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Tellico Plains Wagon Train


Photos by Allison Lail

This year marked the 60th anniversary of the Tellico Plains, Tennessee Labor Day Wagon Train, held September 1-4, 2017. The Labor Day weekend Wagon Train has a long-standing tradition – since 1958, mimicking the original Tellico to Murphy wagon train. Wagons come from all around, including North Carolina, Georgia, and Cleveland, Tellico Plains, and Gatlinburg, Tenn.

The Gathering started on August 31, with folks setting up camp at 120 Mecca Pike, off Highway 68 near Tellico Plains, Tenn. The public was invited to join folks at the campsite over the weekend for fellowship, music, and food.  Food vendor Richard Kirkland brought hamburgers, hotdogs, chips and drinks, and wagon train T-shirts for sale.

There were 12 – 14-mile rides on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, along the Cherohala Skyway National Scenic Byway, on Belltown Road, with breaks at Carl Williams Field on River Rd. The entourage included with18 wagons and 14 horseback riders. The Friday, September 1st ride had to be cancelled because of high winds and rainy weather, but all had a great ride on Saturday.

There was live music at the camp on Friday and Saturday nights, with Hunter Grayson and the Hat Creek Band on Saturday night.

Ricky Shaw from Cleveland TN organized the event, and his scout Benny Harris organized the parade. Wayne Dutton was Wagon Master for the Western North Carolina Wagon Train at Tellico.

A parade through downtown Tellico Plaines culminated the event on Monday afternoon, September 4th. Find more information on facebook at Wnc Wagon Train and at their website:
As he posted on Facebook: The Tennessee Tellico Wagon Train only takes donations. Money raised for Charles Hall Museum.  Local music group such as Blaze Country from Dollywood and Rick Bryan D.J. Karaoke for those participating as well as open for anyone to come enjoy music.

They would ride daily up the Cherohala Skyway National Scenic Byway, on Belltown Rd, take breaks at Carl Williams Field river Rd, with18 wagons, 14 horse back riders. Fri Sept 1 ride was cancelled due to wind and weather, but had a great ride Saturday. Camping was free in the late Charles Hall field next to Tellicafe as you enter into TellicoPlains town at Hwy 68 and 38. There was food vendor by Richard Kirkland with hamburgers, hotdogs, chip and drinks, and wagon train t shirts for sale.

Special thanks to Ricky Shaw from Cleveland TN for putting it together, Pam Hall, a local who's has passed on the reins to Ricky (she's passed away), his scout Benny Harris 423-519-5839for putting together the parade, Andy Martin and Mike Moore Rodeo guy from Athens for hauling in trailer stage.

Wagons come from all around including North Carolina, Cleveland TN, Georgia, Tellico Plains and Gatlinburg, TN.
Parade was at 2pm on Monday Labor Day.
And just read there was a feature on WBIR Channel 10 Aug 22. Live at 5 at 4pm. about the event.

Wagon Train ran from Fri Sept 1 to Sunday Sept 3 with parade Monday at 2pm.

Well guess I could take this info and write up something. This was all via Facebook posts.

Poster read:

Western North Carolina Wagon Train Labor Day Weekend Fall Ride Coming to Tellico Plains
Gathering Thurs Aug 31
Setting up camp off of Mecca Pike look for WNC Wagon Train banner on Hwy 68
12-14 Mile Rides Daily Fri, Sat, Sun
Live Music Fri & Sat 8pm
Parade the Town of Tellico Plains Mon Sept 4 @ 2pm
The public is welcome to join us at the campsite for fellowship, music and food
WNC Wagon train has been around since 1958

Contact info:

The guy in charge is Ricky Shaw; phone number 423-519-6000.

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