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tnconnections spring 2010

An Official Publication of Your Locally Owned Municipal Electric System



Conservationists promote the protection of and access to scenic Wolf River corridor

Your Junk, His Art Kingston Springs artist turns trash into treasure

Lettuce Dream Leafy green veggie is a springtime favorite


tn almanac

Travel, tips and tidbits at a glance Grape Expectations Sip like a sommelier at A Toast to Tennessee Wine Festival, a Mt. Juliet staple each May. The event offers delicious wine from more than 20 Tennessee wineries, live music, gourmet food, fine artists, free seminars and lake cruises. If you sample a taste you just have to have again, don’t worry – the festival provides an opportunity to shop local with bottles and cases of wine available for purchase. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 on the day of the festival, which is slated for May 15, 2010. Those serving as designated drivers can purchase tickets for $10, and group tickets are also available for $15 each by calling (615) 758-3478. For additional information, visit or check out our video at to see what the festival is all about.

Spring Into Environmental Events Earth Day: Did you know Earth Day turns 40 this year? Celebrate by doing something kind for the planet on April 22; get ideas at Cities and towns across Tennessee are holding special celebrations for the anniversary. Arbor Day: Make the world a greener place this Arbor Day, April 30, by planting a tree or donating to the Arbor Day Foundation. Visit to learn more.

Miller’s Musical Meals Down-home cooking and made-from-scratch desserts are always on the menu at Miller’s Grocery, but the joint is especially jumping on Friday and Saturday nights with live bluegrass, folk and Americana music. The antique-filled eatery was restored in 1995 after more than 75 years of providing groceries and other goods to Christiana, located about 10 miles south of Murfreesboro in Rutherford County. The shop no longer sells groceries, but the name Miller’s Grocery remains as a tribute to longtime proprietor Stanley Miller and a reminder of simpler times. Reservations are not required, but they’re strongly recommended during live music nights and Sunday lunchtime buffets. Visit or call (615) 893-1878 to learn more.

Fix a Leak Week: Participate in Fix a Leak Week during March 15-21, 2010, and improve the water efficiency of your home by taking the time to fix leaks around your home. You’ll be helping the environment and may even save a little on next month’s bill! Clean Air Week: Ride your bicycle or walk to work or school during the first week of May to help cut down on pollution in your area. You’ll get a great workout in, too.


tnconnections Spring 2010 Edition Editor Jessy Yancey Contributing Writers Carol Cowan, Dr. Sue Hamilton Roben Mounger, Jessica Walker Creative Director Keith Harris Photography Director Jeffrey S. Otto Senior Photographer Brian McCord Staff Photographers Jeff Adkins, Todd Bennett, Antony Boshier, Ian Curcio, J. Kyle Keener Production Project Managers Katie Middendorf, Jill Wyatt Graphic Designers Jessica Manner, Marcus Snyder Ad Traffic Marcia Millar, Patricia Moisan, Raven Petty Sr. V.P./Sales Carla H. Thurman Sr. V.P./Operations Casey E. Hester V.P./Editorial Director Teree Caruthers V.P./Visual Content Mark Forester V.P./Custom Publishing Kim Newsom Production Director Natasha Lorens Associate Production Director Christina Carden Controller Chris Dudley Advertising Sales Manager, Custom Division Beth Murphy Integrated Media Manager Robin Robertson Distribution Director Gary Smith Accounting Moriah Domby, Diana Guzman, Maria McFarland, Lisa Owens Custom/Travel Sales Support Rachael Goldsberry Office Manager Shelly Grissom Receptionist Linda Bishop Tennessee Connections is published quarterly by Journal Communications Inc. for participating members of the Tennessee Municipal Electric Power Association. TMEPA represents 61 municipal power distributors in Tennessee, which serve more than 2 million customers. For advertising information or to direct questions or comments about the magazine, contact Journal Communications Inc., 725 Cool Springs Blvd., Suite 400, Franklin, TN 37067. Phone: 615-771-0080.E-mail:

Features 4

Gaining Ground A West Tennessee conservation group promotes the protection of and access to scenic Wolf River corridor.


Look for this logo that identifies green articles, tips and fun facts.

Coming Up Roses Learn how to carefully care for this fragrant flower.

10 Your Junk, His Art Kingston Springs artist turns trash into unique works of art.

12 Lettuce Dream

For information about TMEPA, contact: Tennessee Municipal Electric Power Association Paddock 1, Suite C-13, 229 Ward Circle Brentwood, TN 37027 Phone 615-373-5738, Fax 615-373-1901

Leafy green veggie is a springtime favorite.


