Cherokee's Cultural Eclipse Celebration | Cherokee, NC

How will Cherokee affect you?

Cherokee's Cultural Eclipse Celebration

Sunday, August 20 from 2:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Look! Up in the sky! It’s…a giant frog swallowing the sun?


Amateur astronomers and educators alike have been getting ready (and excited!) for the “Great American Eclipse” happening Monday, August 21. This is a total solar eclipse, which happens when the moon completely blocks the sun’s light, casting an enormous shadow over the Earth. For those who really want to be precise, “totality,” or the total eclipse, begins at 2:35:41 p.m. (EDT) on August 21. An astronomical event of the rarest kind, a total solar eclipse that’s only viewable in the U.S. hasn’t taken place since 1776! That’s why Cherokee is having a two-day celebration in honor of this heavenly event, August 20–21.

When an eclipse happened during the times of the ancient Cherokees, they believed a giant frog that lived in the sky had swallowed the sun (or moon, if it was a lunar eclipse), causing darkness to occur during the daytime. The Cherokees and other tribes would gather and fire guns, beat drums, and generally make noise so as to frighten the great frog away, making the sun shine brightly again.

To commemorate the Eclipse's cultural significance, this two-day event will include the Warriors of AniKituhwa, Native American performances, storytelling, food vendors, and more. Since an eclipse should never be viewed without protective eyewear, certified solar eclipse glasses will be available for $5 at the event and are included with your admission.

Admission: 

Click here to order your admission ticket now! 

$25 each day for ages 6 yrs. and older (includes a free pair of certified eclipse glasses). Children 5 & under are free and they will get a pair of certified eclipse glasses as well. Souvenirs and additional purchases for custom certified eclipse glasses will be available during the event. Glasses are available at the Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds gate, Cherokee Welcome Center, and the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. There will also be a special commemorative t-shirt available for $20.

Please bring your own folding chair and enjoy seating in the open area at the Fairgrounds where you can enjoy the festivities and the Eclipse event. You may want to bring your own drum if you would like to participate in “chasing away the frog” during the period of totality.

Schedule of Events:

Sunday, August 20, 2017
2:00 p.m.    Presentation of Colors
2:05 p.m.    National Anthem
2:10 p.m.    Welcome
2:15 p.m.     Cherokee Warriors
2:45 p.m.    Story Telling
3:30 p.m.    The Toppers
4:30 p.m.    Youth Stickball
5:45 p.m.    Teen Stickball
7:00 p.m.    Jody Medford Band
8:00 p.m.    Bonfire
9:00 p.m.    Gates Close

Monday, August 21, 2017
9:00 a.m.    Gates Open
10:10 a.m.   Presentation of Colors
10:15 a.m.   Cherokee Anthem
10:20 a.m.   Welcoming
10:30 a.m.   AM Superstars
12:00 p.m.   The Toppers
1:30 p.m.     Story Telling
2:10 p.m.     Drumming
2:45 p.m.    Cherokee Warriors
3:15 p.m.    Jody Medford Band
4:35 p.m.    The Toppers
6:00 p.m.   Southern Halo
7:00 p.m.   Gates Close
7:10 p.m.    Bonfire at the Island
9:00 p.m.   Bonfire Ends


Location:

Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds and the Museum of the Cherokee Indian

Cherokee, NC 28719

Phone: 800.438.1601
Email:


Cruise the Smokies Fall Rod Run

Friday, October 19 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Enjoy a vintage car show at the Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds featuring hundreds of restored and enhanced vintage cars. Chat with their owners to get each car’s unique history, enjoy pristine paint jobs, and have your fill of polished chrome. This show will have food, memorabilia, and automobile parts vendors and will be hosted with music by a professional DJ for lots of old-fashioned fun. Admission is $5 per person and free for children 10 and younger. Tickets can be purchased at the event. 


Cherokee Bonfire

Friday, October 19 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

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 5:00–7:00 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 July 1–7, 2018.

There will be no Bonfire Series events in September.


Cherokee Harvest Half Marathon and 5K

Saturday, October 20 from 6:00 am to 11:30 am

The Cherokee Harvest Half Marathon is back! Join us for the return of this great fall race in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains. This event is famous for its generous swag package, picturesque courses, local culture, and amazing post-race meals.

