Ila Hatter describes traditional uses for native plants. (The Herald/Submitted Photo)

An annual festival which celebrates the area’s cultural heritage is slated to take place this weekend.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park has announced the annual “Cosby in the Park” festival will be held May 19 at the Park’s Cosby campground.

In its 13th year, “Cosby in the Park” is presented by the Cocke County Partnership, Great Smoky Mountains Association, and the Park.

The event celebrates the cultural heritage of this area and highlights the many recreational opportunities available in the Cosby section of the park.

The festival is free to the public and is scheduled between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

“Each year we take this opportunity to celebrate the life and culture of the people who lived in this area,” said Kent Cave, Supervisory Ranger at Sugarlands Visitor Center. “We are looking forward to another year of music, cultural demonstrations and fellowship in Cosby during this beautiful season.”

The festivities this year will all take place in the campground amphitheater, and the group campground areas. All of the crafts and children’s games will take place near the amphitheater.  Free parking for attendees will be provided in campground Loop B.

Dave McClary and Mountain Strings play old-time music. (The Herald/Submitted Photo)

A full day of activities is planned that includes Southern Appalachian music, hikes, and demonstrations on local history, blacksmithing, quilting, corn shuck dolls and crafts, old time toys, natural foods and medicinal plants, and other folk arts.

Families are encouraged to attend, and take some time to learn more about old time toys and traditional mountain crafts. This year children and families are invited to make their own rag doll and button whizzer to take home.

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