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Arts & Entertainment Smoky Mountain Firecracker Fest this weekend at the Franklin Plaza

Ann Ooten is a regular exhibitor at the Smoky Mountain Firecracker Fest. She makes oven mitts, aprons, placemats, coasters, dish towels and other must have kitchen items.The Smoky Mountain Firecracker Fest will be held Friday and Saturday, July 1 and 2, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Franklin Plaza. This event is a free juried show featuring some of the southeast’s most unique arts and crafts which include fiber art, Native American art and flutes, jellies and baskets, hand-carved knives, jewelry and magnetic therapy jewelry, soaps and lotions, honey, scrolled wood, yard art, recycled bottle lights, watercolor paintings, pottery, spinning and so much more.

Three-time world champion tree carver R.K. Harnihan or “Tree” will be demonstrating at the show. He has been cutting figures out of wood for 43 years. His work includes a four-story, 48-ton sculpture of Sir Walter Raleigh, carved from a 500-year-old cypress that stands on the site of The Lost Colony in Manteo. He has duplicated the four presidential faces of Mt. Rushmore from a 38-ton trunk of a 250- year old oak that sits in the West Park Mall in Charlotte.

Harnihan also has an idea to preserve the Wasilek Poplar on Standing Indian by carving a “standing Indian” out of the tree and making it an educational monument.

Great food will also be a part of the Firecracker Fest, from Philly cheesesteaks and chili cheese fries to funnel cakes and kettle corn.

Bring a lawn chair and relax after shopping, and enjoy live entertainment. Admission and parking are free. Look for the red and white balloons at the Franklin Plaza on 441S in Dalton’s Bookstore parking lot.

For more information, call (828)524-6630 or (828)371-0595.

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