Tennessee Tourism Announces Statewide What's New List For 2013

Thursday, December 27, 2012 - by Melanie Beauchamp

New and exciting exhibits, attractions and events for 2013 are enhancing Tennessee’s thriving tourism industry, along with commemorative anniversaries that remember the past, celebrate the present and bring hopeful anticipation for the future.

Music City Center, Nashville’s new convention center, is slated to open in April 2013. The building features 1.2 million square feet, including a 350,000 square foot exhibit hall, a 57,000 grand ballroom, 90,000 square feet of meeting room space and 32 loading docks. Also, coming to Nashville, The Johnny Cash Museum, featuring the most comprehensive collection of Johnny Cash artifacts and memorabilia in the world, is scheduled to open in the spring of 2013.

Dollywood’s Splash Country in Pigeon Forge opens RiverRush, Tennessee’s first and only water coaster is scheduled to open May 2013.

Graceland in Memphis will celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Elvis Presley’s “Aloha from Hawaii” and “Elvis: Viva Las Vegas” opening in March 2013, where visitors will experience Las Vegas through the eyes of Elvis Presley, from the first time he stepped foot on stage in Las Vegas through his triumphant return in 1969.

Milestones for 2013 include the 150th anniversary of the Civil War battle at Chickamauga Chattanooga, with the official Civil War Sesquicentennial Signature event taking place in October 10-12. The Battle of Collierville and Stones River in Murfreesboro also commemorate the 150th. Johnson City’s Hands On! Museum is turning 25 and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music celebrates its 10th, with events beginning in early spring.

2013 marks the 175th Anniversary of the Trail of Tears. Noteworthy Trail of Tears sites in Southeast Tenn. include Ross’ Landing in Chattanooga, Red Clay State Park in Cleveland along with others that are outlined at www.southeasttennessee.com. Tennessee has 12 national Trail of Tears sites throughout the state.

East Tennessee

Brownsville

Flagg Grove School, childhood school of Tina Turner, has been moved to The West Tennessee Delta Heritage. Restoration is underway with a tentative opening date of June 2013.

Greeneville

The Old Oak Festival, a community and regional fine arts festival, returns to Tusculum College after a 20-year hiatus. Also new this year, “Scholars then Soldiers: Tusculum College and the American Civil War,” is on display through 2015.

Johnson City

Hands On! Museum celebrates its 25th Anniversary in 2013.

Johnson County

Doe Mountain, an 8,600 acre pristine mountain range, will soon open featuring over 22 miles of hiking, biking, horseback riding and OHV trails.

Pigeon Forge

The Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster featuring 60 individual sleds that travel up the side of a mountain, then wind downhill for one mile at up to 25 miles an hour, anticipates opening early winter, 2012.

Middle Tennessee

Franklin

GRAYs on Main, slated to open September 2013, will be a new restaurant and live music venue, taking inspiration from Southern Foodways, including the cuisine of the Carolinas and the Low Country.

Murfreesboro

Oaklands Historic House Museum in Murfreesboro was just marked by the Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities.

Murfreesboro

Stones River National Battlefield will host its 150th Anniversary Programs Dec. 26, 2013 – Jan. 3, 2013. Join volunteers and rangers as they reenact and retell one of the bloodiest battles in Civil War history.

Nashville

Music City Center, Nashville’s new convention center, is planned to open in April 2013.

The Johnny Cash Museum featuring the most comprehensive collection of Johnny Cash artifacts and memorabilia in the world is scheduled to open in March, 2013.

British artist Bruce Munro’s exhibit “Light,” a breathtaking display of tens of thousands of blown glass balls and fiber optic lights, will open at Cheekwood.

West Tennessee

Collierville

The Morton Museum of Collierville History is now open.

Denmark

The historic Denmark Church is now open after a complete renovation and features a Civil War exhibit.

Jackson

Providence House, one of the oldest Antebellum homes in West Tennessee, is now open as an event venue as part of Casey Jones Village. The Village Chapel, the 100 year-old church from Haywood County will be open to the public daily while also hosting weddings and Gospel sings.

The Discovery Museum of West Tennessee features the “Road to Shiloh” exhibit.

Memphis

Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World retail complex will open in the Pyramid late 2013. The Complex will feature a restaurant, aquarium and zip-lines, as well as a new 200-room hotel and marina on the banks of the Mississippi.

Memphis International Raceway’s new ownership and management brings a new vision to the versatile racing facility including the Hot Rod Power Tour in 2013.

Stax Museum of American Soul Music marks 10 years with events beginning in early spring 2013.

Obion County – Union City

Discovery Park of America, an entertainment and cultural complex, opens in 2013.

Land Between the Lakes

Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area opened a new nine-mile bike/hike trail along US68/KY80 between the Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley bridges. The recreation area will celebrate its 50th anniversary June 2013.

For information on more Tennessee happenings, visit us at tnvacation.com, facebook.com/tnvacation, tnvacation.com/triptales/, twitter.com/tnvacation/, instagram.com/tnvacation or pinterest.com/tnvacation/


Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum Offers New Christmas Adventure

The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum announced Monday that they are offering a new Christmas experience for its North Pole Limited event.    Beginning Nov. 29, customers can visit the North Pole via vintage rail cars beginning at 11:45 a.m., 1:45 p.m. and 3:45 p.m.  This is the first offering of its kind in the 15 year history of North Pole Limited. "We listened ... (click for more)

Tennessee Aquarium Announces First Penguin Chick Of 2014

There’s a fluffy new face in the Tennessee Aquarium’s  Penguins’ Rock  exhibit .  Aviculturists welcomed the new chick to the colony in June. The proud parents, “Chaos” and “Merlin,” stay busy snuggling their baby in the nest and seem to enjoy showing it off to everyone. “Both parents have very laid back personalities, which is helpful when we need to do weight ... (click for more)

DA Looking Into Issue Of County Commission Candidate's Campaign Sending Filled-Out Requests For Absentee Ballot To Elderly Voters

The District Attorney's Office has been provided with documents that a County Commission candidate's campaign sent filled-out requests for absentee ballots to elderly voters. Kerry Steelman, election administrator, said there have been four instances in which such requests came from the Elect John Brooks campaign. He said state law says in Section 2-6-202:  (3) A person ... (click for more)

Graham Says County School-City Lawsuit Settlement "Stinks," But County Commission Approves It

The County Commission on Wednesday approved a settlement of a lawsuit brought by the Hamilton County Schools against the city of Chattanooga, though several commissioners said they were not happy with the deal and Commissioner Joe Graham said it "stinks." Commissioner Graham was the lone no vote. He was joined by Commissioner Tim Boyd in a failed effort to defer it a week. ... (click for more)

The Truth From Weston’s Sister - And Response (4)

I try not to read the negative articles and opinions about my older brother. Growing up around politics, I learned a long time ago that thick skin is not only necessary, it’s paramount. But this time, the lies and the rumors and the inaccurate information has gone too far. It’s too ridiculous for me to ignore. So let’s clear a few things up: Weston and I do not “come ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Say It Ain't So, Larry Joe!

Larry Joe Wheelon, the tainted horse trainer who was charged with 18 counts of aggravated animal cruelty when his barn was raided in April of 2013 and some animals were sored so badly that they could barely walk, finally went to a court hearing in Blount County on Wednesday and his steps toward Judge Tammy Harrington’s bench were decidedly heavy. My goodness, yours would have been ... (click for more)