published Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Cherokee Heritage Festival debuts at Red Clay

Tribal leaders of the Eastern Band of Cherokee will be guests at the inaugural Cherokee Heritage Festival, scheduled this weekend at Red Clay State Historic Park in Cleveland, Tenn.

Tribal Council chairwoman Terri Henry, the first female elected to the position, will visit Saturday, Aug. 2, and Chief Michell Hicks will be in attendance Sunday, Aug. 3.

IF YOU GO

What: Cherokee Heritage Festival.

When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 2-3.

Where: Red Clay State Historic Park, 1140 Red Clay Park Road, SW, Cleveland, Tenn.

Admission: Free; $5 parking.

Phone: 423-478-0339.

Website: tnstate parks.com/parks/about/red-clay.

Set to be an annual event, the festival will feature a different theme each year, opening with “Persistence, Resistance and Perseverance: The Formation of the Eastern Band.” Lectures on the Cherokee removal and the formation of the Eastern Band will be the topic of lectures, and a temporary exhibit on the theme will be set up in the Visitors Center.

The festival will include traditional singing and dancing, storytelling, stickball, 18th- and 19th-century living-history demonstrations, authentic foods, artisans, Cherokee plants and uses, and hikes led by herbalist Darryl Patton.

Red Clay State Historic Park, in the extreme southwest corner of Bradley County, was the site of 11 Cherokee Council meetings before the forced removal known as the Trail of Tears.

The heritage festival is sponsored by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Cherokee Nation, Friends of Red Clay and Tennessee State Parks.

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