Executive Director Mike Vinson


Municipal Power Perspective


Tennessee in Focus


ŠCopyright 2010 Journal Communications Inc. and Tennessee Municipal Electric Power Association. All rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part without written consent.

14 Winter Activities in Tennessee 17 Connect to Tennessee Products

ON THE COVER: Wolf River by J. Kyle Keener | what’s online



Summer 2009 Edition

Editor Rebecca Denton

Raise Your Glass

Editorial AssistantJessy Yancey

Find a Recipe

Check out Uncle Lester and his dancing shoes or take a virtual ride on a miniature train in our online video gallery.

Print or e-mail a recipe from our online recipe file.

Digital Magazine

table of contents

nec n ne eecctions tio io ons ns tnconnections

Watch a Video

Buy a Cookbook Order a copy of Down-Home Dumplings, which features recipes from the World’s Greatest Down-Home Dumpling Cook-off.


Contributing Writers ?

Winery goes solar, and ry garners g awards. Official Publicat Publicati n ooffCrown Publicatio Yourr L Locally Ow Owned wned Municipa Municipal nicip cipa ci pBeachaven a Electric Elect Ele E e tric r cWinery S Syste springCreative 2010 Director KeithAn Harris Photography DirectorJeffrey S. Otto tnconnections. ections ionss ions. io

Spanning the Years

Senior PhotographerBrian McCord


Covered bridges evoke nostalgia, history.

Staff PhotographersJeff Adkins, Todd Bennett, Antony Boshier, Ian Curcio, J. Kyle Keener Production Project Managers Melissa Bracewell, Jill Wyatt

Sold on Solar Power

Sr. Graphic Designers Laura Gallagher, Candice Sweet, Vikki Williams


Architecture firm takes its own green advice.

Graphic Designers Jessica Manner, Amy Nelson

Simple and Satisfying

Ad Traffic Jessica Childs, Marcia Millar, Patricia Moisan, Raven Petty

Fresh flavors combine for a tasty summer supper.



Additional photography courtesy of Tennessee State Photo Services

Ground d Sr. V.P./Sales Carla H. Thurman

Sr. V.P./Operations Casey E. Hester

V.P./Editorial Director Teree Caruthers V.P./Visual Content Mark Forester

Production Director Natasha Lorens Conservationists promote Associate Production Director Christina Carden the protection of and access Controller Chris Dudley to scenic Wolf River corridor Advertising Sales Manager, Custom Division Beth Murphy Integrated Media Manager Robin Robertson Distribution Director Gary Smith Accounting Moriah Domby, Diana Guzman, Maria McFarland, Lisa Owens Custom/Travel Sales Support Rachael Goldsberry

Tennessee Connections is published quarterly by Journal Communications Inc. for participating members of the Tennessee Municipal Electric Power Association. TMEPA represents 61 municipal power distributors in Tennessee, which serve more than 2 million customers. For advertising information or to direct questions or comments about the magazine, contact Journal Communications Inc., 725 Cool Springs Blvd., Suite 400, Franklin, TN 37067. Phone: 615-771-0080. E-mail: For information about TMEPA, contact: Tennessee Municipal Electric Power Association Paddock 1, Suite C-13 229 Ward Circle Brentwood, TN 37027 Phone 615-373-5738 Fax 615-373-1901 Executive Director Mike Vinson

DEPARTMENTS Municipal Power Perspective


Summer Activities in Tennessee


Connect to Tennessee Products


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Spring 2010

Flip through the pages of the magazine without leaving your laptop. Print and e-mail articles and instantly link to advertisers.

Browse the Archives View past stories, photos and magazine covers in our online archives.



municipal power perspective

Perspectives on government MIKE VINSON Executive Director Tennessee Municipal Electric Power Association

It’s hard to believe another year is behind us. Your municipal electric systems had a tough year in 2009 with all the changes at TVA, the Kingston Ash Spill, changing wholesale power rates and still fluctuating fuel costs and how to report those fuel costs on the retail bill. TVA and your local municipal electric power system are doing everything possible to secure both future electric energy needs and remain competitive in the cost of electricity. We are blessed, here in the valley, to have dedicated public servants overseeing this most important necessity, electricity. Regarding the second session of the 106th General Assembly, as usual TMEPA is monitoring the introduction of bills which may have an adverse affect on your electric company as well as those which would be beneficial to our operations. We’ll continue to address legislative actions involving the right of municipals to offer telecommunication services, fees for attaching to the electric poles by other companies and any other issue which could cost you, the customers of the municipal systems, more money. We encourage each of you to let your legislators know that Public Power deserves consideration when legislation is considered which could affect your cost or your service. After all, they serve the public as we do. While “pondering” all that could happen in Nashville and what is happening in Washington, I began recalling some thoughts of people much wiser than I could ever be; so on a change in our normal “perspective,” 2


