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Great Smoky Mountains National Park veterans to be honored at week-long event

Knoxville, Tenn. (WVLT) – The Veterans Heritage Site Foundation will host the “Honor Our Great Smoky Mountain Veterans Day” event this month at the Townsend Heritage Center. The event will kick off a week-long celebration honoring those who have served.

“Honor Our Great Smoky Mountain Veterans Day” will particularly highlight the veterans buried in the park. There are 229 known veterans’ gravesites in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at more than 64 sites, said representatives of the Veterans Heritage Site Foundation, including two Revolutionary War veterans: Henry Bohannan and William Hamby. The event will also honor 14 Korean War veterans who were buried in the park.

WVLT’s Amanda Hara will host “Honor Our Great Smoky Mountain Veterans Day.” The Sons of the American Revolutionary War, DAR District of Appalachia, American Legion Post 104 and other groups will participate in the event. Townsend Mayor Michael Talley is also expected to present a proclamation for the day, with other speakers being finalized.

Women Veterans as Quilts of Valor will also feature four women veteran quilts.

“Honor Our Great Smoky Mountain Veterans Day” is only the beginning, however. The Veterans Heritage Site Foundation is also organizing “Veterans Women’s Week”, which will include a host of events. See below for foundation descriptions:

Sunday June 12

Women’s Veterans Day Hike

127 Cosby Entrance Road, Cosby, TN

Meet Marilyn Childress at the Cosby Campground picnic pavilion at 8:00 a.m. We will walk to Ella Costner’s grave. She is the only female GSMNP veteran. It is a one mile round trip, but for those wishing to do a longer trail, we will hike to the lookout on the Lower Cammerer Trail. This trail is about 3 km round trip. Bring your lunch, snacks and water for the hike. There will also be water at the picnic area.

No cost

Registration: email [email protected]

Monday, June 13

Paint with a twist

2415 Callahan Drive, Knoxville, Tennessee

A fun art studio for everyone! Use acrylic paints on 12″ x 12″ canvases in a class, which starts at 6:30 p.m., that takes you step by step through a painting. Most of the guests have no painting experience and all are very successful! BYOB and snacks as the studio does not have a liquor license.

Cost: $28.00

Registration: Register here before June 10.

tuesday june 14

“Fancy” lunch

Apple cake Tea room

11312 Station W Drive, Knoxville, TN

Dress up for a chic private lunch/tea that starts at 11:00am. Enjoy lunch with the girls in a private dining room at the Apple Cake Tea Room! Your choice of lunch will cost $24 and includes your drink and tip. If you have a fancy hat, just wear it for fun!!!

Cost: $24.00

Registration: Email [email protected] with APPLE CAKE in the subject by June 10.

Wednesday June 15


Strike and reserve

3315 N Broadway, Knoxville, TN

The discounted group bowling package includes 4 games and free shoe rental! Concessions are not included. Pay Jessica when you arrive at the event, which starts at 1:00 p.m.

Cost: $15.00

Registration: send an email to [email protected] with BOWLING in the subject before June 10th.

Thursday June 16

Picnic at sunset and swimming in the lake

IJAMS Meads Quarry Lake (not the nature center!)

3526 Island Home Avenue, Knoxville, TN

Bring your own drink and favorite picnic dish with serving utensil; if you plan to swim, bring your bathing suit! Paper plates, napkins and utensils will be provided. Family members are welcome at the picnic, which starts at 6:00 p.m.

No cost

Registration: Email [email protected] with PICNIC in the subject line by June 10.

friday june 17

Pool and pizza party

7700 Castlecomb Road, Powell, TN

Little Caesars pizza, swimming and socializing at the pool. Bring your own drink and any other snacks or food you might want with your pizza. If you have a camping chair, you may need one depending on the number of people present… Children and their spouses are welcome! Enjoy Little Caesars by the pool, starting at 4:00 p.m. Children and adult family members are welcome! BYOB.

Cost: $5.00

Registration: Email [email protected] with POOL in the subject line by June 10.

Saturday June 18

White water rafting

Rafting in the Smokies Inc.

3555 Hartford Road, Hartford, TN

Meet at “Rafting in the Smokies” at 11 a.m. at the Picnic Pavilion. Bring your lunch and we will go down the Pigeon River starting at 1 p.m. Easy going class 3 and 4 rapids, great fun for beginners and seasoned veterans alike! Pay VHSF $38.00 online using the red donate button!

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