Over the River and through the Wood- Thanksgiving in the 9 Lakes Region
Originally published in 1844, this song speaks to the tradition of traveling to be with family on Thanksgiving. Told through the eyes of a child, the lyrics evoke the sentimentality of coming together to share a meal with loved ones. Even in modern days where families are greatly separated by miles, there is a common desire to celebrate this holiday together. As the media is already touting Thanksgiving as the most traveled holiday, supporting the idea that families are still traditional in wanting to be together to celebrate the holiday.
With the 9 Lakes Region becoming a favored destination for retirees are seeking active lifestyles on a lake or in the wonderful mountain communities found throughout the region, many visiting families may literally find themselves traveling over the river and through the wood to visit parents and grandparents in the 9 Lakes Region.
Over the river, and through the wood,
And straight through the barn-yard gate.
We seem to go
It is so hard to wait!
Whether your trip is a car drive or a plane flight, the anticipation of arrival to be with family is the reward.
While Thanksgiving Day dinner is the main event, the 9 Lake Region also affords families and friends other experiences to share together. The lore from the original Thanksgiving feast ascribes three days to the length of the gathering. For most Americans, the long weekend is perfect for enjoying three days of family activities:
Take a Hike– Panther Creek Park on Cherokee Lake will be hosting the Gobble Wobble on November 23 from 10 am to 12 N. The park naturalist will lead the hike and point out wildlife along the walk. At the end of your hike, plan a stop at Jersey Girls to enjoy lunch.
Go Downtown to see the holiday lights and stroll the Peppermint Trail- With more than 100,000 lights and garlands throughout downtown, Knoxville has created a Winter Wonderland, while the restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, bars, and boutiques feature peppermint specials. Stay longer and ice skate at the outdoor rink on Market Square.
See a Show at the Historic Tennessee Theatre– Celebrating their 90th anniversary; the Tennessee Theatre will be hosting A Christmas Story the Musical. The historic theater was originally built as a state of the art movie theater, but by November 1933, the stage was also hosting live musical performances. The first music p show featured local artist, Roy Acuff who later went on to own the Rose-Acuff Music Publishing Company in Nashville. The Rose-Acuff firm protected the copyright laws for many songwriters who often lost control of their work and royalties. Want to learn more about Roy Acuff, head up to Maynardville to the local museum.
Shop– The galleries of many of the small communities offer up the works of artisans throughout the region. One fun stop is the museum and store at Bush Beans. Kids will enjoy the playful museum, while the adults can indulge in a country style lunch. After a leisurely lunch, head to the annual Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Show.
Go Underground at the Lost Sea. Saturdays at Lost Sea feature a Wild Cave Tour for individuals and groups who want to experience spelunking in a large cave system.
Sip– For the young at heart, a short drive in the 9 Lakes will provide an opportunity to taste East Tennessee’s emerging wine, cider, and micro craft beer industry. The region is home to three wine trails serving up award winning wines made from Tennessee grapes and small bites made from locally sourced products. The artisan beer crafters are also earning reputations for their small batches and fun taprooms. From the Hopyard Brewery to Clinch River Brewery, the owners are more than willing to share their stories and their brews.