I thought I would leave your with a few quotes from some of these very remarkable people regarding Government. Enjoy! “…a long habit of not thinking a thing WRONG gives it a superficial appearance of being RIGHT.” – Thomas Paine, Common Sense “It may well be time to put principles above parties, character above campaign promises, and integrity above personal gain and simply do right to all.” – My Dad “Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth. … Absolute power does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed.” – Barry Goldwater “It may be true that the government that governs best governs least. Unfortunately, the same is also true of the government that governs worst.”– Jane Auer “The government is merely a servant – merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn’t. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.” – Mark Twain “No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another, and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him.” – Thomas Jefferson “A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government.” – Thomas Jefferson “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people; it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.” – Patrick Henry “A Government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.” – George Bernard Shaw

Membership Alcoa Electric Department Athens Utilities Board Benton County Electric System Bolivar Energy Authority Bristol Tennessee Essential Services Brownsville Utility Department Carroll County Electrical Department Electric Power Board of Chattanooga CDE Lightband – Clarksville Cleveland Utilities Clinton Utilities Board Columbia Power & Water System Cookeville Department of Electricity Covington Electric System Dayton Electric Department Dickson Electric System Dyersburg Electric System Elizabethton Electric Department Erwin Utilities Etowah Utilities Department Gallatin Department of Electricity Greeneville Light & Power System Harriman Utility Board Humboldt Utilities Jackson Energy Authority Jellico Electric & Water Systems Johnson City Power Board Knoxville Utilities Board LaFollette Utilities Lawrenceburg Utility Systems Lenoir City Utilities Board Lewisburg Electric System Lexington Electric System Loudon Utilities City of Maryville Electric Department McMinnville Electric System Memphis Light, Gas & Water Division Milan Department of Public Utilities Morristown Utility Systems Mount Pleasant Power System Murfreesboro Electric Department Nashville Electric Service Newbern Electric Department Newport Utilities City of Oak Ridge Electric Department Paris Board of Public Utilities Pulaski Electric System Ripley Power and Light Company Rockwood Electric Utility Sevier County Electric System Shelbyville Power System Smithville Electric System Town of Somerville Utilities Sparta Electric System Springfield Electric Department Sweetwater Utilities Board Trenton Light & Water Department Tullahoma Utilities Board Union City Electric System Weakley County Municipal Electric System

Tennessee Connections

tn in focus Photo by Antony Boshier

Irises at Ellington Agricultural Center, Nashville

Spring 2010



Gaining Ground the




Tennessee Connections

Way Conservation group promotes protection of and access to scenic Wolf River corridor

Spring 2010



cover story

story by Carol Cowan | photography by J. Kyle Keener


he Wolf River Conservancy turns 25 in 2010, and what better way to celebrate the nonprofit conservation organization’s birthday than to kick off construction on the first section of the city of Memphis’ Wolf River Greenway Trail. Since its founding in 1985, the Conservancy has helped protect many thousands of acres along the Wolf River, which carves a path from its headwaters in Mississippi’s Holly Springs National Forest northwest into Tennessee, flowing through Fayette and Shelby counties to its confluence with the Mississippi River near downtown Memphis. Native wildlife ranging from freshwater mussels to deer, mink, bobcat and wild turkey populate the river region’s multifaceted ecosystems, and indigenous tupelo gum, cypress and bottomland hardwood trees grow up from the soft alluvial soil. The planned Wolf River Greenway will stretch the 90-mile length of the Wolf River and will contribute to the Conservancy’s mission to protect the wetlands, wildlife and Memphis Sands aquifer recharge area that lie within the Wolf River watershed. Offering multiple uses including recreation, conservation, education, health and fitness, the green spaces also will connect and be integrated into diverse neighborhoods along the river corridor. Trails will provide walking, biking and paddling access. In Memphis, the Wolf River Greenway will span 22 miles – from Mud Island to Houston Levee Road – and encompass more than 4,000 acres of unspoiled land nestled in the midst of the city like hidden treasure. A 10-foot wide multipurpose greenway trail, designed by Memphis-based ETI Corp., eventually will extend beyond the city to run the length of the

