Lebanon, TN – There’s a bunch of bull in Wilson County, and it’s all in good fun, and to help promote the National Junior High Rodeo Finals at Ward Agricultural Center June 19-25, 2016. The Wilson County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau wants to remind everyone that local businesses may purchase the decorative bulls from the Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce for $250 for one year or $400 for two years. Businesses may then decorate the bulls, and many have chosen colors and accessories that reflect their services and/or products. So far, county officials said 67 decorative bulls have been bought. But time is running out fast! Since the rodeo is coming up within a few days, this bull market won’t last long. This unusual promotion has gotten the attention of several local media, with WKRN-TV Channel 2 coming to Wilson County on Tuesday, June 7, to do a story about the decorative bulls to air on the news station this week.
Visit Wilson County
Huge crowds of people and animals will be converging at the Ward Agricultural Center for the National Junior High Rodeo Finals from June 19 – 25, 2016. Besides the expected 50,000 competitors and visitors, you might be surprised to find out that hundreds of livestock are required for the competition. Here’s the breakdown from the organizers of the rodeo, the National High School Rodeo Association:
A great, young rodeo is coming to town.
The National Junior High Rodeo Association Finals (NJHRA) will be stampeding into the Ward Ag Center in Lebanon, June 19-25. More than 1,500 young cowboys and cowgirls from across the US and Canada will compete for college scholarships in 13-events with two grueling performances each day. The top four cowboys or cowgirls in each event will vie for the national championship.
It is a big deal.
Just what is rodeo? Rodeo comes from the Spanish word ro-de-ar, meaning to encompass or round-up. Cowboys working round-ups held competitions among ranches to see who was the best rider or roper in the land. From these humble beginnings, rodeo has grown into a multi-billion dollar sport. As events were added and rules were written, nationally known sponsors got on board and the prize money increased. Top riders can earn well over a million dollars a year.
These days, riding in the rodeo is a great way to make a living. Check out the NJHRA Finals and you’ll see how these future rodeo stars get their start. The contestants coming to Lebanon in June are exceptional on many levels and the horses these young people ride are prized athletes.
Contestants at the finals are wholesome, clean-cut, junior high school students. Yes ma’am and No sir has been part of their language since they learned to speak. They travel across the country with their horse, their tack, their RV, Mom and Dad and their extended family. This is their hobby, which could possibly turn in to their future career. This is their passion.
With nervous families watching in the stands, these kids give it their all and they are fearless. Obviously, every precaution is made to insure their safety but it’s hard to safeguard against getting bucked off! They make it look so easy on TV.
So why compete? Passion for the sport is the top reason, but many of these teens are riding for an education. From the Jr. High level, contestants move on to the high school competition. Full-ride scholarships are up for grabs from 137 colleges and universities participating in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.
Many of these youngsters you’ll see at the NJHRA Finals in Lebanon will go on to become professional rodeo stars. Making the big bucks and never having to sit in a board room is an achievable goal. Imagine making your first “mil” riding in one rodeo.
But easy money – it isn’t. Believe me.
How’s this for a tough day at the office? Bareback bronc riding, barrel racing, breakaway roping, bull riding, tie down roping, cutting horse competition, goat tying, pole bending, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, team roping, reined cow-horse competition and that’s not counting the shooting sports - obviously not held in the rodeo arena. These are the 13 events awaiting the contestants at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon. The best of the best in conquering these challenges will be crowned national champion. In a later blog, I’ll explain some of these events in greater detail.
The economic impact will be tremendous. This is the first time the NJHRA Finals have been held east of the Mississippi, and that makes Wilson County a novelty in a sense. Lush greenery, trees, babbling brooks – there’s not much of that scenery where some of these families call home. Quite literally, they’ll be like kids in a candy store.
As many as 45,000 visitors are expected to take in the sights here, spending more than $9.2 million dollars. Almost every business will benefit. Hotels and restaurants will be packed. These tourists will shop for souvenirs, they’ll sample new foods, re-stock the supplies needed for the competition, and they’ll enjoy touring the beautiful Tennessee landscape. Cash registers will be ringing across the county.
NO BULL? GET ONE!
Ask any rancher, there aren’t many places where you can buy a bull for the small sum of $250. But in Wilson County, you can have one delivered to your business to put on display, you can decorate it any way you like, name it, encourage your customers to make selfies, and then call to have the bull picked up and stored until next year’s rodeo. Plus, these wooden bulls don’t eat much. Call the Lebanon Wilson Chamber of Commerce at 615-444-5503 for more info on how you can become a proud owner of a rodeo bull to show your support for the NJHRA coming to town. (We’re told that the rodeo folk look for these bulls and patronize the businesses that proudly display them).
