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You are invited to participate in the fourth commemorative “Crossing of the Catawba” on Saturday, September 29. This event, sponsored by the Revolutionary War Days Committee of Historic Burke Foundation, honors the Overmountain Men of 1780 and their daring victory over the British at Kings Mountain, SC in the War for Independence.



What River Crossers Need to Know and Do

  • Participants are required to submit a signed waiver (CLICK HERE) before making the crossing.  See the attachment for details.

  • Wear Revolutionary War-era period dress or hiking or sporting clothing or “active wear”. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes that will not fall off as you walk down the trail to the river, across the river (which has a lot of rocks on the riverbed), and out of the river and up onto the bank on the side where Judge’s Restaurant is located.  Please bring a walking stick with you.

  • Bring a change of clothes and shoes to lock in your vehicle until after the river crossing. There are public bathrooms between the City Soccer Fields and the City picnic area next to Judge’s Restaurant where you can change clothes after the crossing.

  • If you carry a wallet or mobile phone with you, be sure to carry it/them where there is minimal likelihood of it/them getting wet or being lost or store them in your locked vehicle.

  • Do not bring signs or banners to wear or carry during the river crossing.

  • You will need to be at the entrance to the trail to the river at Freedom High School by no later than 10:45 AM.

  • You have two options for getting to the access point for the trail that leads down to the river from the Freedom High School campus. These options will be emailed September 26 to those who have signed up to make the crossing.

  • Someone will be on hand September 29 to organize the river crossers into a loose line with those in period dress first and those in other types of clothing following.  River crossers will be told what sound to listen for that will signal to the start to walk down the trail to the river.

  • Please note that Duke Energy will control the water level in the river and will keep the water at a safe level for crossing. There will be no crossing in the event of a hurricane or flooding rain.

  • Usually the water is cool but not cold.

  • It is fine to hold hands to help yourself or someone else remain steady in the water. There are some slippery rocks on the riverbed so it’s important for river crossers to be aware of where they put their feet when in the water.

  • Ideally, everyone on the riverbank below Judge’s will be quiet during the crossing. For most, it is a very moving spectacle.

  • Members of the Overmountain Victory Trail Association (OVTA) on their Annual Commemorative March from Abingdon, Virginia to Kings Mountain, South Carolina will be at the front of the line. When they move into the river, they will step apart from the others, moving a few feet or yards to the left, and will line up and fire several rounds of their black powder muskets into the air. Those behind them in the line should stop, whether already in the river or still moving down the trail to enter the river, and watch until they finish firing and begin to move towards the riverbank on the side of Judge’s Restaurant.

  • As people exit the river, several people in period dress will be on the riverbank to help you out as needed. There will be some ropes attached to poles driven into the riverbed to grasp while exiting the river.

  • Please note that the Burke Rescue Squad will have members in wet suits along the riverbank in the bushes on both sides of the river and will have an ambulance in the Greenway parking lot.

  • After river crossers exit the river, they will move to the side (not the front) of the outdoor stage behind Judge’s Restaurant for the remainder of the river crossing program.


Judge’s will sell a hot lunch for $10.00 a plate from the shed just below the restaurant between 12:00 Noon and 1:00 PM.  The menu will include chicken tenders, mashed potatoes, green beans, a roll, banana pudding, and iced tea.  A portion of the proceeds will go to support future Revolutionary War Days events.  People may also elect to order from the menu inside the restaurant.


Please stay for the afternoon program.  From 12:30 PM – 3:30 PM there will be storytellers, colonial music and dancing, colonial games for children, long rifle displays, and more.


If you have any questions, please call Linda Lindsey at 828-448-2923.


Thank you!


Revolutionary War Days Committee

Historic Burke Foundation

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