Wolf River in Shelby County. It will link to trails in Germantown and Collierville and connect residents with Shelby Farms Park, the 8-mile long Wolf River Wildlife Area park in Collierville, and parks, neighborhoods and businesses up and down the greenway. “This is a huge milestone,” says Steve Fleegal, chief executive officer of the Wolf River Conservancy. “The Conservancy has been working for many years to help plan and implement the greenway trail system. We were thrilled to see construction on Memphis’ trail begin this winter.” The first 1.5-mile segment is slated for completion sometime this summer. As for its many other accomplishments, in 1995, the Wolf River Conservancy and several partner agencies rescued the Ghost River section from development. This area subsequently became the Ghost River State Natural Area and the Wolf River Wildlife Management Area. A popular destination for paddlers, the Ghost River section of the Wolf includes braided channels and backwater sloughs that meander through bottomland hardwood forests, cypress-tupelo wetlands and open marshes between LaGrange and Moscow. The Conservancy also worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other partners to launch a $12.8 million restoration project to stop rapid erosion – known as headcutting – at Collierville and to protect natural wetlands throughout Fayette County. Overall, the Wolf River Conservancy’s recreation, conservation, education, outreach and advocacy programs have generated widespread public awareness of and support for the protection and preservation of the Wolf River floodplain. Visit for more information. ■

Members of the Wolf River Conservancy paddle through the Ghost River State Natural Area, the portion of the Wolf River near LaGrange, Tenn. 6


Tennessee Connections

Greenways 101 People everywhere are realizing the importance of creating greenways in both urban and rural settings to enhance our collective quality of life and to be able to pass the treasures of scenic, unspoiled natural areas and open spaces on to future generations.

What are greenways? Often referred to as “linear parks,” greenways are corridors of protected space that typically follow natural features such as rivers or mountain ridges, or they may be established along old railroad lines or scenic roads. ■

■ Greenways connect parks, neighborhoods, historic sites and natural areas within communities, and they connect communities with one another.

What is the difference between trails and greenways? Trails are paths that provide access to and within protected areas and can range from rugged, mulched footpaths to wide, paved bikeways. Greenways may or may not contain trails. ■

■ Urban greenways tend to feature trails that support recreation and non-motorized transportation, while rural greenways may exist solely to protect wildlife habitat and water quality.

What are the benefits of greenways? ■ In addition to preserving scenic areas, greenways protect forests and wildlife. They also improve air and water quality and prevent erosion.

Greenways foster economic growth in communities, raising property values and attracting prospective companies and tourists. ■

■ They provide environmentally friendly transportation routes and recreational opportunities, and also improve the health and fitness of users. ■

Greenways are major educational resources.

Source: Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation, – Carol Cowan

Spring 2010




Coming Up


Learn how to carefully care for thiss fragrant flower story by Dr. Sue Hamilton


espite beauty-queen looks and perfume-store fragrances, roses have fallen from favor as Tennessee gardeners grew tired of their persnickety personalities and incessant maintenance demands. However, with the introduction of easy-care shrub roses, the most beloved of garden flowers has returned to prominence. Roses rule! Modern shrub roses – which are easy to find at garden centers and nurseries or online – are tough and beautiful roses touted as being disease resistant and requiring no pesticide sprays or pruning. These resistant roses include the yellow varieties of Carefree Sunshine and Topaz Jewel, white roses Snowcone and Wildspice, and red varieties of Homerun and Knockout. For pink roses, you can’t go wrong with Hansa, Pink Knockout, Wildberry Breeze or Pretty Lady. Although easy-care roses are taking the landscape by storm, many prefer traditional types, especially the beautiful cut flowers produced by hybrid teas. Here’s a basic primer for rose care - regardless of the variety you choose.

Planting Start with good plants, preferably No. 1, 2-year-old, field-grown, budded plants. Plants that are not pruned should have three or more heavy 18-inch canes. Canes of pruned plants should have at least a 1/4-inch Spring 2010

diameter at the top. Select a sunny unny and well-drained site, and plant new roses the last week of March or the first week of April.

Mulching Three to four inches of pine needles, pine bark ark or a compost mix are ideal. Avoid using grass clippings or unrotted leaves. They decompose quickly and while doing so, eat up nitrogen and other nutrients.

