Tennessee Fall Homecoming at Museum of Appalachia this weekend

Tennessee Fall Homecoming Leroy Troy

Photo courtesy Museum of Appalachia

NORRIS—The annual Tennessee Fall Homecoming at the Museum of Appalachia in Norris this weekend will feature more than 70 musicians, authentic mountain and pioneer demonstrations, and dozens of artisans showcasing and selling handmade goods.

It’s a beloved and historic three-day event, organizers said.

This year, the Homecoming Marketplace, where festival-goers browse heritage arts and crafts from artisans showcasing their skills on site, has been selected as a feature representation of Tennessee Craft Week. Tennessee First Lady Crissy Haslam will be making a special appearance on Friday afternoon from 2:30-4 p.m. to promote Tennessee Arts programs.

The featured music lineup for this year’s event, now in its 36th year, includes the Del McCoury Band, multiple Grammy and International Bluegrass Music Award recipient and Bluegrass Hall of Fame member; previous two-time IBMA Entertainers of the Year and Vocal Group of the Year, the Gibson Brothers; and the multiple Grammy- and Dove-nominated band, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, also a 7-time IBMA Vocal Group of the Year and Bluegrass Hall of Fame Member. Also returning to the Tennessee Fall Homecoming this year is the legendary Larry Sparks, who was just inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame at the 2015 IBMA awards. [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…]


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 kernchurch.org. [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…]

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 http://emisushineatthegrove.brownpapertickets.com/. [Read more…]

Taste of Anderson County on Sept. 19 helps United Way, Free Medical Clinic

Taste of Oak Ridge 2013

The Taste of Oak Ridge, which has become the Taste of Anderson County, is pictured above in 2013. (File photo)


The Taste of Anderson County on September 19 will feature food and music and help two local organizations: United Way of Anderson County and the Free Medical Clinic.

The Taste of Anderson County, which has been expanded from the previous Taste of Oak Ridge, will be at Jackson Square starting at 4 p.m. Saturday, September 19.

“Flavors from some of the area’s favorite restaurants and the sounds of local musicians will fill the newly renovated parking lot at Jackson Square,” a press release said. “This year will be bigger and better than ever with vendors from all over the county. More importantly, this event brings a substantial amount of support for two local causes: United Way of Anderson County, and the Free Medical Clinic. Both of these nonprofits are working hard this year to make a big impact in the community. But they can’t do it without the community there to support them.”

The entertainment lineup includes comedian and magician Danny Whitson as the master of ceremonies. Whitson is a professional entertainer from Oak Ridge who specializes in magic and comedy. He has been performing for 15 years, the press release said. [Read more…]

ORCMA 2015-2016 season starts Sept. 26 with Haydn, Handel

Oak Ridge Symphony with Dan Allcott

The Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra is pictured above with conductor Dan Allcott. (Photo by ORCMA)


The Oak Ridge Civic Music Association’s season starts September 26 with a concert that features music by Handel and Haydn.

“If variety really is the spice of life, music lovers will especially enjoy the 71st season of the Oak Ridge Civic Music Association for 2015-2016 because music director Dan Allcott has planned a season of Baroque to Modern, American Salute to English Invasion, and more,” a press release said.

The opening concert will include Haydn’s Symphony No. 104 “London,” performed by the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra. Then, Oak Ridge Chorus will join the symphony in singing Handel’s Coronation Anthem, “Zadok the Priest,” which will be directed by Seth Maples, the chorus conductor. The soloist for the evening, Wesley Baldwin, cello professor at the University of Tennessee, will perform Elgar’s beloved “Cello Concerto in A minor.” [Read more…]

Labor Day concert at A.K. Bissell Park on Monday

Oak Ridge Community Band July 4, 2014

Photo by Larry Perry


The Oak Ridge Community Band will perform its last outdoor concert of the summer at A.K. Bissell Park next Monday.

The concert starts at 7 p.m. Monday, September 7. There is no admission fee, and the public is encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets for outdoor seating, a press release said. Cool refreshments will be available.

“Attendance at the Community Band’s concerts this summer has been large due to outstanding programs, and the band directed by Dale Pendley and assistant conductor Lisa Michaels have still another excellent performance planned for Monday evening featuring as special guests the Dixieland Band, the Community Band Choir, vocalist Deidre Ford, and former mayor Tom Beehan, who has been narrator at the previous summer concerts and will once again appear in this role for the Labor Day program,” a press release said. [Read more…]

TORCH Brew Review, a beer-tasting fundraiser, on Aug. 29

TORCH Brew Review

Photo from the Brew Review on Sept. 12, 2014, by Margaretanne Ingle.


Trinity Out-Reach Center for Hope, or TORCH, has its Second Annual Brew Review on Saturday, August 29. It’s a one-of-a-kind fundraiser in Oak Ridge.

The Brew Review is scheduled for Saturday, August 29, from 7 to 11 pm, at St. Mary’s Catholic School Gymnasium at 323 Vermont Avenue in Oak Ridge.

The evening will include beer tasting, finger foods, and live music, a press release said. Guests can mingle with their food and beer, dance to live music and/or enter the Corn Hole Tournament.

The bands performing are The Portals, Rhiannon, Jack Russell and the Terriers, and Ridge City Ramblers. [Read more…]