: In keeping with the traditions of Southern Appalachia, the Museum welcomes the warmth of spring with a renewal of the annual ritual of “Sheep Shearing”, a day of hands-on activities surrounding the trimming of a winter’s growth of heavy fleece from its flock of free-range sheep. The Museum of Appalachia, a Smithsonian Affiliate, will host this annual practice in middle of its rolling fields, surrounded by its historical village, on Friday, April 25, 2014, from 10am to 2pm. The wooly animals will be trimmed by Kentucky native John Cooper, an experienced shearer who takes time to explain the process to onlookers, demonstrating with vintage, hand-cranked and hand-held shears, powered by enthusiastic student participants. In settlement days, Appalachian farmers sheared their sheep each spring to garner the wool, an important staple used in many ways. On Sheep Shearing Day at the Museum, craftsmen, trained in traditional arts, will provide informative programs on cleaning, carding, and spinning fleece into yarn and thread, using the same tools and techniques as their ancestors. These talented demonstrators provide one-on-one opportunities in spinning, weaving and quilting, illustrating the many valuable ways the pioneers used their wool. Enjoy the gentle sounds of porch picking musicians, join interactive dulcimer and old-time musical programs, designed to entertain and engage guests of any age, or watch additional artisans operate the historic sawmill and blacksmith shop. All demonstrations and programs fulfill the Museum’s educational mission to preserve the past and pass along the Appalachian culture to future generations, by providing individuals with the up close and personal chance to see, smell and touch a little piece of history, creating lasting memories. School groups, home-schooled students, and individual families are all invited to participate in the day’s hands-on activities; student and group rates are available. The Museum, a non-profit organization, includes some three dozen authentic log buildings, display halls filled with Appalachian artifacts, and gardens, all surrounded by split-rail fences in a picturesque setting. It is home to a variety of farm animals, including sheep, chickens, guineas and peafowl; with mules, Scottish Highland cattle, and “fainting” goats roaming adjacent pastures. This time of year, children will be delighted to see frolicking lambs, kids and chicks. The Shop at the Museum of Appalachia features handiwork from Appalachian artisans, books authored by regional writers and unique "Made in America" gifts. The Museum's quaint restaurant offers hot country style lunches, fresh‐from‐the‐garden vegetables, and mouth‐watering home-made desserts. Facilities are available for weddings, reunions, meetings and other events. Museum memberships are available, providing a year of Museum visits and other benefits; join now and attend the Sheep Shearing Day free! As an official affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum also offers Smithsonian memberships in conjunction with its own program. The Museum is located 16 miles north of Knoxville, one mile east of I‐75, exit 122. ###
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