By Karla Prudhomme
The 2nd Annual Trade Mill & Native American Heritage Days, formerly known as Trade Days, held on Saturday and Sunday, September 18 and 19, was a resounding success. Hundreds of festival-goers were treated to beautiful weather and a wide variety of entertainment, delicious food choices, and vendors with unique and interesting wares.
The two-day event was hosted on the Trade Community Center grounds, home to the now fully operational Trade Grist Mill.Trade, Tennessee’s oldest unincorporated community, was so named because Native Americans and white settlers met at the site to trade their wares years before Daniel Boone traveled through the area. Native Americans have lived in the Trade area for hundreds of years, and their traditional music, dance, and storytelling were celebrated at the event, thrilling festival-goers. Other area traditions were also celebrated including, making apple Butter, blacksmithing, woodcutting, clogging, and lots of Bluegrass music.
The ‘Kid’s Zone’ offered loads of entertainment for the young, including three bouncy houses, a petting zoo, face painting, games, and train rides. Other festive events included a beauty pageant, gem mining, live exhibitions, story time with Elsa from Frozen, live music throughout each day, dancing, and much more. There was something for everyone, with over 40 vendors selling everything from Native American art, jewelry, knives, peace pipes, and tomahawks to hand-crafted jewelry, arts and crafts, antiques, and crocheted children’s characters.
According to Sharon Butler Reece, treasurer of the Trade Mill & Native American Heritage Days event, all money raised from the festival goes towards the operation and upkeep of the Trade Community Center and grounds, the Trade Community Museum, and scholarships for local youth.
Event president Bill Bird stated that the dedicated event committee, which still consists of many of the original Trade Days committee members including, Bill Roark, Edwin Green, Carolyn Reece, and Frank Lawrence, look forward to continuing this fun event that highlights the Trade Community and all its extraordinary history.