After Dark movie ‘The Goonies’ moved to Civic Center due to rain, storms

The Goonies


The location and time of the Oak Ridge After Dark event tonight has been changed due to rain and storms expected to remain in the region this evening. The event will now take place in the gymnasium of the Oak Ridge Civic Center, and the movie will start promptly at 7 p.m. No chairs can be brought into the facility, but blankets are allowed and the bleachers will also be available for seating.

“Although the weather poses a threat, we plan to keep the momentum of Oak Ridge After Dark going,” said Sam Jones, Oak Ridge After Dark coordinator. “The plan to host the event inside the Civic Center gym will ensure safety and comfort for all attendees. We hope a large crowd will come out to support the second installment of the series.”

The theme of tonight’s After Dark event is Pirate Night. Children are encouraged to dress as their favorite characters in conjunction with each theme. Themed characters will be on hand for photo opportunities. Visit the Historic Oak Ridge Facebook page or for a complete list of scheduled films.

The After Dark series also includes a Comedy Night on Friday, August 8, followed by Hero Night on Friday, August 15. [Read more...]

Photos: July 4 fireworks, Oak Ridge Community Band

July 4, 2014, Fireworks in Oak Ridge

The July 4 fireworks in Oak Ridge were at Alvin K. Bissell Park. (Photos by Fred O’Hara)


The annual Independence Day celebration and fireworks display in Oak Ridge was Friday, July 4, at Alvin K. Bissell Park. The festivities started at 7:30 p.m. with a free concert by the Oak Ridge Community Band, and they ended with the fireworks display at 10 p.m.

It was the 70th anniversary of the Community Band’s first concert held on July 4, 1944.

Here are pictures by Fred O’Hara. [Read more...]

Clinton’s July 4 includes family fun, food, music, fireworks

The city of Clinton’s annual July 4 event starts at 5 p.m. and ends with fireworks at 10 p.m. at Lakefront Park.

The city said there will be activities for the whole family, including a 68-foot Army Boot Camp Obstacle Course, bounce house, three-lane mega water slide, bungee run, home run baseball game, and module combo with water slide. All of those attractions will be available to the public at no charge. There will be free laser tag as well for those kids up for the challenge, the city said on its website.

There will be several food vendors set up in the lower Lakefront parking lot. A corn-hole tournament will start at 7 p.m., with registration beginning at 6 p.m. Trophies will be awarded for first and second place. [Read more...]

Oak Ridge Community Band has July 4 concert on 70th anniversary

July 4 Dixie Band

The Oak Ridge Community Band has been rehearsing for the annual Independence Day concert, which will be held Friday, July 4, at 7:30 p.m. at A.K. Bissell Park behind the Civic Center.

“This is an especially big event for the Community Band because it is the 70th anniversary of the band’s very first concert performed on July 4, 1944,” a press release said.

There is no admission fee for this concert or for the city’s fireworks display held at the end of the concert program. However, donations to the Community Band will be accepted to help offset band expenses, the press release said. [Read more...]

Fireworks, Independence Day celebration at A.K. Bissell Park on July 4

July 4, 2012 Fireworks

The annual Independence Day celebration in Oak Ridge is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. July 4 and end at 10 p.m. with fireworks at A.K. Bissell Park. (File photo by Charles Samuels)


The annual Independence Day celebration and fireworks display will take place in A.K. Bissell Park on Friday, July 4, with festivities starting at 7:30 p.m. and ending with the fireworks display at 10 p.m.

The Oak Ridge Community Band will kick off the evening at 7:30 p.m. with a free concert on the Performing Arts Pavilion stage. The Community Band’s performance traditionally draws a large crowd, so the public is encouraged to come early with lawn chairs or blankets to secure a good seat, a press release said. This year’s Independence Day concert marks the 70th anniversary of the Community Band’s first concert that was held on July 4, 1944.

The firework display will begin at 10 p.m. and will once again be accompanied by music played live onsite by 96.7 Merle FM, the Oak Ridge Convention and Visitors Bureau said in the press release. Radio host Jack Ryan will be broadcasting from the park beginning at 6 p.m. and will conclude with a patriotic medley customized for the city’s fireworks. The countdown to fireworks will begin at 9:30 p.m., giving listeners plenty of time to settle down, tune in, and enjoy the show, the release said. [Read more...]

Phillips named ORHS orchestra director

Doug Phillips

Doug Phillips has been named orchestra director at Oak Ridge High School. He replaces Jennifer Van Tol, who has retired. (Submitted photo)

James “Doug” Phillips has been named orchestra director at Oak Ridge High School, Principal David Bryant said Wednesday. Phillips will replace Jennifer Van Tol, who retired at the end of the school year.

Bryant said Phillips has 12 years of experience in music instruction, with the last 11 being in a public school setting. His most recent assignment was with Shelby County Schools in Memphis, where he directed an award-winning strings music program.

