CHAPEL HILL -- Henry Horton State Park's 8th annual Step Back in Time Festival features an 1840s encampment, horse-mounted shooters, arts and crafts, country petting zoo, a sheep herding dog demonstration, bluegrass music, food and much more.
Activities start at 7 a.m. each day, Sept. 16 and 17, and continue until approximately 7:30 p.m. that Saturday. The festival is free and open to the public.
"This year's Step Back in Time Festival includes several exciting new events and demonstrations - it's a true family friendly event and a great way to learn about Tennessee history and see the skills of long ago in action," Tennessee State Parks Chief Ranger Shane Petty said. "Over the course of two days, we will have some great music, food and even a few surprises up our sleeves. We encourage everyone to come out and help us celebrate this annual event."
Live entertainment will include old-time musicians, the Middle Tennessee Cloggers, various storytellers and re-enactors. Other featured attractions will be old-time blacksmithing, broom making, and logging and forestry demonstrations. A mule-packing demonstration will be held on Saturday. More than 50 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 9:30 a.m. History hayrides will begin at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
While both days are open to the public, Petty said that Friday, Sept. 16, is a special school day.
"We encourage local teachers and schools to take advantage of this educational opportunity to see history in action," Petty said.
Visitors may see Earl Adcock's Famous Putt Putt Ice Cream, Horse Mounted Shooters, a Bull Whipping exhibition, a cross-cut saw competition and the trackless train. Games and programs will be held throughout the two-day event, such as hayrides, marbles, a snake program on Friday and 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 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 1,140-acre state park with four hiking trails, an abundance of wildlife including wild turkey and deer, and wildflowers. The park offers hours of family enjoyment whether it's swimming in the Olympic-sized pool, 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, call 364-2222.