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We all need a little Cowee Christmas!

It’s that time of year again when we think about the holiday season and wonder how we are going to spread a little Christmas cheer while creating meaningful memories.  The 8th Annual Cowee Christmas event being held on Saturday, December 3 at the Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center (51 Cowee School Drive, Franklin) checks all the boxes for getting us in a festive mood with one stop shopping for decorations, gifts, activities/crafts for the kids, photo opportunities and live entertainment by local musicians.  This FREE event along with the 5th Balsam Bee, will be sure to offer fragrant gift selections.  Beginning at 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., activities will be both inside the school and on the outside grounds.

Inside the Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center, these artisan tenants will be open where one might find that special gift or learn more about the culture of our historic area:

Cowee Textiles – Weaving, Needle Felting and Hats by Teresa Bouchonnet

Jon Houglum Fine Art & Painting Studio – Oil Landscapes & Painting Lessons

The Mountaineer Woodworking and Leather – Handcrafted Woodworking, Leatherworking and Soaps

Cowee Pottery School – Wheel-thrown and Hand-built Studio Pottery & Classes

Alarka Expeditions – Outdoor Excursions & Cultural Events

Down Memory Lane Toy Museum – Extensive toy collection that spans decades

Cynthia Kinard Portrait Legacies – Oil & Watercolor Paintings and Portraits

Dance Arts Co-op – Demonstrations at 12:15 & 1:15 pm

Cherokee Room – Kathi Littlejohn/Storytelling

Plus, other vendors/crafters will be scattered throughout the campus to offer handmade items for purchase:

Brenda Garner – Christmas Stockings and Wood Bowls

David and Sylvia Pruitt – Another Place in Time

Kathy Tinsley and Krista Skrede – Woven and Felted Goods

Dennis Dietz – Artist with Paintings

Laura Craig – Shade Tree Soaps

Nancy McKoviak – Earrings from Decorative Tins

Smoky Mountain Quilters

K and K Enterprises

Nita Lipan – Knit Items

Teresa Taylor – Pottery

Jenny Pitts – Hope Filled Candles

Deb Bryant – Weaving and Textiles

Lindsay Ciufo – By Grace Jewelry

Jerry Stanley – Furniture Making

Noah Alicea – Walking sticks

Linda Smith – Sewn Goods

Jennifer and David Algers with “Hershey Star”

Cindy Dietz and the Macon Goat Club

Christine Barnes the “Bread Lady”

Elwoods Elemental Dog Treats

Children and families will have an opportunity for FREE hands-on crafts and activities such as evergreen swag making, cookie decorating with Grandma’s Kitchen, sewing a little bag with Smoky Mountain Quilters Guild, making simple tree decorations with the Folk Heritage Association of Macon County (FHAMC), selecting free books from READ2ME, painting a wooden holiday tree with Cliftany, creating a wax bowl with Macon County Honey and Bee Co., crafting an ugly sweater wooden decoration/snowman ornament with Linda Smith, and rolling wax candles with K & K Enterprises.  Don’t miss Santa’s arrival on the Cowee Fire Dept. Fire engine at 11 am!

Photo opportunities featuring the Franklin Fire Department antique engine, Cowee Fire Department engine and antique cars by Wayne English and friends are sure to produce smiling faces.  To complete the holiday enchantment, these local musicians will be performing:  Wyatt Duvall (Banjo), The White Sisters (Vocalists/Trio), Lady and the Tramps (Dulcimers) and Richard Tichich (Fiddler) and everyone is invited to join the Holiday Music Sing-a-long at noon!  Also, from 10 a.m. until noon, there will be Face Painting sponsored by the Arts Council of Macon County.  

With all these offerings of sights and sounds of Christmas at the event, we must not overlook the senses of taste and smell!  The Women’s History Trail (a project of FHAMC) will be selling festive homemade cookies and hot drinks to benefit their annual student scholarship and FRESH BALSAM PILLOWS AND SWAGS WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE WHICH WILL BENEFIT COWEE SCHOOL.  Be sure to stop by the Silent Auction Table:  Queen Size Quilt donated by Susan Roper, Adirondack Lawn Chair donated by Jerry Stanley and a Cowee School Gift Basket.  Come enjoy home cooked soups by Roland Mock of Southern Fusion Catering at The “Frasier Fir Cafe” serving lunch on-site from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. (or until gone)!  After 2 p.m., left over soup will be sold in quart containers at the front entrance of the school (Nantahala Chicken and Rice, Tellico Tomato Basil, Wayah Potato, Cowee Chili).

For more information about Cowee Christmas, contact event organizer Claire Suminski (828) 342-9071, email or visit, or follow this event on Facebook

Submitted by Theresa Ramsey

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