Smoky Mountain Folk Festival, Lake Junaluska and a Special Birthday

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We were given a beautiful gift on our way to Lake Junaluska this past Friday.  What a sunset!

We have travelled to Lake Junaluska every Labor Day weekend for at least 25 years.  It is so anticipated by our girls that they start making plans for the next year on the way home!  Lake Junaluska hosts the Smoky Mountain Folk Festival, two evenings of great Appalachian Mountain music and dancing, situated on the shore of Lake Junaluska with some of the prettiest sunsets you'll ever see.  Here are lots of photos and videos from this weekend of fun!

John with Brian Clancey before going on stage Friday night.

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Oh, where have the years gone - I'm sure anyone with children can lament with us!  Our younger daughter has always celebrated her birthday at Lake Junaluska.  It is a very dear place to her - traditions are so comforting to children and Lorien eagerly awaits this trip every year.  She turned 13 this past Friday and we celebrated in the Susanna Wesley Memorial Garden with cake (Mama Jane's specialty - yellow cake with chocolate icing - the Cockman favorite) and balloons.  Lorien celebrated in the way she loves best, with all the family - grandparents, aunts, uncles and all 9 cousins!  Her favorite gift was a special 13th birthday Bible from Papa John and Mama Jane.  After the party, it was off to canoe, play games and jam.  The cousins all love to play music and they LOVE any chance to play together!

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Saturday afternoon, John held an interview with Spirit Fiddle, the talented duo of Robin Warren and Brian Clancey.  Both are outstanding musicians and we will be posting that interview in the next couple of weeks.

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A lot of jamming goes on outside Stuart Auditorium on Saturday.  You can also find watermelon served on the lawn and a little stage set up for younger pickers and anyone who would like to play a few tunes before the show gets started in the big auditorium. 

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On our way home, we stopped in at Altapass Apple Orchard to play with the Amantha Mill band. 

We couldn't have asked for a prettier day, but it sure was HOT!  The weather has been unseasonably cool for us here in the mountains and anything over 80 feels like an oven. 

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