Trade Days Festival
An annual festival held along an old Indian trail
Celebrating the best of Appalachian life
Past and Present
SPECIAL NOTE: Information and appearances for Javier Alarcon can be found on his web site : JavierAlarcon.com
To go to The Official Trade Days Site CLICK HERE
Trade, the oldest settlement in Tennessee, lies along U.S. 421 in Johnson County between Mountain City, Tennessee and Boone, North Carolina and is on an old Indian trail that connected the "Great Warrior Path" through the Shenandoah and Tennessee Valleys to the Piedmont of North Carolina. Daniel Boone established a trading post here for Native Americans and pioneers to have a place to buy and sell their wares.
The Trade Days Festival was begun in 1989 by Tommy Walsh, a longtime Mountain City businessman, to help bolster the economy of Johnson Co. and as a way to remember this mountain top gap where ancestors of Native Americans from many nations and geographical regions traded goods with early white settlers. It has grown until it is now a three-day festival. Trade Days celebrates our northeast Tennessee culture. Arts, crafts, and exhibits represent the best of Appalachian life, both past and present.
Many varied performances have been featured at the Trade Days Festival over the years. Each year the core festival remains intact as some of the featured events change. The Trade Days Committee has brought some truly world-class performers into this small community. Two notable inclusions on Earthdancer Home are Javier Alarcon and the Los Voladores.
I have been a fan of Javier Alarcon since the first moment I saw him. Not only is Javier one of the most outstanding dancers I have ever seen, energy manifested; but he brings with him an understanding of the commonality of us all. His heritage is Aztec, descended directly from those who studied the universe, built great cities and pyramids (rivaling anything in Egypt) and created a calendar more accurate than our modern day computers. The Aztecs have been accused of human sacrifice through assumptions made by archeologists. Javier says this is not true! He says their history was rewritten after they were conquered by the Spanish. Some archeologists are now beginning to question whether the assumptions made earlier are true. I only know how I see an internationally recognized performer and ambassador and how he lives his life and treats those around him. His message is simple--understanding, love and living in harmony with the world around us.
Bringing the Los Voladores to the Trade Days Festival was a major accomplishment. The preparations for their performances were nearly monumental, requiring them to arrive in Trade a week prior to the festival. Fasting, prayers and a journey into the forest surrounding Trade to select the tree which would serve as their lifeline connecting them to the earth and heavens.
The Opening Ceremony is always held on Thursday morning atop Snake Mountain to offer thanks to the Creator and ask for a blessing on the festival, its' participants and guests.
I have redesigned this area of Earthdancer Home to begin maintaining an archive of each years' events and photographs.
This featured area on Trade Days is not intended as a comprehensive review of the entire festival. It is more a reflection of our personal journeys there. Much of the festival has been omitted some years, but we hope to continue expanding in the coming years and include much of the entire weekends events. Please enjoy the photographs, bits of information and observations. (Also look for credits on some of the photographs by Patsy and you will see why I search for a new career.)
-Bill and Patsy
e-Mail Bill or Patsy