Celebrate Lake Junaluska's 100th anniversary

By Vicki Hyatt | Jun 30, 2013
Photo by: Ken Howle The Lake Junaluska Singers will be performing throughout the week as the assembly celebrates its 100th anniversary.

LAKE JUNALUSKA — The 100th anniversary celebration at Lake Junaluska started today with three worship services and will continue throughout the week with more than 50 events for area residents and visitors.

To celebrate the historic event, the "Assembly Daily," a newsletter many who have visited throughout the years remember fondly, will be published for the week.

"How many remember delivering the Assembly Daily?" Lake Junaluska Chief Executive Officer Jack Ewing asked those attending the 10:45 a.m. worship service. After several hands were raised, Ewing said the bicycle delivery method won't be resurrected.

The publication can be picked up at front desks throughout the campus, and on line.

Bishop Ivan Abrahams, the General Secretary of the World Methodist Council, spoke not only of Lake Junaluska's past, but of its future.

He spoke of Lake Junaluska's mission — to be a place of Christian hospitality where lives are transformed through renewal of soul, mind and body.

"God has given Lake Junaluska Assembly a bold vision," he told the crowd at Stuart Auditorium Sunday. "But it is not enough to have a vision statement on paper. We need to wear our vision on our rolled-up sleeves. Let us be the story. Let us live the story as we offer our service to a bruised and broken world."

While acknowledging the troubles and challenges facing the world today, Abrahams focused on a world filled with hope and possibilities.

"God is ready, willing and able to do for you and for me far more than we can think or imagine," he said. "We need to celebrate with renewed confidence."

A full schedule

Here's a sampling of just a few of the activities planned at Lake Junaluska Assembly this week.

More than 50 former Lake Junaluska singers are returning, along with the group’s founder, Glenn Draper, to perform during the homecoming week celebration. In addition, there will be plenty of history told, not only in the reminiscing, but through dramas, tours and re-enactments. At 6 p.m. Monday, all are encouraged to dress in vintage clothing and participate in the trek made by early lake visitors where they were dropped off at the train depot and walked to the lake where they were taken by boat to Stuart Auditorium. Afterward, there will be a drama where the ghosts of James Atkins and George R. Stuart, the founders of Lake Junaluska, meet and discuss the birth and early years of Lake Junaluska.

On Tuesday, a 2 to 5 p.m. event offers a tour of the earliest homes built at the lake and at 10 a.m. Wednesday, visitors can take a self-guided tour of the Corneille Bryan Native Garden, which features the unique plant life in the Southern Appalachians. A guide will be available until noon to answer questions during this time period.  A 5 p.m. boat parade, then fish fry will precede the 6:45 p.m. re-enactment of the historic photo where all lake guests were included. Lake Junaluska leaders hope to have several thousand people on hand for a photo that will be taken at the same site of the original photo. The evening will be topped off by a 7:30 p.m. concert put on by the Lake Junaluska Singers, which is a ticketed event.

On July 4, the traditional 11 a.m. parade, followed by the barbecue picnic lunch, will be held with another Lake Junaluska Singers concert starting at 7:30 p.m. The day will be capped off with fireworks, which will begin at 9:45 p.m.

The festivities will continue through the weekend, with Family Olympics, a showing of “The Swan,” which has scenes filmed at the lake, a water ski show Friday and a concert put on by alumni Lake Junaluska Singers Saturday.

For a full schedule of all the activities planned for the week-long homecoming celebration, visit the Lake Junaluska Assembly website.