The International Friendship Bell in Oak Ridge will represent North America during the World Bell Festival in Apolda, Germany, on Saturday.
Organizers will use the Internet to connect to the festival and televise the ringing of the Friendship Bell as well as a short ceremony with Oak Ridge community leaders. That live broadcast on the Web is scheduled to take place from about 3:53 p.m. to 4:05 p.m. Saturday at A.K. Bissell Park.
Other international bell ringing ceremonies will be held throughout the day and broadcast live from Pollard Auditorium, according to a press release from the Oak Ridge Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Additional activities will be held from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Pollard Auditorium, including hand bell demonstrations, children’s crafts, free international food samples, and a live stream of the festival for public viewing. The Metropolitan Bells, a community hand bell ensemble from Chattanooga, will play at 5 p.m.
The World Bell Festival is held every five years, and it celebrates the bell-making tradition and heritage of Apolda, Germany, the press release said.
The theme of the event is “Bells Are Music, Bells Bring People Together, Bells Make People Listen.” The majority of the event will be in Apolda with live broadcasts and intermissions of music and messages from international bell partners, including the Oak Ridge Friendship Bell.
The ORCVB release said the International Friendship Bell was dedicated to the city of Oak Ridge on May 3, 1996, as part of the city’s 50th anniversary and to commemorate growing friendship and peace with Japan.
The bell is nearly five feet in diameter and weighs over four tons. It is located in A.K. Bissell Park and “continues to stand as a symbol of friendship and a strong representation of our international connections throughout Oak Ridge,” the release said.