On Feb. 6, Jack Rentfro read portions of the Tennessee State Constitution set to the improvisational music of his band, the Apocalypso Quartet.
Get ready for a nine-month-long birthday celebration.
The revelry of Knoxville’s 225th anniversary has begun. The anticipation will crescendo as the Oct. 3 anniversary date approaches.
The 225th celebration will include collaborative efforts by local arts, historical and cultural organizations as they pay homage to and interpret Knoxville’s history. Some of the city’s 225th celebration events coincide with Tennessee’s 220th anniversary as a state, giving Knoxville - the initial state capital - even more to celebrate.
The first of the festivities was held Feb. 6, formally known as Constitution Day, at Blount Mansion in downtown Knoxville. Jack Neely, executive director of the Knoxville History Project, and Calvin Chappelle, heritage tourism coordinator for Visit Knoxville and executive director for Mabry-Hazen House, helped organize the event. They teamed to provide some historical perspective and talk about the 225th anniversary.
Then, musician Jack Rentfro read portions of the Tennessee State Constitution set to improvisational music performed by his band, Jack Rentfro and the Apocalypso Quartet.
For an audio clip of the readings, click HERE.
The celebration will include signature events, as well as annual Knoxville festivals, such as the Dogwood Arts Festival and Big Ears music festival, that will be tailored to highlight the city’s anniversary.
“The nine-month-long celebration is making people aware of Knoxville’s early role in our statehood and our early history in general,” Chappelle said. “Knoxville is fortunate to have many historical sites preserved that are telling these historical stories on a daily basis.”
The next signature event, organized by Visit Knoxville, will be held June 4 by Historic Homes of Knoxville to offer residents the opportunity to tour various historical sites around Knoxville. The same weekend, the East Tennessee Historical Society will host a First Families of Tennessee event to recognize descendants of Knoxville’s pioneers.
Other events include Tennessee Statehood Day on June 1 and Founders' Day Weekend, Sept. 30 to Oct. 3.
As a collaborative effort, all local residents, neighborhood groups or organizations are encouraged to get involved in the 225th celebration.
“It’s a great opportunity for the local people to get out and explore Knoxville’s past,” Chappelle said. “We want to get people energized about our history.”
To get involved, contact Calvin Chappelle at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 865-951-6614.
For more information about cultural and historical events being planned, visit 225th Anniversary Events or http://www.knoxvilletn.gov/225, or call 1-800-727-8045.
-Communications Intern Cortney Roark