Click on a month or an underlined date to view scheduled events.
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Enjoy free, open-air musical performances by the river Friday and Saturday evenings in downtown Cherokee. Performances include rock n’ roll, blues, jazz, gospel and country, and are staged near local eateries, shopping, and downtown water features with room to dance along.
Amazing tales as told by the Cherokee storytellers themselves.
Imagine you’re gathered around a roaring bonfire, the occasional spark shooting high into the night sky, as a strong but gentle voice begins a story you’ve never heard. As the drama builds, you’re nearly breathless, your own heartbeat matching the occasional beat of the hand drum the storyteller uses. Drawing from a rich oral tradition dating back millennia, the Cherokee Bonfire series runs throughout the tourism season, and is an enchanting way to interact with the rich details of the Cherokee people and their stories. Get your room reserved in Cherokee, grab a blanket and someone close to you, and enjoy a cultural experience only Cherokee can offer.
The Bonfire stories crackles from 7:00–9:00 p.m. on the following dates at Oconaluftee Islands Park, on Tsali Blvd.:
Fridays & Saturdays, May 25–October 27, 2018.
Expanded schedule for the 4th of July celebrations from June 26–July 1, 2018.
There will be no Bonfire Series events in September.
The second Saturday of every month, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian offers a family-friendly fun day of free cultural activities including traditional dancing, storytelling, cultural arts demonstrations, genealogy workshops, hands-on craft workshops and more. Traditional food is available on-site, weather permitting. Jerry Wolfe, Beloved Man of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, often participates. The Cherokee Friends offer workshops on traditional dancing and cultural arts demonstrations including wampum belt making, moccasin making, stickball stick making, wood carving, fire making, and more. Hands-on workshops are taught by members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and often include making a clay medallion or a traditional Cherokee pot stamped with wooden paddles carved with designs. Different members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians share stories and flute music. Robin Swayney, genealogist, offers workshops on genealogy for those who are interested in finding their Cherokee ancestors. Every month includes activities related to that month’s theme. For example, January, the windy month, will include workshops on how to play the Cherokee flute, blowgun demonstrations, and an outstanding panel of storytellers.
Activities are sponsored by the Museum, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Cherokee Preservation Foundation. Regular prices apply to food and to admission to Museum exhibits.