The 2014 Old Oak Festival will feature fine arts and crafts from more than 60 vendors as the revived festival makes its return to the Tusculum College campus on April 25-27.
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.
The juried arts and crafts show will feature more than 60 vendors and will offer everything from watercolor painting to handmade quilts.
“Visitors will have a wide variety of items to choose from, including custom jewelry, wood crafts, handmade furniture and sculptures. Demonstrations will also be conducted on pottery, blacksmithing and cooking,” said David Price, director of music at Tusculum College and festival coordinator.
At 2 p.m. on Saturday, there will be pizza dough tossing lessons, and local celebrity chef Jan Charles will be conducting a cooking workshop at 3 p.m. in Chalmers Conference Center. She will be providing tips on cooking high-quality family meals on a fixed budget.
The festival will also feature a number of local and regional writers, including Barry Blair, Emory Rhea Raxter, Joe Tennis, Keith Bartlett, Matilda Green and Peggy Dorris. There will be two literary readings during the festival. The first will feature Wayne Lee Thomas, associate professor of English and chair of the Fine Arts Department at Tusculum College. Joining Thomas on the Thursday evening program will be Joseph Borden, senior creative writing major at Tusculum from Lyles. The event will begin at 7 p.m. and will be held at the Shulman Center. Borden is the winner of this year’s Curtis Owens Literary Awards for poetry, fiction and script writing.
On Friday, April 25, at 4 p.m., poet Richard Greenfield will be the featured reader. He will be joined by Britany Menken, a senior creative writing major from Maryville. Menken is this year’s Curtis Owens Literary Award winner for non-fiction.
In addition to artist vendors and music performances throughout the day on Friday and Saturday, there will be three performances during the festival of “Twelve Angry Men,” presented by Theatre-at-Tusculum under the direction of Frank Mengel, the technical director of the Arts Outreach program. Show times are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
Performances will be held in the Behan Arena Theatre in the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Center.
A new event for this year’s festival will be the Tusculum College Old Oak Festival Annual Bed Race. The event, which features decorative, competitive racing beds, will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Two trophies will be conferred, one for most creative entry and the other for the winner of the speed competition. For more information, contact Barb Sell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The college’s Allison Gallery will be open throughout the weekend, featuring the Tusculum College print collection, “Under the Old Oak.” A closing reception for the exhibition will be held at 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 26. Throughout the weekend, the Tusculum Digital Media Department will be hosting video game competitions.
The festival will present the sounds of the region, with a wide variety of music from bluegrass to jazz to local vocalists and musicians. Pickin’ at the Doaks, which is a traditional music jam session, will be held at the Doak House Museum on Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at noon. Saturday’s performance will be a special session with a surprise guest.
Highlights of the performance schedule will be Americana band Annabella’s Curse and Appalachian Reggae artist Ras Allen who will perform on Friday evening. Saturday evening will feature two classic rock bands, Shiloh and the Kevin Wilder Group.
Other performers will include Tusculum College student groups, Capgun Alliance, fiddler Carson Peters, Claxton Creek, Curtis and Jim Moneyhun, Fire Cry, Frankie B. & the New Chronic Dream, Jimmie D., Joyce Carroll, Living Testament, Lonesome Pine, Mike Joy, Shiloh Road, Step Cousins, Steven Brown, the Madisons, the Matt Sanders Group, the Thursday Night Boys, Think Floyd and Zack Wampler.
Both the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library and the Doak House Museum will be open on Friday and Saturday to visitors during the festival and will have special activities planned for adults and children.
At 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 26, there will be a lantern-lit tour of the Tusculum College buildings listed on the National Historic Register. From 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library will feature the “Reaper: Nettie Fowler McCormick and the Machine that Built Tusculum College” exhibit. This exhibit explores the changes wrought by the mechanical harvest and explores the context through which Mrs. McCormick viewed her philanthropic mission.
The festival will feature children’s activities on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and again on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Through out the weekend there will be storytelling performances on stage and around the festival grounds.
Llamas from the Walnut Ridge Llama Farm, previous favorites of the festival, will visit the Tusculum College campus over the weekend, with Walnut Ridge Llama Farm products available for purchase.
A Sunday highlight will be an outdoor chapel service beginning at 11 a.m. designed to re-create the feel of the frontier church experience. The service is open to the public and will be followed by traditional and contemporary gospel music performances throughout the day.
Food selection will include festival favorites, such as homemade strawberry shortcake, Philly cheese steak, and Amish doughnuts.
The festival is being coordinated by a committee of college and community representatives who are working to promote arts and music in the East Tennessee region. There are limited spaces still available for artisan and crafter booths. There is no fee to attend the festival. Art vendor hours will be Friday from noon until 6 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sunday from 1-4 p.m. For more information, contact Price at 423-636-7303.
Service animals are welcome; however, no pets allowed. Coolers and alcohol are also prohibited during the festival.
For updates and more information, visit the website at www.oldoakfestival.org or on Facebook at www.facebook/OldOakFestival.