anvil shoot’ and a day of family activities NORRIS, Tenn.: Visitors to the Museum of Appalachia, a Smithsonian Affiliate Museum, will celebrate July 4th with the explosion of sound that pioneers heard thunder through the hills when they celebrated Independence Day. In pioneer days, shooting the anvil was a common practice for celebrating special events. Local blacksmiths would practice this tradition to celebrate the nation’s Independence, Christmas, and even Davy Crockett’s election to the U.S. Congress. Now, shooting the 175 pound anvil, an almost lost tradition, has become a highlight of the Museum's annual July 4th Celebration. Folks as far as 15 miles away have reported hearing the blast, and certainly everyone gathered for the excitement, feels the earth shake under their feet. Along with a big boom several times during the day, there will be patriotic ceremonies, a flag waving procession led by bagpiper Jesse McCrary, Longhunter camp stories, Appalachian music, and an array of historic demonstrations. At 2pm, a bell-tolling ceremony will occur, coinciding in the National Bell Ringing Ceremony, with over 10,000 bells across the country ringing in unison. Thirteen youngsters will be selected from the audience to ring the bell in honor of the thirteen original colonies. Immediately following, is the Liberty Pole raising ceremony, which commemorates a Colonial American practice signifying dissatisfaction with the English government; an illustration of the spirit of liberty among colonists in the early days of the War for Independence. Wander the Museum’s Village and see historic demonstrations of clogging, spinning, weaving, blacksmithing, woodcarving, mountain dulcimer making, sassafras tea brewing, cross cut sawing, and cedar rail splitting. Enjoy tasty summertime treats; grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, hand-churned ice cream, cool lemonade, homemade cakes and cookies. The Museum is open from 9am to 6pm, with special Independence Day activities from 10am-3:00pm. The extensive village-farm complex includes dozens of historic log structures, display buildings filled with authentic Appalachian artifacts, gardens surrounded by split rail fences, and farm animals, all in a traditional setting. The Hall of Fame offers a portrait of the Appalachian people, both famous and not-so-famous—and these exhibits may be enjoyed in air-conditioned comfort.
July 4, 2015
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