The Smoky Mountain Woodcarving Festival, annual woodcarvings show & competition is held at the Smoky Mountains Heritage Center in Townsend. The festival provides an opportunity for talented woodcarver’s from all over the United States to meet in one location and display not only their talents but also their recent works. Carvers are encouraged to setup displays for sale as well as to perform their craft throughout the show. The festival includes a competition aspect, which pits professional, amateur and hobby carvers’ talents against each other across a variety of categories. Entries must be carved within the last 3 years, and categories include animal figures; game birds, waterfowl, fish and also categories that reflect other challenges like wood burning, miniatures, relief carving and chip and bark carvings. The atmosphere is friendly and reminds me a little of a local county fair, with tables & booths setup so you can enjoy the artists work and often interact with the artists themselves.
The Festival takes place at the Heritage Center which itself is a museum dedicated to celebrating and displaying the history of East Tennessee and it’s unique culture and rich historical traditions. On display at the museum are artifacts dating back to 3000 BC and include a variety of exhibits illustrating Native American and early settler lifestyles. There are life-size exhibits; a historic village, cantilever barns, wheelwright shop and even a smokehouse! The woodcarving festival takes place throughout these areas but mainly is focused in the 500 seat covered amphitheater. As a bonus when attending the festival you should make some time to patronize the Smoky Mountain Woodcarvers Supply store. It is also located in Townsend, TN at Nawger Nob, approximately 3 miles down Hwy 321 toward Maryville or Knoxville. During this time of year there are extra visuals & artist displays for you to admire. And the shop is filled with friendly faces and you can even a take a lesson or two in woodcarving while you’re there.
Whether you go for one day or both, the annual Woodcarving Festival is worth your time. It is fantastic for families, extremely cost effective at only $3 for adults and if you’re a woodcarver or interested in learning more about it, then it’s PERFECT for you!
The Festival is held October 6th 10a-6p and October 7th 12p-4p
At the Smoky Mountains Heritage Center
123 Cromwell Drive, Townsend, TN 37882
Woodcarvers Supply Store
7321 Lamar Alexandar Parkway (Hwy 321), Townsend TN