August History Fair Focuses on East Tennessee

August 1, 2016 in Editorials

history fairKnoxville, Tenn., is getting ready to host the celebration of the 9th Annual East Tennessee History Fair on Saturday, Aug. 20, downtown and inside the Museum of East Tennessee History at 601 S. Gay Street. This unique, educational and oh so exciting event will be hosted and held with the coordination and guidance of Lisa Allen Belleman, Director of Membership & Media, East Tennessee History Society. Ms Belleman and the East Tennessee History Society have worked diligently preparing for one of the best history fairs yet. They have worked with the Tennessee’s First Family Organization, Watauga Association, Calvin M McClung Historical Collections, East Tennessee History Center, and the office of Knox County Archives and more than 30 other organizations in order to collect such a magnificent collection of historical documents and history facts. These will be presented by the many, many history enthusiasts who have played a huge part to organize and preserve East Tennessee history. Bring your cameras and walking shoes and plan to spend the day.

The 9th Annual East Tennessee Fair will have some of the most history-packed exhibits and displays in booths hosted by these knowledgeable collectors of history. There will be reenactments based on the Cherokee Indian all the way to the history facts of WWII to the Vietnam War. There will be a lot of folks in period dress giving demonstrations from how food was prepared 200 years ago; how yarn was spun to make fabric; basket weaving; pottery making; and how different useful primitive items were made and used. You’ll see how to load the amazing cannons used during war times, and sword and musket demonstrations.

This year is the first time there will be approximately 25 booths with antiques that will be available for purchase. Antique glassware, collectibles, and smalls from different eras will be on tables with description of time period and use.

You will be entertained by numerous groups performing period music, including bluegrass. Books of historic nature for both children and adults will be on sale by the Friends of the Knox County Library. There’s going to be a “History Hound” Dog Costume Contest and guests are invited to bring their pets dressed in a costume representing their favorite historic character. Awards will be presented for “Best Costume” and “Most Tennessee Spirit”.

Friday, Aug. 19 will kick off the three-day celebration with East Tennessee Historical Society commemorating Tennessee’s 220th birthday with a First Families of Tennessee Reunion and Jubilee August 19-21. It will include dinner at Marble Springs, home of Tennessee’s Governor John Sevier, as well as period music, dance, and living history presentations. These events are open to the public, however the First Families history celebration will require registration and a fee. Saturday’s History Fair is free and open to the public.

There are historic home tours and museum tours being planned and celebration of history of Davy Crockett, John Sevier and Tennessee First Families.

This will be a family event with lots to do for everyone and many different food venues and restaurants open. It will be a great educational event and like me, you may be a descendent of Tennessee’s First Families! They invite you to find out, so come and “Have a Blast with the Past”!

There are numerous events happening throughout the weekend and at different Knoxville locations. The list can be googled at For other information, call Cherel Henderson at 865-215-8823.

by Maxine Bean Jones, Ocoee, Tennessee