Artists ‘chalk the walks’ Saturday for scholarships for Roane State students

Blue Phantom

A sidewalk chalk painting from the 2014 Street Painting Festival. (Submitted photo)


The 16th annual Oak Ridge Street Painting Festival is drawing near—it will be held from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, October 3 (rain day on Sunday), at the Oak Ridge Campus, Roane State Community College.

Dozens of artists will be brushing up on their skills as they bring colorful faces and scenes to concrete sidewalk squares using free art supplies. Would-be Rembrandts will “paint” with chalk the squares that sponsors “purchase” by writing checks.

You, too, can write a check to the Roane State Foundation to fund scholarships for RSCC students. These students have been out of high school for a few years and are not eligible for Tennessee Promise scholarships.

The public is invited to this free festival organized by the Rotary Club of Oak Ridge in conjunction with Roane State. [Read more…]

AC Events: Pickin’ in the Park, Wheelers for the Wounded, David Hall Cabin open house

Here are three events happening in Anderson County this weekend:

Pickin’ in the Park Concert—Friday, October 2, at Norris Dam State Park

Join the Friends of Norris Dam State Park for the annual Pickin’ in the Park Concert held the first Friday of October from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. This event is an evening full of bluegrass music, barbecue, local craft vendors, laughter, and fun, organizers said.

The event is located at the historic amphitheater and tearoom on the east side of Norris Dam State Park. There is no entrance fee, but donations to the Friends of Norris Dam are strongly encouraged.

If you have any questions, call the park office at (865) 426-7461.

Wheelers for the Wounded—October 3 at Windrock Park [Read more…]

ORHS Marching Band brings ‘The Music of Bond’ to winners circle at Karns, Maryville

ORHS Wildband Brass on Sept. 26, 2015

The Oak Ridge High School WildBand performs at the Karns Marching Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015, when they won overall top scoring band. (Photo by Julio Culiat)


By Merny Hughey

Congratulations to the Oak Ridge High School Marching Band for winning back to back as the overall top scoring band at the Maryville and Karns Marching Invitational events this month.

Under the direction of Spence Milligan, Mike Spirko, Josh Bibbs, and Sean Greene, with music arranged by Mike Spirko, the students have brought “The Music of Bond” to the winners circle two Saturdays in a row as well as to the Wildcat football games.

From the tuxedo show shirts to our very own James Bond, the band is not only performing difficult music to the beat of our talented percussion section, but also enhancing the iconic Bond music with dance, color, and story from the Color Guard.

The WildBand won the high music score at these first two competitions as well as top scores for Drum Major, Percussion, and Color Guard against other very talented bands that have more practice time due to scheduling. [Read more…]


Josh Phillips, an Oak Ridge native, to headline Comedy at the Grove on Sept. 25

Comedy at the Grove on Sept. 25

Oak Ridge native Josh Phillips will headline Comedy at the Grove on Friday, September 25.

The show is presented by Danny Whitson. It starts at 8 p.m. September 25, at the Grove Theater at 123 Randolph Road in Oak Ridge.

“Come join us in celebrating Josh Phillips’ birthday!” a press release said. “Enjoy a night full of entertainment by some of the best local comedians.”

The show is for adults 18 years old and up. You must be 18 to purchase tickets and enter. You must be 21 or older to purchase and consume alcoholic beverages which will be offered before and during the show.

Tickets are only $10, organizers said. [Read more…]

Street Painting Festival on Oct. 3 at Roane State in Oak Ridge

Love Reject

In 2014, Ouita Northcutt received the People’s Choice Award and first-place award in the professional artists category for her chalk painting on love and rejection at the Oak Ridge Street Painting Festival. (Submitted photo)


Artists of all ages and abilities, it’s time to “talk the talk, then chalk the walk.”

And you folks who wish to help people in their 20s who otherwise cannot afford to go to college without a scholarship are encouraged to “write checks for chalk art” as sponsors to make our workforce smarter.

Artists are encouraged to invite your artist friends to the Roane State Community College campus in Oak Ridge to showcase your talents for free while helping others get an education.

Artists and sponsors are needed for the 16th annual Oak Ridge Street Painting Festival, which will be held on Saturday, October 3, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the sidewalks of the RSCC Oak Ridge campus on Briarcliff Road. The rain date is October 4. [Read more…]

Kern United Methodist presents The Shine Effect in concert Sunday

The Shine Effect


Kern United Methodist Church presents Christian rock band The Shine Effect in concert on Sunday.

The concert starts at 5 p.m. Sunday, September 20, during reViVe@5. It’s a free all-ages concert.

Organizers said child care will be provided for kids under age 4. Light snacks will be provided.

Find out more at [Read more…]

Taste of Anderson County on Saturday, work continues at Jackson Square

Jackson Square Fountain Brick Work

Workers install bricks at the interactive fountain area in Jackson Square on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)


Work continued at the Jackson Square parking lot this week as merchants, organizers, and the city prepare for Taste of Anderson County on Saturday.