Pruning Prune roses the last week of March or the first week of April. Remove all weak, twiggy growth and wood killed or injured during the winter, cutting back to solid tissue. Prune to buds growing to the outside of the shrub. For fewer but larger blooms, cut shrubs back to 14-16 inches above the graft union. For many smaller blooms, cut shrubs back to 18 inches or taller.

Spraying To prevent leaf-spot fungal diseases apply a fungicide every seven days. Start spraying after spring pruning.

Fertilizing Roses vary in their need for food. Be sure to use a fertilizer labeled for roses, and follow directions for the variety you are growing. ■





Kingston Springs artist Bebo crafts his creative critters and other recycled works of art using barn wood and other found objects. 10


Tennessee Connections

Your Junk,

His Art Tennessee artist turns trash to treasure story by Jessica Walker


ingston Springs folk artist Bebo of Bebo Folk Art can be described in quite a few ways: inspired, creative, imaginative. Sounds like your typical artist, right? Wrong. In fact, “typical” might be the last word one would use when describing Bebo. Not only is he self-taught, he uses found materials – old hubcaps and garden hoses, to name a couple – to create unique pieces. “I find stuff on the side of the road and make art out of it if I can,” Bebo says. Born in Tulsa, Okla., as John Paul Daniel, he discovered his “art name” – Bebo – during a dream. “I like it,” he says, “and it’s worked.” Now 56 years old, Bebo began creating his art when he was 39. “I was in the music business,” he says. “This was just a hobby. Then, in 2001, I went full time after a five-year run as a songwriter.” Bebo’s inspiration came from Rev. Howard Finster, a folk artist who created more than 46,000 original pieces. “He is the father of all folk artists,” Bebo says. “He was very encouraging and told me I should be making my own art.” And he did. Using pieces from a torndown barn, Bebo began cutting out various critters with a hatchet and a hammer. “It just happened,” he says. “I was inspired by religious art and wanted to make my own.” At first, Bebo carved familiar figures. “I fish a lot, so I was drawn to (shapes of) fish, gators and snakes,” he says. Since then, he has continued to create Spring 2010

artful creatures – turtles, butterflies, birds and more – in a variety of bright, vibrant colors. “I think my bright color schemes come from what I saw as a child,” he says. “I went to [American] Indian powwows with my dad and saw brightly colored costumes and beading.” He also crafts signs with favorite Bible verses, uplifting quotes and sayings. “My main focus is to put out a good word,” he says. “I want to let people know, ‘Hey, it’s not all bad.’” He hopes his creations can make others feel better and make their days a little brighter. “If I’m putting a smile on someone’s face, that means I’m doing my job,” Bebo says. Bebo also finds artistic motivation through his religious beliefs and hopes to inspire others spiritually as well. “My message is pretty simple,” he says. “Love God and love your neighbor.” While his message may be clear, his occupation isn’t always so easily defined. The term “folk artist” may be unfamiliar, but Bebo does his best to explain what it means – to him. “It’s freedom,” he says. “But I have a responsibility. Since I have this gift, I need to put out a good message.” Bebo is mainly focused on his folk art these days but still finds time to engage in other activities such as fishing and golf. He also enjoys playing guitar and writing music – just as he did before becoming a full-time artist. “I still play music,” he says. “I play with my dad at art shows.” He also performs in Florida and Kingston Springs. ■

More Insight Bebo Folk Art is featured in galleries in several states, including Tennessee, North Carolina, Louisiana, Florida, Arizona and California. The art ranges in price from $25 to $2,500 and can be purchased online by visiting or by calling (615) 952-2200. Bebo Folk Art is also available at various art shows across the South.



taste of tn


Dream Leafy green veggie is springtime favorite story by Roben Mounger

L About the Author Roben Mounger, known as Ms. Cook, has a penchant for searching out locally produced ingredients for her family’s meals. For some 15 years, she has eaten year round by way of CSAs and farmers markets. In 2009, she began an organic farm internship with Arugula’s Star of Neal Family Farms. Roben writes a weekly column about food and people for The Columbia Daily Herald and blogs about eating locally at