Phillips earned his bachelor’s degree in music at Mississippi Valley State University and his master’s degree in music education at Jackson State University, and he is currently working on his doctorate in musical education through Boston University.

Video: ‘The Secret City Ditty’

A song about Oak Ridge’s role in the top-secret Manhattan Project during World War II. It was written by Alison Beatty and Christina May on June 13, 2014, and performed at the Secret City Festival in Oak Ridge.

Secret City Festival started Friday morning, continues through Saturday evening

Secret City Festival Opening Ceremony

B&W Y-12, which will no longer manage the Y-12 National Security Complex after June 30, has been a major sponsor of the Secret City Festival for 10 years and has contributed more than $250,000 total in the past decade. The federal contractor was recognized for its community contributions during the opening ceremony at the Secret City Festival on Friday morning. From left to right are Oak Ridge Mayor Tom Beehan; Dave Richardson, B&W Y-12 president and general manager; Mayor Pro Tem Jane Miller; and Bill Reis, B&W Y-12 vice president of public and governmental affairs.


The annual Secret City Festival, Oak Ridge’s largest festival, kicked off Friday morning and continues through Saturday evening.

Highlights of the two-day festival include concerts—Eddie Money and Kix Brooks are this year’s headliners—children’s activities, Manhattan Project site tours, arts, antiques, crafts, food, and fun. There are also World War II Living History activities and demonstrations, Oak Ridge history exhibits, and regional exhibitors and vendors.

Oak Ridge was a “secret city” during World War II, when it was part of the top-secret Manhattan Project, a federal program to build the world’s first atomic weapons. The festival helps honor that heritage and also includes a range of entertainment, community information, and family fun, among other things.

You can check updates on this year’s Secret City Festival on Twitter here.

See the Secret City Festival website for more information, including on how to purchase concert tickets for Eddie Money and Kix Brooks. [Read more...]

Community Orchestra performs at Secret City Festival on Saturday

Oak Ridge Community Orchestra at the Secret City Festival

The Oak Ridge Community Orchestra performs at the 2013 Secret City Festival. (Submitted photo)



While you attend the Secret City Festival in Oak Ridge on Saturday morning, stop by the pavilion and listen to the Oak Ridge Community Orchestra from 11:15 to 11:45 am. It’s free entertainment.

You will enjoy the program of popular renditions: music from the movies with highlights from “Jurassic Park” and “The Lord of the Rings (The Fellowship of the Rings),” jazz from the big band era in A Salute to the Big Bands, and favorite Broadway hits in Curtain Up!

A Salute to the Big Bands includes memorable melodies such as “April in Paris,” “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You,” “Pennsylvania Six-Five-Thousand,” “Serenade in Blue,” and “Sing, Sing, Sing.”

Curtain Up features the famous Broadway tunes “Don’t Rain On My Parade,” “Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” “If He Walked Into My Life,” “One,” “The Phantom Of The Opera,” and that rousing chorus, “There’s No Business Like Show Business.” [Read more...]

Secret City Festival features something for everyone

Secret City Festival Crowd June 2012

A large crowd waits to hear music during the June 2012 festival.


Make plans to attend the 12th Annual Secret City Festival on Friday, June 13, and Saturday, June 14, in historic Oak Ridge. Join more than 20,000 visitors and residents to celebrate the end of World War II and the heritage of Oak Ridge from 1945 to the present.

Here’s an overview of some of the many activities and events taking place at this year’s festival: [Read more...]

Secret City Festival reminds concert attendees of security procedures

Secret City Festival Logo

Visitors to the Secret City Festival next weekend can expect tighter security measures and maybe a few delays when entering the concerts this year, all in the name of safety.

“In light of recent events, we’re being extra vigilant in our protection of our attendees, staff, and the community during the festival concerts,” said Oak Ridge Police Chief Jim Akagi.

No backpacks or coolers will be allowed into the concert site and all bags will be subject to search.  This includes bags used to store chairs. Visitors should expect delays if carrying in anything that needs to be searched. Organizers suggest festival attendees only bring their concert tickets, money for food, an ID to buy or consume beer, and a chair for the concerts. Once inside the concert site, festival seating is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The concert site opens at 5:30 p.m. [Read more...]

Top 12 ways to have fun at the 12th Annual Secret City Festival

Secret City Festival Logo


  1. Start planning now for two days of activities to celebrate more than 70 years of Oak Ridge’s history. From 11:30 a.m. on Friday, June 13, until the concerts are over, there is something for everyone.
  2. Remember there is no parking onsite at the festival! Plan to park at the City Center and take a free shuttle over to the festival. For a map of available parking near the Secret City Festival, visit
  3. Be sure to visit the Secret City Festival website ( to plan your weekend. You will find all event information, tour schedules, and concert information here.
  4. Concerts are festival seating—don’t forget your lawn chairs for the best views and most comfortable seating. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. each evening to claim your seat. [Read more...]