The substantial completion date for the parking lot work was expected to be Tuesday, September 15, and the goal is to have the project done in time for Taste of Anderson County.

The annual outdoor festival features food and music. It’s scheduled from 4-9 p.m. Saturday, September 19, in the Jackson Square parking lot. This year, there will be music, more than 20 different restaurant vendors, and a bar stocked with beer, wine, and moonshine cocktails and wings, organizers said.

Taste of Anderson County will benefit two local causes: United Way of Anderson County and the Free Medical Clinic. [Read more…]

Panel discussion to feature author, Y-12 Manhattan Project workers

Denise Kiernan

Denise Kiernan

Best-selling author Denise Kiernan will host a panel discussion with women employed at Oak Ridge during the top-secret Manhattan Project of World War II.

The panel discussion will start at 6 p.m. Wednesday, September 23, at the American Museum of Science and Energy. Admission is free.

Kiernan is the award-winning author of “The Girls of Atomic City,” a New York Times best-seller that tells the story of the women who worked at Oak Ridge during the war years.

Some of these women, known as “Calutron Girls,” adjusted dials that controlled the workings of the 1,152 calutrons used to separate isotopes of U-235 from naturally occurring uranium, a press release said. The work fueled “Little Boy,” the first nuclear bomb used in warfare. [Read more…]

Children’s Museum Offers Camps during Fall Break

Children will have opportunities to dance, cook, create pottery and explore the natural world during Oak Ridge Schools’ fall break at the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge. Week-long Imagination Station Intersession Camps for elementary and middle school students will be held Oct. 5-9 and Oct. 12-16.

Exercise guru Leah Chance will lead special Kids in Action activities on Saturday, Oct. 10. For children in the 1st-4th grades, activities include moving feet and working up a sweat, going on a scavenger hunt in the garden for a cool down, and games that teach about nutrition, burning calories and foods to eat before exercise. Each session is limited to 20 children.  Join Chance from 10:30 a.m.-noon or 1-2:30 p.m. for Kids in Action, free with admission to the museum.

“Imagination Station campers learn and grow through play in a fun and safe environment,” said Lorraine Bowen, museum educator. “Through our wide range of themes and activities, as well as our hands-on exhibits, we hope to foster campers’ imaginations and passion for lifelong learning.”

To register for a camp, stop by or call the museum at (865) 482-1074 or see Fees for week-long camps are $125 for members and $135 for non-members. Campers staying all day should bring lunches. To pay in person or by mail, download a PDF of the registration form at the web site. A number of scholarships are available. An application is on the web site. Deadline to apply is Oct. 2.

Camps offered Oct. 5-9 are:

  • Mud Pies, 9 a.m.-noon, ages 5-8. Children will explore ways to build and make unique works of art, using pinch and coil techniques to make wacky creatures from clay. They will create pieces from nature, hand-build a funky mask and make a one-of-a-kind creation, with clay artist Sherrie Carris. Camp limit is 12.
  • Cookin’ in the Kitchen with Kids, 1-4 p.m., kindergarten-3rd Children will make fun, kid-friendly recipes while practicing kitchen safety and learning cooking fundamentals. They will prepare several breakfast dishes and create Mexican, Italian and Asian recipes with culinary specialist and caterer Rachel Reagan. Camp limit is 12.
  • Kids Go Green “Explore the Green World around You,” 9 a.m.-noon, 3rd-4th Youth will explore the natural world as they discover the balance needed to be in harmony with nature. With Bucky Smith, the museum’s garden manager, they will learn about living in a healthy environment through Kids Go Green’s eco-action. Camp limit is 10.
  • International Cooking, 9 a.m.-noon, 4th – 7th Youth will take a culinary journey around the world with Rachel Reagan as they prepare different recipes from Italy, France, India, Greece and China. Class limit is 12.
  • Jazz Pop, 1-4 p.m., 4th-7th Kids will join Danya Spratling to learn basic dance steps and a routine. They will make a hip hop hat, and for Halloween, create a dance to “Thriller” and “I’m a Monster.”
  • Spin Me a Tale, 1-4 p.m., ages 9-12. Youth will learn the basics of throwing on the pottery wheel and discover ways to tell stories using etching and stenciling techniques on clay. Class limit is 5.

 Another camp will be held Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Oct. 5, 7 and 9.

  • Build your own Bear, 3-5 p.m., ages 8-12. Youth will create and design their own hand sewn, stuffed bear, led by Frances Gross. They will cut a pattern, choose fabric, cut out a bear shape, pin it together, then hand sew and stuff the bear. Class limit is 8. Fee for members is $50, and non-members, $60.