ettuces are a food with transportative powers. The leafy vegetable can provide the most delicate of flavors in the dead of winter and then in spring enhance the brightness of a meal. The freshness of this plant is stunning in its adaptability, and many Tennessee growers have their egos stoked after presenting a locally grown lettuce crop to their public. On the barest winter day, I have found a bowl of mixed greens the needed contrast and in early spring a harbinger of summer realms. The flavors of lettuces vary from mild to strong, and their appearance can differ in a charmingly curious manner from heads that spread wide open in a wavy design to others that curl into a ball. They can be faint of color to dark green, some are red and others speckled. Since heat makes the plants bolt, a home gardener must be mindful to shade the plants if grown in summer or rather focus on spring, fall or winter plantings. Many Tennessee farmers specialize in lettuce varieties and utilize techniques that spark tasty dining with a minimum of concoction. “Customers love the fresh lettuce,” says John Dysinger of Bountiful Blessings Farm, a winter CSA in Williamsport. “It’s a splash of color and brings vibrant life to the table. We like to think that it’s not only promoting physical health, but emotional

and even spiritual health as well.” Amazingly, lettuces can handle temperatures down in the 20s if protected by floating row covers over wire hoops to prevent damage. After the holidays and into the spring, many farms like the Dysinger’s use hoop houses for their lettuces as the sheltered environment creates a tempered refuge for growth and harvest. Farmer Brown’s in Warren County grows lettuce crops using hydroponics, the process of growing plants in water without soil. The Browns say the advantages over soil include efficient use of water and minerals and nutrition regulation that turns out “some of the finest lettuce in the world, period.” They work to produce their dynamic lettuces with a pest management system that makes use of tree frogs, ladybugs and praying mantises. Windermere Farms and Apiaries have an ingenious irrigation system in which piquancy is enhanced by runoff from the hills into the ponds pumped to tanks on the ridge of their acreage. The plants are then gravity-fed as needed. Ken Lansing, designer of the Memphis farm, has an affinity for a pristine salad and has created unique peppered vinegar that amplifies his dressings. Which brings me to the creative assembly – Tennessee grown – of the beautiful rustic salad and her dressing. ■ Tennessee Connections

Rustic Salad Tennessee-grown lettuces such as red loose leaf, green loose leaf, bibb and romaine Other local greens such as arugula, mache, kale, baby Swiss chard, sorrel, tatsoi or spinach Garden-fresh herbs such as parsley, fennel, chervil, lemon balm, lovage or marjoram, chopped Roasted or raw vegetables such as carrots or squash, sliced

Simple Vinaigrette 3 parts olive oil 1 part vinegar or lemon juice Minced garlic to taste Dijon mustard to taste Salt and pepper to taste Clean and tear the leaves to use as soon as possible. Chop your choice of fresh herbs from your own garden or from your local farmer. Add vegetables, cheese and nuts or seeds of your choosing. Toss salad with the vinaigrette, serve and enjoy.

Cheese (optional) Chopped nuts or seeds (optional)

Spring 2010




Spring in Tennessee Festivals, celebrations, activities and more

Rutherford County Courthouse and Stones River National Battlefield, Murfreesboro The sixth in a series on the Civil War and Reconstruction coordinated by the battlefield and the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area. CONTACT: (615) 893-9501, (615) 898-2947, March 27

18th Annual Sgt. Alvin C. York Black Powder Shoot Valley of the Three Forks of the Wolf River, Pall Mall Event includes one-shot matches, X-center, over-the-log, 60 paces and traditional muzzle loading rifles. CONTACT: (888) WW1-HERO, March 27

Easter Eggstravaganza Jonesborough Egg hunt, games, food and the Easter Bunny at the Storytelling Park behind the International Storytelling Center. CONTACT: (866) 401-4223, March 31-April 3

Great Smoky Easter Arts & Crafts Show Gatlinburg Convention Center, Gatlinburg Unique handcrafted gifts made by members of Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community are placed on display. CONTACT: (800) 568-4748

APRIL Legacy of Stones River Symposium: Why They Fought, March 20 in Murfreesboro

April 2-24

Dogwood Arts Festival This listing includes a selection of events of statewide interest scheduled in March, April and May as provided by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. Events are subject to date change or cancellation; please call the contact listed before traveling long distances to attend. Due to space limitations, additional information and events can be found online through the department’s Web site,

Knoxville Walk along more than 60 miles of trails featuring some of the most spectacular dogwood trees of all kinds and colors. CONTACT: Lisa Duncan, (865) 637-4561, April 8-11

Mule Day

MARCH March 13

Holly and Shamrock Parade (St. Nicholas Meets St. Patrick) Gatlinburg Gathering of more than 750 Santa Clauses, Mrs. Clauses, elves and even reindeer, along with the 2nd annual parade. CONTACT: 14


March 20

48th Annual Wearing of the Green Irish Day Celebration Erin Event features parades, live entertainment and Civil War re-enactors, carnival rides and food. CONTACT: (931) 289-5100, irish@, March 20

