Christmas isn’t over yet! Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park is just getting started as guests will experience Old Christmas the way our colonial ancestors honored the holiday. In Colonial America, Christmas was celebrated as a twelve day holiday with many traditions and customs. Does The Twelve Days of Christmas sound familiar? The twelve days of feasting and merrymaking ended on January 6 or “Twelfth Night” with a grand celebration.
On Saturday, Jan. 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 8 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Washington County Militia will host the Park’s Annual Old Christmas Celebration including colonial Christmas traditions from the 18th century and tours of the Historic Carter Mansion.
As guests walk through the gates of Fort Watauga, travel back in time to an 18th century Old Christmas jollification. Each cabin in the fort will be the setting of Christmas traditions celebrated by the settlers of different cultures on the colonial frontier. Many of today’s modern Christmas customs are taken from century old practices such as English Christmas Guns, Irish Holly Wreaths, German Tannenbaum, Scottish First Footing and Dutch Sinterklaas. Guests will be able to connect today’s Christmas practices steeped in to old world traditions. Old Christmas at Fort Watauga is free and open to the public.
Tours of the Historic Carter Mansion will also be offered on Jan. 7 on the hour from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Jan. 8 on the hour from 1 to 3 p.m. The tours are $5 (cash payments only) for ages 13 and up and free for children 12 and under.
Get the most out of the holiday season and visit Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park for a fun, entertaining, and educational family outing. Arrive ready to be filled with the spirit of Christmas. It’s an event that is sure to become a tradition with families year after year.
Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park is located at 1651 W. Elk Avenue in Elizabethton, Tenn. For more information contact the Park at 423-543-5808 or visit our www.sycamoreshoalstn.org.