Camps offered Oct. 12-16 are:

  • Expressions, for kindergarten-3rd graders, 9 a.m.-noon. Children will engage in art in a new way each day as they experiment, play, and create connections between their own creative explorations and the ideas and techniques of great artists. Camp limit is 15.
  • Creepy Cooking,for kindergarten-3rd graders, 9 a.m.-noon. Children will whip up some spooky veggies and dip, Freaky Fingers and Ghouls Brew, snake bites, Hootwiches, Zombie toast and more, with Rachel Reagan. Camp limit is 12.
  • Fall Clay, for ages 5-8, 1-4 p.m. Young clay artists will hand-build a pumpkin, spooky bat wind-chimes, ghost foot, mask, candy dish, and monster pot sculpture, and then glaze the pieces. Museum resident clay artist Sherrie Carris leads the camp. Camp limit is 12.
  • Spooktacular Clay, ages 9-13, 9 a.m.-noon. With Sherrie Carris, young potters will hand-build spooky pumpkins, ghosts, cats, masks, monster sculpture, candy dish, and more, and then glaze the pieces and have them fired in time for Halloween. Camp limit is 12.
  • Jazz Pop,4th-7th grades, 1-4 p.m. Young dancers will join Danya Spratling to learn basic dance steps and learn a routine, make a hip hop hat, and for Halloween, create a dance to “Thriller” and “I’m a Monster.”
  • Haunted by Cooking!4th – 7th grades, 1-4 p.m. Young chefs will create scary treats for fall: yummy lungs, finger food, and intestines to drink bloody hand punch with, led by Rachel Reagan. Camp limit is 12.

The Children’s Museum is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, and 1-4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults, $7for seniors ages 62 and older, and $6 for children ages 3-18. Admission is free for children under 3 and museum members. For more information, call (865) 482-1074 or see the web site at


Council doesn’t change Secret City Festival date, leaves it up to new nonprofit board

City Council Chuck Hope, Warren Gooch, and Ellen Smith on Sept. 14, 2015

Pictured above at the Oak Ridge City Council meeting on Monday, Sept. 14, 2015, when changes to the annual Secret City Festival were made, are Council members Chuck Hope, left, Mayor Warren Gooch, and Mayor Pro Tem Ellen Smith. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)


Note: This story was updated at 10:36 a.m.

They’ve heard concerns about moving it to the fall, and the Oak Ridge City Council on Monday did not change the date of the annual Secret City Festival. Instead, Council left any potential date change up to a new nonprofit board that could be appointed in October.

It was one of a series of steps meant to make the Secret City Festival less costly for the city and less labor-intensive for the municipal staff, to rethink how it’s organized, and to make it self-sustaining. The festival could be incorporated into a new, expanded Secret City Celebration that could include other events.

A Special Events Advisory Task Force appointed by City Council in February had recommended moving the festival to the fall as part of a celebration that would last at least a week, start in October, and continue through Veterans Day, November 11.

But Council members and a few residents laid out some objections to the proposed date change, including “dicey weather” in the fall; the potentially cold temperatures, especially for nighttime concerts; conflicts with football and other fall events; and concerns over the possibility that the festival could again become saturated with political candidates in election years, now that municipal elections have been moved to November. There were also concerns about whether some organizations that now participate in the June festival, including artists and World War II re-enactors, could take part in the fall. [Read more…]

Council could consider changes to Secret City Festival tonight, including move to fall

Secret City Festival World War II Re-enactment 2015

A Flak 88 firing during a Battle of Normandy re-enactment at the 2015 Secret City Festival in Oak Ridge. (Photo by Rob Welton)


The Oak Ridge City Council could consider changes to the Secret City Festival tonight, including an expansion and a possible move to the fall.

The annual festival could be expanded into a celebration that could start in October and run through Veterans Day (November 11), last at least a week, and include the Secret City Festival. The expanded festival—which now includes music, children’s activities, a World War II re-enactment, and vendors and exhibitors—could be called the Secret City Celebration.

The changes have been recommended by the Special Events Advisory Task Force, which was set up by City Council in February and chaired by Council member Trina Baughn. The task force was expected to meet for six months and then provide a report to Council.

“The idea is not to limit the celebration to a single event, but to incorporate other activities over an expanded period of time that allow for greater participation by both patrons and various organizations within the community,” Baughn said in an August 5 memo to City Council. [Read more…]

Emi Sunshine at Grove Theater on Oct. 30, proceeds benefit United Way

Emi Sunshine at Grove Theater

EmiSunshine, a young East Tennessee musician who has performed on the “Today” show and at the Grand Ole Opry, will play at the Grove Theater in Oak Ridge on October 30, and proceeds will benefit United Way of Anderson County.

EmiSunshine is from Madisonville, and she is an acclaimed singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist.

She will perform with Handsome and the Humbles on Friday, October 30. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the show starts at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. They can be purchased at The Ferrell Shop, Razzleberry’s, Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge, and United Way. Online tickets are available at [Read more…]