Legacy of Stones River Symposium: Why They Fought

Columbia Mule sale, mule pull, log loading competition, mule driving, parade, pancake breakfast and more! CONTACT: (931) 381-9557, April 10

Pedalmania Bike Race Sparta Critical Road and TBRA official event. Bicycle rodeo for children. Special events in historic downtown Sparta. CONTACT: (931) 836-3552, Tennessee Connections

April 14

Theatre Express Chattanooga The Memorial Auditorium will be hosting a play of Junie B. Jones. CONTACT: (800) 267-4232, April 15-17

Rivers & Spires Festival Clarksville This free three-day festival includes over 100 entertainers, a kids’ area, teen area, international exhibits, car shows, food, jazz and so much more. CONTACT: Doug Barber, (866) 557-9006 ext. 233, April 17

Earth Day Children’s Celebration Jonesborough Outdoor event where children ages 2-12 can learn about taking care of our planet earth and much more. CONTACT: (866) 401-4223 April 21-25

60th Annual Wildflower Pilgrimage Gatlinburg Celebrate and enjoy the beauty of Great Smoky Mountains National Park with over

Spring 2010

150 different programs.CONTACT: (865) 436-7318 ext. 222, April 22

Ribfest & Wings Gatlinburg Enjoy the area’s best ribs and wings as well as free entertainment. One admission allows sampling until the ribs and wings run out as the parkway transforms into a street fair. CONTACT: (800) 568-4748 April 23-24

Spring Heritage Days Folk Festival Union City Annual folk festival demonstration of the skills and crafts of yesterday. Also enjoy music and Southern vittles! CONTACT: Randall Pitts, (731) 536-5171 April 23-25

National Cornbread Festival South Pittsburg Celebrating everything cornbread, including recipes, exhibits, music, Lodge Manufacturing tour and more. CONTACT: Kim Mantooth, (423) 837-0022

April 23-25

Spring Nature Festival Kingsport Some of the best nature guides and teacher/ naturalists donate their time and their nature guiding skills to help us delve deeper into the natural wonders of an East Tennessee springtime. CONTACT: Marty Silver, (423) 239-6786 April 24

Catfish Races Courthouse Lawn, Paris Let the races begin! Come downtown and listen to some catchy fish tales. You may even get reeled in to race your very own catfish. CONTACT: Mike Key, (731) 642-9271 April 24

Women’s Show White County Agricultural Complex, Sparta Doors open at 9 a.m. Grand-prize drawing at 4 p.m. CONTACT: (931) 836-3284 April 24

Earth Day Murfreesboro Civic Plaza, Murfreesboro Free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., this annual event offers a wide variety




of activities for young and old. CONTACT: (615) 893-5514 April 24

Small Fry Parade Paris Enjoy watching these small fry floats parade around the court square. The parade starts at 10 a.m. and is sponsored by the ParisHenry County Jaycees. CONTACT: Mike Key, (731) 642-9271

April 24-25

National Cornbread Festival South Pittsburg Live entertainment, juried arts, crafts and food. CONTACT: (423) 837-0022,

MAY May 1-2

Stitch & Share Quilt Show April 24

Storytelling and Dumplin Days James E. Ward Agricultural Center, Fiddlers Grove The day-long event will feature a dumpling cook-off, storytelling, a 5K run, corn hole tournament, marble shooting tournament, music and much much more. CONTACT: (615) 444-5503 April 24-25

Franklin Main Street Festival Franklin Free street festival with 220 arts/crafts booths, four stages, two carnivals, three food courts and more. CONTACT: Nancy Williams, (615) 591-8500,

Sparta Civic Center, Sparta Old and new quilts, wall hangings, wearable art, a quilt turning merchants market, door prizes and demonstrations a ll day. CONTACT: Bev and Bob Loitz (931) 935-5657 May 1-22

Tennessee Strawberry Festival Dayton A celebration of small-town life and strawberries. CONTACT: (423) 775-0361, May 2

15th Annual Coal Miners Reunion Bon DeCroft Elementary School, Sparta

Green Travel Tips Carpool whenever possible to reduce your carbon footprint – and you’ll also spend less money on gas.

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Staying overnight? Unplug major appliances to save energy and lower your electric bill.


