The Old Oak Festival returns to the Tusculum College campus April 19-21.
The arts and music festival will span three days and will feature something for everyone, including music, art, theater and creative writing, as well as gallery and museum exhibits on the Tusculum College campus.
The festival will be the place to find a good story, as several local and regional authors and a variety of storytellers are lined up to be part of the three-day festival.
“The Old Oak Authors’ Row will feature regional writers as well as authors who have connections to the area,” said Susan D. Crum, a 1991 graduate of Tusculum and associate vice president for Institutional Advancement for the college. “Several of them have associations with Tusculum College.”
Participating authors include Joe Tennis, Emory Raxter, Ray Rowney, Lisa Hall, Matilda Green, George Ryan, P.B. and Amanda Bachman, Keith Bartlett and Susan D. Crum.
Storytelling has been added to the festival this year, with everything from Mother Goose tales to Cherokee and Appalachian tales. Storytellers on the agenda include Madge Rohrer, Marjorie Shaefer, Faye Wooden, Kate Agmann, Saundra Kelley, Mary Grace Walrath and Circuit Rider Dr. Bruce Montgomery.
In addition to artist vendors and music performances throughout the weekend, there will be three performances during the festival of “5 X 10,” presented by Tusculum students under the direction of Frank Mengel, Arts Outreach technical director and instructor of theater, and written by Wayne Thomas, chair of the Department of Fine Arts and associate professor of English. Show times are 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, April 19 and 20, and 2 p.m. on Sunday.
“5 X 10” presents student work in five, 10-minute plays. The shows will be performed in the Behan Arena Theatre in the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Center.
The college’s Allison Gallery will be open throughout the weekend featuring top student work in a “best of” show for student painting, sculpture and photography.
The festival is being coordinated by a committee of college and community representatives who are working to bring the historical event back as a major arts and music event in the East Tennessee region.
“We are expecting a wide variety of artists, including painters, craftsmen and sculptors, whose work will be available for purchase. Arts will include pottery, woodcrafts and folk art,” said Crum. “On stage, the festival will present the sounds of the region with a wide variety of music from bluegrass to jazz to local vocalists and musicians.”
Both the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library and the Doak House Museum will be open to visitors during the festival and will have special activities planned for adults and children.
The festival will also feature children’s activities including face painting, frontier-era toys and games and a llama exhibit. Additional a variety of food will be offered. Expected this year are vendors selling hotdogs, corn dogs, kettle korn, strawberry shortcake, ice cream, baked goods and spiral-cut French fries.
An old-time outdoor church service will be conducted by a circuit rider on Sunday morning. The service will re-create the feel of the frontier church experience. Dr. Bruce Montgomery of Milligan College will be featured as the circuit rider clergy. The service is open to the public and will be followed by traditional and contemporary gospel music performances throughout the day.
There is no fee to attend the festival. Hours will be Friday from noon until 9 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, contact Crum at 423-636-7303.
Service animals are welcome; however, no pets allowed. Coolers and alcohol are also prohibited.
For updates and more information, visit the website at www.oldoakfestival.org or on Facebook at www.facebook/OldOakFestival.