Step Back in Time at Henry Horton State Park Sept. 14-15

Thursday, September 06, 2012 | 04:38 pm

State Parks’ 75th Anniversary Event Sept. 13; Ninth Annual Fall Festival Slated for Sept. 14-15 

CHAPEL HILL, Tenn. – Henry Horton State Park will host the Ninth Annual Step Back in Time Festival Sept. 14 – 15, featuring an 1840s encampment, horse-mounted shooters, arts and crafts, country petting zoo, a sheep dog / herding demonstration, bluegrass music, food and much more.  Activities will begin at 9 a.m. each day and will run until approximately 4 p.m.  A special 75th Anniversary celebration will be held on Thursday, Sept. 13.  All events are free and open to the public.  

“We are very excited about this year’s Step Back in Time Festival, including the lineup of very talented artisans and entertainers and the great anniversary event planned for Thursday evening,” said Shane Petty, chief ranger for Tennessee State Parks.  “This is a fun, family-friendly festival and we encourage everyone to come out and join us.” 

As part of Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary, park staff will host a special reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 13, at the Inn at Henry Horton, including a commemorative cake-cutting ceremony.  Come out and meet the park staff to learn more about Henry Horton’s unique past, its impact on the area and future plans for this popular state park. Also making an appearance will be Tennessee State Parks’ new traveling anniversary exhibit, which recently hit the road to tour state parks and various communities – sharing Tennessee State Parks’ rich and storied history. Enclosed in a colorful trailer emblazoned with various images and logos, the exhibit interprets the origins and heritage of Tennessee’s state park system.

The official Step Back in Time festival kicks off on Friday, Sept. 14 and will conclude Saturday, Sept. 15.  Chief Ranger Petty added that while both days are open to the public, Friday is being billed as a special school day.  “We encourage local teachers and schools to take advantage of this educational opportunity to see history in action.” 

There will be live entertainment at the festival, including old-time musicians, the Middle Tennessee Cloggers, various storytellers and re-enactors.  Other featured attractions will be old-time blacksmithing, and logging and forestry demonstrations.  A mule / sorghum making demonstration will be held on Saturday.  More than 100 talented artisans and vendors will be on hand with various crafts and food booths. Antique cars and tractors also will be at the park on Saturday, starting with a parade at 9 a.m.   

Visitors are encouraged not to miss Earl Adcock’s Famous Putt Putt Ice Cream, the Horse Mounted Shooters, a Bull Whipping exhibition, a cross-cut saw competition and the trackless train – all five activities will be held both Friday and Saturday.  There will be games and programs throughout the two-day event such as hayrides, a greased pig contest, a hog-calling contest, marbles, and even a watermelon seed-spitting contest on Saturday. 

Back again this year is the Hunters for the Hungry run, which begins at 6:45 a.m. on Saturday.  Sponsored by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the Tennessee Wildlife Federation, the run will raise money to process donated venison, which will be given to various charities.   

Henry Horton is a 1,532-acre state park with four hiking trails, featuring an abundance of wildlife such as wild turkey, deer and many kinds of wildflowers. The park offers hours of family enjoyment whether it's swimming, fishing along the Duck River, playing volleyball or basketball or just having a picnic.  Henry Horton State Park also is well known for its championship 18-hole golf course, inn and cabins, campgrounds and trap and skeet range. For more information about the park, please call the park office at (931) 364-2222 or visit www.tnstateparks.com/HenryHorton 

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