I’m sure others have their own opinions but of all the events we have or go to, my favorite is ,hands down, Old Christmas. Some would say that the weather is iffy; we sure do freeze our buns off most years, staring at each other shivering , asking each other WHY we are there in single digit weather. The bottom line is that it’s beautiful and meaningful. Epiphany is the end of the joyous season of Christmas, celebrated by many on the frontier who made a joyful noise proclaiming Christ on earth. The Twelve Days of Christmas were observed in many areas of the world in the last half of the 18th century, including the fledging settlements on the other side of the line drawn with the Proclamation of 1763. Each cabin inside the fort was decorated to reflect the ethnicities of the people who originally populated what was then the frontier. Each host spent countless time making goodies as not only a taste of the season but also a taste of 18th century foods that the settlers would have enjoyed on that day.
This year the weather was with us; as a matter of fact, it was in the low 60’s both days and come the public did! We were bombed on Saturday! The estimated thousand people who came both days experienced a Scottish first footing in the Tavern with Sammy and Tommy Fleenor making authentic Scottish tablet. The Bennetts (Lisa, Whorley, Rachael and Chenoa) and Suzanna Kulikowski did a beautiful job presenting an English Christmas with a delicious wassail, Queens Cake and assorted cookies. Tony DeVault decorated the primitive cabin to honor his Huguenot ancestry and provided a monster Yule log and gateau for an 18th century French Christmas. Since retiring from teaching, I went all out and made a German Christmas to remember. The tannenbaum was outside and the table groaned with German baked goodies from Stollen to Hartshorn cookies of all types and Three Kings Cake and mulled cider. Dan Akerblom, Scott and Ethan Wallen took the last cabin and turned it into a Dutch treat with wreaths, shoes outside full of gifts from Sinter Claus and Stollen and treats inside. After hours on Saturday, we had a monster shared dinner in the Talbot House and breathed, trying to get our voices back.
Many of our members came but were really busy sharing time between enjoying the event and packing trailers for their trip to New Orleans as the First Regiment East Tennessee Militia who fought under Jackson in the War of 1812. Most of the members left very early the next day so they could be there in plenty of time to set up and enjoy the area before the event starting on Thursday.
It was a wonderful event and a great way to start the New Year.
Thank you BECKY GARROU for the great pictures you and John took of the event. Her pictures made up the collage.