M u

How it all Began


35th Annual
Tennessee Fall Homecoming
October 10 thru 12, 2014

The first Homecoming at the Museum of Appalachia was an impromptu event, inspired by a request to bring a traveling book store to the Museum on an autumn weekend. To boost attendance, John Rice Irwin called upon friends, musicians, demonstrators, authors and promoted the event.

          On stage at the TN Fall Homecoming

The response was astounding. Another festival was held the next fall, and every musician, every demonstrator returned. It was reminiscent of traditional family homecomings; so the event has been called the Tennessee Fall Homecoming ever since.

Over the years, this festival has grown from a few musicians playing from a wagon bed into today's three-day event on five stages, drawing hundreds of musicians and thousands of listeners.

Some 400 nationally, regionally, and locally known musicians, buck dancers, and cloggers will perform continuously for four days on five stages, playing old-time bluegrass, Gospel, and folk music. And it's much more than music. The Museum's mission is to preserve the Appalachian heritage for future generations - hence the demonstrations of old-time skills like molasses making, rail-splitting, spinning, sheep herding, and much more.

Homecoming includes scores of artisans making authentic Appalachian pottery, baskets, wood carvings, musical instruments, quilts, artwork, and countless other hand-crafted wares. Authors and musicians offer their books and CDs, and food vendors serve up tasty Appalachian "vittles" - from a full meal of barbeque or cornbread and beans to special treats like fruit cobblers, homemade ice cream, and apple butter.