Calendar of Events

Monday, May 20, 2024

8th Annual Tennessee Pirate Fest

  • May 18, 2024 — May 27, 2024

Category: Comedy, Culinary arts, food, Dance, movement, Festivals, special events, Fine Crafts, Kids, family, Music and Theatre

The eighth annual Tennessee Pirate Fest invites you to go back in time to the Age of Piracy. This outdoor daytime family entertainment-oriented festival will be held the last two weekends in May including Memorial Day at the Tennessee Medieval Faire site in Harriman--just 30 miles west of Turkey Creek.

“Get Yer Pirate On! with famous British privateer, Sir Captain Henry Morgan, in Port Royal, Jamaica, circa 1679. Now as Governor of Jamaica, Captain Morgan is throwing a festival in his honor, and all are invited – especially YOU. Drama awaits as Lord Carbery, of British high society, has come to Port Royal, waving his papers of nobility, demanding HE should be governor not a PIRATE! Will sparks and swords fly? Come and See!” said Barrie Paulson, President/GM.

Rotating on several stages will be professional touring and local talent. New this year will be comedy duo, The Washer Well Wenches; Disney Cruise headliner, Magic of E.C. Hannah; interactive circus trick artist, Tony the Tosser; and award-winning author, Robert Jacob (May 18-19). Back by popular demand will be slapstick Punch and Judy puppet shows by Professor Brent DeWitt, Middle Eastern dance by Tanasi Fusion (May 18-19), and comedy improv by Einstein Simplified (May 25-26-27). Pirate and Celtic acoustic music will be brought to you by The CrossJacks, Kris Colt the Black Rose, Bravura Music Academy (May 18-19), and Timothy Russell (May 25-26-27). The interactive costumed street character ensemble—the Royal Players--will seek to entertain in Kombat Kroquet (sword-fighting), Tales of Port Royal (show premise), Royal Follies (talent show), and Throw Me A Line (comedy improv). For those who like slightly spooky entertainment, Captain Davy Jones and Calypso will guide those willing on the Trail of Doom (G-PG light). The tour is a pirate version of A Christmas Carol, based on Captain Morgan’s heroic adventures.

Patrons are encouraged to dress in pirate costume and enter the Costume Contest to win a prize. All can learn to be a pirate in Pirate School or join a pirate crew by performing a talent on stage in the Gong Show. Other free games and activities will include Pirate Olympics, the mid-day parade, folk dancing, speed courting, corn hole, giant chess, and steel drum. There will also be pay-to-play activities, including axe-throwing, goat cuddles, and taking photos with a Captain Redbeard and his pyRAT. More information about the entertainment can be found at https://tmfaire.com/pirate-fest-entertainment/ and is subject to change as needed. Schedules will be available online and at the entrance.

The merchants of Port Royal will be selling their custom wares such as period costumes, leather goods, chainmaille, drinking horns, bath and body items, gaming accessories, wooden wares, face-painting, and unique jewelry. A variety of food will be available, including Turkey legs, BBQ, loaded baked potatoes, grilled wraps and salads, sandwiches, shaved ice, snacks, and desserts. Beverages will also be available, including water, soda, sweet tea, fresh lemonade, and beer.

The Tennessee Pirate Fest will be open rain or shine on May 18-19, 25-26-27, 2024 from 11am-6pm ET. The festival is located at 550 Fiske Road, Harriman, TN. Free parking is provided in rough-cut fields, and handicap parking is available. Entrance tickets can be purchased online now at https://darkhorsellc.ticketspice.com/tennessee-pirate-fest-2024 Tickets will also be available for purchase on festival days at the ticket house for cash or credit. Entrance ticket prices include all taxes and fees and are $20 for ages 13+, $10 for ages 5 to 12; and admission is free for ages 4 and under. Festival beverage tickets (in $1 increments) are available online, will be available at the gate, or patrons can use exact change. There will be no ATM onsite, so patrons are encouraged to bring cash for purchases, tips, and convenience.

WDVX: Blue Plate Special & The Big Plate

Category: Free event, Kids, family and Music

The WDVX Blue Plate Special is a live performance radio show held at noon at Visit Knoxville (301 S. Gay Street) every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday with your host Red Hickey… and on Saturday with host Sean McCollough. On Fridays WDVX takes the Blue Plate Special to Barley’s Taproom & Pizzeria (200 E Jackson Ave) for “The Big Plate”. Make yourself at home as part of the WDVX family at this this daily free concert series. From blues to bluegrass, country to Celtic, folk to funk, rockabilly to hillbilly, local to international, it’s all part of the live music experience on The WDVX Blue Plate Special.

All seats are free, and visitors may come and go as they please.