Support Tennessee’s sustainable tourism. Find green lodging, dining and attractions at Community History project for the School includes mining photographs, memorabilia, slide show, auto tour, videotaping and history. CONTACT: Tony Lawson, (931) 935-2359 May 2-8

West Tennessee Strawberry Festival Humboldt Family entertainment, fireworks, parades, revues, carnival, food vendors, musical presentations, recipe contest and more! CONTACT: (731) 784-1842, May 7-8

Bruceton in May Festival Bruceton Street dancing, vendors, barbecue competitions, fun and games for adults and children alike, such as live entertainment on the stage. CONTACT: (731) 586-2401 May 8

Tennessee Polk Salad Festival Harriman Enjoy a day filled with bluegrass music, antique cars, crafts vendors, Miss Polk Salad Pageant and other contests, and of course, plenty of poke sallet to taste. CONTACT: 800-FUN-IN-TN May 15-16

36th Annual Festival of British & Appalachian Culture Rugby With continuous British Isles and Appalachian music and dancing, traditional arts and crafts, storytelling stage, historic building tours and delicious food. CONTACT: (888) 214-3400, May 21-22

Highway 52 Yard Sale Highway 52, from Portland to Celina Starting at Highway 52 from Interstate 65 in Portland to Celina, this is one huge multi-county yard sale! CONTACT: (615) 666-5885 16


Tennessee Connections

connect to tn products

Statewide roundup of favorite finds Reap What You Sow Before lawnmowers and weed whackers, people used scythes – and the Tracy City-based Marugg Co. might be the only place in the United States selling them today. Why scythes, you ask? They allow users to cut grass, reap or bushwhack without using natural resources. Instead, these tools require individuals to make use of their own energy, a practice that’s referred to as “sustainable agriculture.” This method causes little to no damage to the environment and is growing in popularity. The Marugg Co. sells other hickory-wood garden tools, such as sickles and weeding hoes, as well as additional scythe products. Visit for more information.

Pope’s Piggies Sarah Pope has brought a little bit of Tennessee to Hollywood. Customers of her business, Piggybank Express, include Gwyneth Paltrow, Angela Bassett and Courteney Cox Arquette.

Fruits of Their Labor Flippen Fruit Farm is a one-stop shop for all things sweet and savory. Located in the West Tennessee town of Troy, the Flippens sell everything from peach syrup to dinner rolls – but they’re best known for their delicious fried pies, Southern staples with flaky crusts and fruity filling. The pies come in several flavors, including peach, apple, cherry and strawberry, with sugar-free options available as well. Pies can be purchased for $2.50 each. That’s not all. While the fried pie is the Flippen family specialty, they also offer spreads, butters, barbecue sauce and syrups in a variety of flavors. The family also operates an eatery, the Hungry Hillbilly Restaurant, where guests can enjoy traditional Southern cooking. For more information, visit or call (731) 538-2933. Spring 2010

It all started when she came across old china molds from The Southern Potteries in Erwin, Tenn., which manufactured Blue Ridge China in the early 1900s. Pope decided it was time to bring back the piggybank and created a line that is now produced at her farm in Gray. The hand-painted piggybanks have been sold at more than 2,000 stores nationwide and continue to serve as favorite keepsakes and treasures. While some of the piggybanks aren’t created using the old molds, several of the designs used are similar to the patterns once painted by artists from The Southern Potteries. Prices start at $42 with cost increasing according to size. Visit www.piggybank or call (423) 467-2000 to purchase a piggybank or to learn more.





PAID Lebanon Junction, KY 40150 Permit No. 222

Energy-Saving Tips for Spring Following these steps can save you money this season Refrigerator: • Your fridge is responsible for up to 11 percent of your household’s energy usage. • Make sure the condenser coils in your fridge are free of dust and pet hair. Clean coils allow air to circulate more freely, using less electricity. • Pay attention to the seals on your fridge’s door. They should be clean and tight. Cooling: • Instead of replacing a faulty air conditioner, consider an attic ventilator. It can provide as much comfort as your air conditioner at a lower price. The ventilator brings cool air up through your home – all you have to do is pump in cool air in the evenings. • Whether you have an air conditioner or attic ventilator, keep doors and windows shut tightly during the day to keep cool air from escaping. Kitchen:


• Use an exhaust fan to get rid of hot air when you’re cooking.

• Install a water saving showerhead, reducing your hot water use without cutting down on time in the shower.

• Give your stove and oven a break, and use your microwave and countertop appliances to prepare food. • Install a ceiling fan in your kitchen to keep air circulating.

• Don’t keep hot water running nonstop while washing your face or shaving. • Take a shorter shower to avoid sending money down the drain. No purchase necessary!

Spring 2010, Tennessee Connections  

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