Half Marathon Entry Fees:
Now–April 30 - $45
May 1–September 30 - $50
October 1 - $55
Online Registration

5K Entry Fees:
Now–April 30 - $25
May 1–September 30 - $30
October 1 - $35
Online Registration

Entertainment and Event Schedule
Friday, October 19
4:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.  Packet pick up and late registration at Acquoni Events Center

Saturday, October 1 
6:00 a.m.–7:45 a.m.  Packet pickup and late registration at Acquoni Events Center
7:45 a.m.  Assemble for Start of Half Marathon 
8:00 a.m.  Half Marathon Starts 
8:05 a.m.  Assemble for Start of 5K
8:15 a.m.  5K Starts


Cruise the Smokies Fall Rod Run

Saturday, October 20 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Enjoy a vintage car show at the Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds featuring hundreds of restored and enhanced vintage cars. Chat with their owners to get each car’s unique history, enjoy pristine paint jobs, and have your fill of polished chrome. This show will have food, memorabilia, and automobile parts vendors and will be hosted with music by a professional DJ for lots of old-fashioned fun. Admission is $5 per person and free for children 10 and younger. Tickets can be purchased at the event. 


Cherokee Bonfire

Saturday, October 20 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

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 5:00–7:00 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 July 1–7, 2018.

There will be no Bonfire Series events in September.


Cherokee Bonfire

Friday, October 26 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

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 5:00–7:00 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 July 1–7, 2018.

There will be no Bonfire Series events in September.


Cherokee Bonfire

Saturday, October 27 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

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 5:00–7:00 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 July 1–7, 2018.

There will be no Bonfire Series events in September.


Kananesgi Basket Festival

Saturday, November 3 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Kananesgi Basket Festival celebrates the basket makers of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI). Visitors can meet with artists, learn the details of basket making during a panel discussion, and purchase unique pieces to take home. The festival will also feature EBCI carvers and weapon makers. Admission is free to the public.

Entertainment/Event Schedule:

10:00a.m.—4:00p.m. - Marketplace

12:00p.m. - Storytelling

1:00p.m. - Weaver Panel Discussion


Rumble in the Rhododendron Fly Fishing Tournament

Saturday, November 3 to Sunday, November 4

Are you and your best fly-fishing buddy ready to rumble with the top anglers around? Then get your $250 entry fee together for this two-person team competition held exclusively in the catch-and-release section of Cherokee’s “trophy waters” known simply as Raven Fork. This tournament offers a payout* totaling $10,000 for the top teams. To enter this tournament you must first acquire a Cherokee fishing permit (a list of permit-selling locations may be found at FishCherokee.com), then register for the event at River's Edge Outfitter. Additional event details will be discussed on November 2 at 7 p.m. during the opening meeting. Open to all ages. 

*Payout subject to change.


Cherokee Heritage Day

Saturday, November 10 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

One Saturday of every month, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 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. 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. Every month includes activities related to that month’s theme. 

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.

Monthly Themes
May 12 - Anisgvti (Planting Month) 
June 9 - Cherokee Voices Festival
July 14 - Guyegwoni (Corn in Tassel Month)
August 11 - Galoni (End of Fruit Month)
September 8 - Dulisdini (Nut Month)
October 13 -  Duninvdi (Harvest Month)
November 10 - Nvdadegwa (Hunter Month/Big Moon)
December 8 - Vsgiyi (Snow Month)


Turkey Strut 5K Walk/Run

Saturday, November 17 from 10:30 am to 3:00 pm

Get ready for Turkey Day with a 5K. On-site registration will be available from 10:30–11:30 a.m. Or pre-register online at runsignup.com. The race begins at noon.

Pre-sale Tickets:
$15 for adults before November 13, and $20 after November 13 
$5 for adults ages 59 and up
$5 for kids ages 12 and younger


Cherokee Heritage Day

Saturday, December 8 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

One Saturday of every month, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 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. 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. Every month includes activities related to that month’s theme. 

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.

Monthly Themes
May 12 - Anisgvti (Planting Month) 
June 9 - Cherokee Voices Festival
July 14 - Guyegwoni (Corn in Tassel Month)
August 11 - Galoni (End of Fruit Month)
September 8 - Dulisdini (Nut Month)
October 13 -  Duninvdi (Harvest Month)
November 10 - Nvdadegwa (Hunter Month/Big Moon)
December 8 - Vsgiyi (Snow Month)


Plan
Trip
+
Sample Trips