take advantage of this new service to insure your admission on the night of your choosing. Tickets may also be purchased on-site the night of the performance, with a maximum seating capacity of 450 total seats.

Tickets are $12.00 for Adults; $10.00 for Seniors (55 & up); $5.00 for Children (6 to 17 yrs); and 5 and under are free. Friends of Sycamore Shoals members are $6.00 and must present their membership card at the box office.

On Thursday, July 21, Liberty! will honor our veterans by offering them free admission to the show, along with an escort.

The 2016 season also marks the 7th exciting year for Pepsi’s Carter’s Trading Post, a venue named in honor of the original store opened by pioneers John Carter and partner William Parker shortly after they arrived on the frontier in 1771.  A fine menu of mouth-watering treats will be offered each evening for Liberty! guests.

Come early and enjoy an excellent dinner prior to the performance of Liberty! The Dinner Theater will be offered all 9 nights, except opening night, July 14th. The dates are July 15 & 16, July 21 – 23, and July 28 – 30. Dinner is served at approximately 6:00 PM. Doors open at 5:30 PM.

The Liberty! Dinner Theater is available by advanced reservations only. Reservations must be made by 1:00 PM the day of the performance. Dinner theater tickets are $25.00 for Adults; $23.00 for Seniors (55 and up); $18.00 for Children (6 to 17 years); 5 and under Free with a paying adult; and $19.00 for Friends of Sycamore Shoals members. Dinner Theater tickets include the cost of your meal and admission to Liberty!

Each Friday night, a sign language interpreter will be with us, bringing the story to life for the hearing impaired. In addition, we also have a Williams Hearing Impaired system transmitting on 72.9 MHz during all performances for those that have a receiver and ear piece.

Henderson arrives

Mark your calendars now and join us for this great opportunity to see the story of nationally significant events unfold in a dramatic presentation performed on the grounds of Sycamore Shoals with the reconstructed Fort Watauga as the backdrop. Liberty! The Saga of Sycamore Shoals is a two act outdoor drama depicting four major events that took place in the late 18th century within the Watauga Settlement now present day Elizabethton, TN.

These events reflect the rich and vast historical significance that surround Sycamore Shoals and the East Tennessee region as a whole, and the role that early settlers played in the formation of a new nation. Visiting The Official Outdoor Drama of the State of Tennessee is a great way to see these stories unfold. Liberty! The Saga of Sycamore Shoals begins its 38th season Thursday, July 14, and continues for a three-weekend run.