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Sycamore Shoals State Park will feature 26th Annual Siege of Ft. Watauga

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park will host nearly 150 living history re-enactors for the 26th annual Siege of Fort Watauga next Saturday and Sunday, May 15 & 16. Colonial, British, and Native re-enactors will converge at the re-created Fort Watauga at Sycamore Shoals to relive the days when America’s first frontier was the land beyond the blue ridge.  

Activities will be held both days from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. as Sycamore Shoals once again becomes the scene of war during the Siege of Fort Watauga. Visitors can step back in time as they visit the fort, militia camps, British encampment, and Native American camp. They will be immersed in the 18th century as they witness daily aspects of colonial frontier life and see the clash of two cultures as the attack on Fort Watauga is recreated both days at 1:30 p.m.  

During the event, colonial merchants will sell period wares on “Sutler’s Row.” There will be several vendors offering a myriad of 18th century reproduction items for the colonial enthusiast or the primitive decorator. Vendors this year include: Ft. Vause Outfitters, specializing in finished leather goods; Windhil Woolens, offering hand processed and dyed woolen goods such as yarn, blankets, and clothing; Walnut Hill Embellishments, specializing in 18th century reproduction and historically inspired jewelry; Trader Bob, offering a wide selection of hides and pelts; and Wintergreen Farms, specializing in antique and original items. Several other vendors will offer everything from 18th century reproduction clothing and gear, to replica housewares and military accouterments.   

Several Revolutionary War living history units will be in attendance and will make the 18th century come to life during the weekend. Units include the 2nd Regt. SC Continental Line, the South Carolina Rangers, and Musgrove’s Mill Militia, all based in South Carolina, and British units; the 71st Highland Regiment, and the British Legion. The host unit is the Washington County Regiment of North Carolina Militia based at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park. Also, enjoy musical entertainment from The Sons of Liberty, and the Watauga Valley Fife & Drum Corps.  

Numerous individuals will also participate in the event portraying many 18th century walks of life including Cherokee Natives, Backcountry Hunters, Farmers, Housewives, Indentured Servants, Commoners and Gentry. This year we are excited to host the Scoundrels’ Alley, who will represent the lowest class of colonial society and showcase the “dirty jobs” available in the 18th century through presentations entitled An Honest Days Work. 

Precautions will be taken to minimize the spread of COVID-19. All event activities will occur outdoors. Visitors are asked to stay six feet apart from other guests. Face masks are required inside all state park facilities. Face masks are recommended outdoors if social distancing cannot be maintained. Park buildings are subject to closure if maximum capacity is exceeded. Restrooms will also close periodically for cleaning.  

Admission to the event is free and food concessions will be available. The park staff invites the entire family to attend and see how your ancestors played a crucial role in our region’s history and in the formation of our nation. Witness the 18th century come to life, hear the rattle of muskets, smell the campfire smoke, and “Share in the Glorious Cause of Liberty” at the Siege of Fort Watauga. This event is sponsored by The Washington County Regiment of North Carolina Militia living history organization and The Friends of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park.