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Sycamore Shoals celebrates Old Christmas

December 31st, 2013 8:21 am by Entertainment Staff

Sycamore Shoals celebrates Old Christmas

Contributed photo.

For most of us, once Dec. 26 rolls around, Christmas is officially over.

But a local state park is stretching out the holiday season just a little bit longer.

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area in Elizabethton will host its annual “Old Christmas at Fort Watauga” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Jan. 4 and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Jan. 5.

Admission is free.

The event is sponsored by the Washington County Regiment of North Carolina Militia.

In Colonial America, Christmas was celebrated as a 12-day holiday with many traditions and customs. There were 12 days of feasting and merrymaking, ending with a grand celebration on Jan. 6, or the “Twelfth Night.”

Visitors to Sycamore Shoals’ Old Christmas celebration will travel back in time to an 18th-century Old Christmas “Jollification” and see how contemporary Christmas practices are steeped in these Old World traditions.

Each cabin at Fort Watauga will be the setting of various Old World Christmas traditions and customs, such as the English Christmas guns, the Irish holly wreath, the German tannenbaum and the Dutch Sinterklaas.

Other events scheduled throughout the two-day event include open-hearth cooking to demonstrate daily frontier life and flintlock rifle and musket firing.

For more information about Sycamore Shoals’ Old Christmas Celebration or any other living history events at the park, call (423) 543-5808 or visit

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area is located at 1651 W. Elk Ave., Elizabethton.

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