Info: 865-544-1029, http://www.wdvx.com

Knoxville Contra Dancers

Category: Classes, workshops, Dance, movement and Music

We dance to live music every Monday night, 8-11 pm, at the Laurel Theater (16th St. and Laurel Ave.)

Fee: $8 ($5 for students & those just listening). If this is your first time, come a few minutes early and join our new dancer workshop, where we teach the basics. Beginners are welcome, no partner or experience is required. It's easy and fun! With very rare exceptions we dance every Monday night. All dances will be taught. We dance in the historic Laurel Theater, to preserve our dance floor, we request that you wear or bring clean, non-marking, soft-soled or leather shoes for dancing.

For Monday night scheduling & booking inquiries, contact The Klutzendorks: 865-599-961 or knoxcontradancescheduler@gmail.com
https://www.knoxvillecontra.org/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/knoxcontra/

East Tennessee Historical Society: They Sang What They Lived: The Story of Carl and Pearl Butler

Category: Exhibitions, visual art, History, heritage, Kids, family and Music

They Sang What They Lived: The Story of Carl and Pearl Butler is the first retrospective exhibition of Carl and Pearl Butler, the iconic country music duo whose timeless lyrics and harmonious melodies left an indelible mark on country music. With a career spanning over four decades, Carl and Pearl Butler became celebrated figures in the world of country music. “Carl made scores of major-label records during the 1950s,” says Bradley E. Reeves, the exhibition’s guest curator and author of the new book Honky Tonkitis: On the Road with Carl Butler and Pearl. “These are some of the best bluegrass, gospel, and hard country records ever made, although none could be called a massive hit.” That honor would come in 1962, when Carl and Pearl recorded “Don’t Let Me Cross Over.” The song remains among the fastest ever to ascend to No. 1 on Billboard Hot Country Singles. Carl and Pearl’s unique “Knoxville sound,” along with heartfelt lyrics, earned them a dedicated fan base who supported them at performances across the United States and Canada through the 1970s. The exhibition offers visitors a rare glimpse into the lives of these music legends.

Key highlights of the exhibition include:
1. Rare Family Archives: Museum guests will have the opportunity to view the Allen “Junior” Butler Family Collection, which has been made publicly available for the first time and includes never-before-seen photographs, home movies, original instruments, and stage costumes that belonged to Carl and Pearl Butler. “I’m grateful to Allen Butler and his family for opening their home and archives to share with us,” says Reeves.
2. Musical Journey: Explore the duo's musical journey through a feature film, which transports visitors through various periods of their career and traces their unfiltered, raw singing style, one that derived from and advanced the “Knoxville sound.”
3. Behind-the-Scenes: Gain insight into the lives of Carl and Pearl Butler through never-before-seen family photographs and recently uncovered anecdotes from the family and fellow musicians, including Dolly Parton who viewed the Butlers as her “second parents.” “Despite their successes,” says Adam Alfrey, Assistant Director for Historical Services at Knox County Public Library, “Carl and Pearl faced personal and professional struggles, which are intimately documented through the family’s photographs.”
4. Interpretive Experience: Engage with the exhibition to understand how both Knoxville and Nashville played a role in the development of country music. Also, learn how chart-topping artists can quickly become all but forgotten, even in their hometown. “The Butlers somehow fell through the cracks,” reflects Reeves. “It’s my hope that this book and exhibition will contribute to a reappreciation of their great body of work.”
They Sang What They Lived: The Story of Carl and Pearl Butler promises to be a heartfelt educational experience for country music enthusiasts and fans of all ages. It serves as a testament to the enduring influence of Carl and Pearl Butler on the world of music.

At 5:00 pm, Friday, October 6, 2023, there will be an opening reception for They Sang What They Lived: The Story of Carl and Pearl Butler. The event will include a meet and greet with Carl and Pearl Butler’s family, a book signing by guest curator Bradley E. Reeves, and an exhibition of Appalachian musical pioneer paintings by artist Amy Campbell. At 7:00 pm, there will be a “Tribute to Carl and Pearl,” opened by a performance of the Paul Brewster and Friends Band, comprised of 14-year-old mandolin prodigy Wyatt Ellis and Grand Ole Opry performers Daniel Grindstaff, Kent Blanton, Stephen Burwell, and John Meador. A screening of 8mm home movies shot by the Butlers (watch for an appearance by 10-year-old Dolly Parton), as well as some of the Butlers’ rarest television appearances, will conclude the evening.

East Tennessee Historical Society, 601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37902. Museum hours: M-F 9-4, Sa 10-4, Su 1-5. Information: 865-215-8824, www.eastTNhistory.org/lights-camera