Experience Something New This Spring Break, Made In Tennessee

Friday, February 26, 2016 - by Amanda Stravinsky
Lightning Rod, Dollywood, Pigeon Forge
Lightning Rod, Dollywood, Pigeon Forge

Tennessee is expanding and enhancing its attractions, while paying homage to those long-withstanding entities that have proven the Made in Tennessee spirit can’t be copied, only experienced. Discover what’s new for Spring Break in Tennessee.

In 1929 and 1930, there was a collection of recordings created known as the Knoxville Sessions. Today, they have been re-mastered and released, and Knoxville is celebrating its lost musical history with the inaugural 

com/" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(17, 85, 204);">Knoxville STOMP: Festival of Lost Music May 5-8. Dom Flemons headlines the wealth of performers that include the ETSU Old Time Pride Band, John Myers Band, Knox County Jug Stompers and more.

Lightning Rod, the world’s fastest and first launching wooden roller coaster opens March 18. The $22 million ride is the largest attraction investment in the park’s history. Themed after a 1950s-era hot rod, Lightning Rod launches riders from zero to 45 mph to a point 20 stories high, reaching a top speed of 73 mph.

The Nashville Zoo is under an ongoing expansion with Phase I of the project, which includes a Spider Monkey exhibit, Andean Bear exhibit, Tiger exhibit, and a new Veterinary Center, to be completed by 2017. This spring, visitors can experience the new Entry Village which has a larger ticket booth, gift shop, security, restrooms stroller rental facility and more. See the two new male white rhinoceros from a Florida animal reserve make their home in the Rhino Exhibit as well.

Make a toast to Jack Daniel’s 150th Anniversary, America’s oldest registered distiller and the best-selling whiskey in the world. The anniversary is celebrated throughout the year and around the world. Stop in for a tour, a tasting and learn the history of this world-class attraction. The distillery is also going under a $140 million expansion which includes two new barrelhouses, and a modification on the bottling factory, expanding the bottling and shipping capabilities.

The Beale Street Music Festival takes place April 29-May 1 at Tom Lee Park in downtown Memphis. The festival commemorates 40 years in 2016, part of the annual Memphis in May month-long celebration. Neil Young + Promise of the Real, Beck, Meghan Trainor, Paul Simon, Jason Derulo, Yo Gotti, Panic! At the Disco, Moon Taxi, and Bastille are just some of the more than 60 artists scheduled to perform.

Shelby Farms Park Conservancy, one of the largest urban parks in America, is undergoing renovations throughout 2016. This spring, enjoy the new hiking and biking trails, native trees lining Farm Road, new buffalo location and pasture. Other updates throughout the year include a new restaurant, The Kitchen, LEED-certified First Tennessee Foundation Visitor Center, event stage, expanded Patriot Lake and more.

All Aboard...The Chattanooga Choo Choo Rides Again

Passengers once boarded trains daily from Terminal Station at the Chattanooga Choo Choo .  Like the airport travel of our time, traveling from Chattanooga to other cities around the country by rail was the standard.  Not so today. In 1970, Terminal Station closed its 14 tracks and seven boarding platforms. Other than the occasional special event, trains haven’t ... (click for more)

Baseball Legend Cal Ripken, Jr., Music, Larger-Than-Life-Sized Balloons Highlight Pigeon Forge’s New Music In The Mountains Spring Parade On May 4

With Cal Ripken, Jr. leading the way, Pigeon Forge’s (Tennessee) new Music in the Mountains spring parade is set for May 4 at 6 p.m. (Eastern) on the city’s Parkway with entries from Tennessee, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and Georgia plus several new elements to extend the celebration into the weekend.   Mr. Ripken, a member of the National Baseball Hall ... (click for more)

McCallie Coach From 90s Who Is Now Deceased Is Accused Of Abusing Students

A McCallie School coach from the 1990s who is now deceased is being accused of abusing students at the private prep school. Two former students said Steven Lee "Steve" Carpenter sexually abused them. Carpenter was the basketball coach at McCallie for 11 seasons - through 1999. He was boys basketball coach at Ridgeland High School beginning in 2000. Carpenter was ... (click for more)

Famed Radio Broadcaster Tommy Jett Dies At 77 At His Flintstone Home

Legendary radio broadcaster, Tommy Jett, (Thomas Wayne Reynolds) died Wednesday in his sleep at his residence in Flintstone, Ga.   He was 77. The native of Smithville, Tn., first was heard on Chattanooga radio in 1961 when he joined WFLI. He was known for his gaudy rings and his "Hey Now" greeting. He switched to country on WDOD in the 1980s and later was on "The ... (click for more)

Pluses And Minuses Of Tennessee's New Opioid Law

It was clear when Governor Haslam announced his TN Together plan in January that lawmakers were going to do something to try to address the state’s opioid abuse epidemic. With the passage of SB 2257/HB 1831, Tennessee now has one of the most comprehensive and restrictive laws of any state.   The Tennessee Medical Association was actively engaged in the process and appreciates ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘We’ll Lose The Senate!’

A guy who I admire and respect wrote me yesterday. He had just read my story defending Bob Corker for honoring “The Code” due to his true friendship with Phil Bredesen. He is also no stranger to my vivid dislike of the Republican choice to replace Corker in the Senate. Marsha Blackburn is no match against Bredesen on any tier and it is clearly the Republican Party itself that has ... (click for more)