By Sherrie Norris
Trade, Tennessee, a scenic community just a short drive from the High Country, has long been a destination for those seeking to know more about local history and experience the trip back in time that Trade has offered through the years.
Large crowds from near and far were once drawn to the village for its annual Trade Days Festival. When that event came to a close in 2013, locals and visitors alike were saddened.
Eventually, a dedicated group of community members came back together to revive what they knew to be an important event celebrating their heritage; in 2019 the group held its first revised celebration — Trade Mill & Native Heritage Days. It was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, but will be held once again on Saturday, Sept. 18 and Sunday, Sept. 19.
According to members of the festival committee, it’s actually two festivals in one — celebrating the grist mill festival and their native culture.
“We’ll have all kinds of craft and food vendors, bluegrass bands, a blacksmith, a wood carver, two museums, native drummers, singing, dancing , flute players, storytelling, flute contest, kid zone, petting zoo, bounce houses, a train, a children’s beauty pageant, magic show, tomahawk throws, teepee, hit and miss engines, old tractors and more,” a spokesperson shared. “Plus, a working grist mill will be available for visitors to see on the festival grounds.”
A special attraction will be the appearance of Chief Steve Silverheels, son of “Tonto” Jay Silverheels, from the TV series “The Lone Ranger.”
Chief Silverheels will be available to sign autographs and sell his crafts.
Local history points to the fact that the area was once the trading grounds for natives and pioneers, and history tells us that Daniel Boone had a trading post there, as well. Thus, it became known simply as “Trade” and has maintained a place of intrigue ever since.
The festival will take place on the grounds of Trade Community Center and Mill at 228 Modock Road in Trade, Tenn., just past the NC/TN Stateline at the corner of US Hwy. 421 and Modock Rd.
Gates open each day at 9 a.m. both days, closing at 9 p.m. on Saturday and 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Admission is $5 for anyone 5 years of age and older. Children ages 4 and younger are admitted free.
For more information, visit www.tradecommunitycentermill.com or on Facebook.