‘Hammer in the Gap’ to ring in the historic town

Anyone standing at the famous Pinnacle overlook on April 10 will hear the ringing echo of metal striking metal down in the historic town of Cumberland Gap. Activities will be in full swing when blacksmiths from across the region set up shop in the Gap from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The “Hammer in the Gap” event is presented by the Guardians of the Gap, a local non-profit organization that works to preserve, protect and promote the town. Some will know Ryan Schmidt, the lead coordinator of Hammer in the Gap, from Mitty’s Metal Art Studio where he crafts his famous blue steel skillets and other impressive metalwork.

Schmidt, a member of the Appalachian Area Chapter of Blacksmiths, will be gathering fellow smith enthusiasts from across the region for a hammer-in, an event where artisans come together to learn, share and collaborate. Artists from the Franklin Blacksmith and the Clinch River Blacksmith Guilds will be participating, along with others.

One of the final products of the hammer-in will be a new sculpture for the Kaitlyn DeVries Memorial Dog Park in Cumberland Gap.

Attendees of the event will have the opportunity to observe, shop and learn about blacksmithing while enjoying live music and food from local eateries and food trucks.

Don’t miss a chance to see blacksmithing demonstrations by regional artists and enjoy the unique charm of the historic town of Cumberland Gap.

You can find the blacksmiths on Lynn Street and at Mitty’s Metal Art. Follow the music. Be sure to stick around afterward for the “Get Down in the Gap” DJ and Karaoke party in Berkau Park, slated for 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Guardians of the Gap is a Section 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose purpose is to combat community deterioration, erect and/or maintain public community spaces and organize, plan and host community related events. The nonprofit strives to increase the visibility, attractiveness and quality of life for the local community as a whole while supporting strategic short-term and long-term planning. The organization provides educational and informational resources about the history of Cumberland Gap to the immediate and surrounding community and visitors, all in an effort to combat community deterioration and lessen neighborhood tensions.

If you would like more information about this topic, please call Zach Greene at 865-585-1710 or email guardiansofthegap@gmail.com.

For more information about the event, or to sign up your vending business, log onto: www.rogueuniverse.wixsite.com/hammerinthegap.