On June 15th, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will celebrate it's 75th birthday of the Park's creation. One highlight of the occasion will be the groundbreaking for the new visitor center planned at Oconaluftee. The celebration will take place from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the Mountain Farm Museum, adjacent to the existing visitor center, 2 miles north of Cherokee. The new facility will feature Southern Appalachian culture, the history and traditions of the Cherokee people and the Park, past and present.
The program for the groundbreaking is as follows:
- 10 a.m. - Music performed by Boogertown Gap
- 11 a.m. - Warriors of AniKituhwa - official Cherokee cultural ambassadors performing traditional dances including the War Dance and Eagle Tail Dance
- 11:30 a.m. - Storytelling by Charles Maynard
- 12 p.m. - Groundbreaking Ceremony with Park Superintendent Dale Ditmanson, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Principal Chief Michell Hicks, Civilian Conservation Corpsmen, and Cherokee Elder Jerry Wolfe giving the "Blessing of the Ground"
- 1 p.m. - Music played by Earl and the Boys