October 1, 2013 -
The City of Knoxville's Centennial Conservation Expo celebration is less than two weeks away, and it promises a full slate of family-friendly events and entertainment. Among the highlights will be some special guests, live music, circus performers, children's games and activities, art exhibits, and displays from a host of conservation agencies and organizations.
The Centennial Conservation Expo will take place from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12th, at Chilhowee Park. Admission and parking are free. The Expo will mark the 100th anniversary of the National Conservation Exposition of 1913, which ran for two months at Chilhowee Park and drew a million visitors. Some of the people involved in organizing that Exposition went on to help with the establishment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and other significant local conservation efforts.
An opening ceremony at 11 a.m. will feature Mayor Madeline Rogero along with guests including keynote speaker Leila Pinchot, the great-granddaughter of legendary conservationist Gifford Pinchot. Gifford Pinchot was the first head of the U.S. Forest Service, under President Theodore Roosevelt, and also served as the chairman of the advisory board for the 1913 Conservation Exposition. Leila Pinchot recently received her doctorate in Natural Resources from the University of Tennessee, and she will talk about the legacy of the past century of conservation efforts here and elsewhere.
Also rumored to be attending are Theodore Roosevelt himself, and the long-lost Prophet of the Smokies. The Prophet was a mainstay of Knoxville public events during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but he has not been seen in public since 1916.
Sponsored by the City of Knoxville, along with Pathway Lending and Strata-G, the Centennial Conservation Expo will include:
Exhibits and displays inside and outside the Jacob Building at Chilhowee Park from local and regional organizations including the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, ORNL, TVA, Ijams Nature Center, the Legacy Parks Foundation, SOCM, Conservation Fisheries, the Sierra Club, the Knoxville Zoo, the East Tennessee History Museum, Foothills Land Conservancy, the Tennessee Clean Water Network, UT Extension and many more.
Conservation-themed art exhibits from Knox County Schools students and 2 Many Pixels photo gallery, along with a display featuring the amazing animals of the Hokes Archives.
Live entertainment including performances by One World Circus, the Knoxville Community Band, the Johnson Swingtet, the Bearded and the Shelter Road Band.
A children's games and activities area, including athletic competitions and craft tables, along with conservation-themed storytimes from Knox County Library.
Free trolley service between downtown and Chilhowee Park throughout the day offered by Knoxville Area Transit. (Watch the City of Knoxville website for a schedule and pick-up/drop-off locations).
Conservation-themed lectures and slide shows.
A tree tour of Chilhowee Park led by Kasey Krouse, Urban Forester for the City of Knoxville.
And exhibition boxing matches all day inside the Golden Gloves Arena.
A commemorative program available for $5 at the Expo will reproduce the original 1913 Conservation Exposition program, along with new text and photos highlighting the past 100 years of conservation in East Tennessee.
In association with the Expo, the nearby Parkridge neighborhood is also hosting a historic homes tour that day. The "Barber Houses of Parkridge" tour will showcase seven neighborhood homes designed by the Knoxville architect George Barber. The tour will be open from 1-5 p.m. Parking will be at Ashley Nicole Dream Playground, 620 Winona St. Cost is $10 per ticket. Children 12 and under are free.
The City of Knoxville would like to thank the following organizations for their generous support of the Conservation Expo: Pathway Lending, Strata-G, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, Moon Capital Management and the Tennessee Clean Water Network.
For Expo information, see www.knoxconservationexpo.com or www.cityofknoxville.org/expo. Follow the Expo on Facebook at www.facebook.com/conservationexpo.