Make plans now to attend some rodeo performances at the Ward Agricultural Center, June 19-25. Tickets go on sale here soon!
Guest blog provided by our good friend John L Sloan...
650 AM WSM, the radio home of the Grand Ole Opry, and the Wilson County Convention and Visitors Bureau are pleased to announce the debut of WSM Live From The Capitol Theatre, a live performance show highlighting aspiring singers and songwriters. The two-hour matinee program will broadcast live from 1-3 p.m. CT from the stage of Lebanon’s historic Capitol Theatre on February 27, March 26, and April 23, 2016, with future dates to be announced.
WSM Live From The Capitol Theatre is not a talent competition, but rather a showcase designed to give much needed exposure to vocalists and bands looking for their break in the music industry. A rich musical history has positioned Wilson County as an “incubator” for aspiring songwriters and musicians who are seeking performance and learning opportunities before heading to Music City. To be considered for the showcase, performers can visit WSMonline.com for EPK submission.
“As a resident of Wilson County, I feel that it is important to support and promote the new music talent scene emerging here. Bob Black, owner of The Capitol Theatre is providing the ideal setting for this ongoing event,” said Chris Kulick, WSM General Manager. “We live in a day and age where it is difficult for an artist to gain exposure, and WSM Live From The Capitol Theatre will showcase new talent from a beautifully restored venue on the very station that coined the moniker Music City.”
The fast-growing community a short drive or train ride from Nashville is already the home of many country stars including Charlie Daniels, Tracy Lawrence, Darryl Worley, and Gretchen Wilson. Legendary songwriter Curly Putman, whose Wilson County property was made famous in Paul McCartney’s song “Down On Junior’s Farm,” is one of the county’s most beloved residents.
Iconic producer Owen Bradley put Wilson County on the music industry radar with his famous recording studio “Bradley’s Barn,” which catered to country and rock royalty in a relaxed, rural setting.
Tickets to WSM Live From The Capitol Theatre are $10.00 each and will be available onsite or at capitoltheatretn.com. The show will be broadcast live on 650 AM, WSMonline.com and on WSM’s free mobile app.
650 AM WSM’s first official broadcast day was October 5, 1925. The station is the radio home of the Grand Ole Opry, which has been broadcast live over the airwaves since its inception. 650 AM WSM is owned by Ryman Hospitalities. For more information on WSM, visit www.wsmonline.com or https://www.facebook.com/wsmradio/.
Wilson County CVB
650 AM WSM
Led by three time winner of the prestigious National Flatpicking Championships - Steve Kaufman. Historic Fiddlers Grove, Lebanon. November 13 & 14th, 2015 - 30 class spots available. Click on event links for details:
Friday, November 13, 2015 07:00pm - 09:00pm
Guitar Workshop with Steve Kaufman
Saturday, November 14, 2015 08:00pm - 10:30pm
3-Time National Guitar Champ - Steve Kaufman in Concert
Sunday, November 15, 2015 01:00pm - 03:30pm
Mandolin Workshop with Steve Kaufman
About Steve Kaufman
Steve Kaufman Three-Time National Champ A Teacher’s Teacher Steve Kaufman was born into a musical family in 1957. His father was a jazz piano player and his mother was a classically trained pianist. Music was always around. At four Steve started plinking at the piano and did so for several years. He then moved on to the electric guitar at 10 for a few years and put it away. Next came the cello in 5th grade for a few years. After this Steve picked up the acoustic guitar again and blazed right through a “Folk Guitar” method book. When finished he thought if this is as hard as it gets it’s not for him. Then his younger brother, Will, started playing the banjo and his instructor told him he needed a rhythm guitar player to help with his timing. So Steve then picked up his guitar again and got into the bluegrass rhythm. One day Will brought home a Flatt and Scruggs LP, which featured Doc Watson on guitar, and Steve was hooked on flatpicking.
Steve practiced hard with his newfound love of music, sometimes up to 8 hours a day. At age 18 he entered the National Flatpicking Championships in Winfield, KS and made the top 10. The following year was a wash. In 1977, Steve took 2nd place to Mark O’Conner and in 1978, at 21 years old, he returned to win the championship. Then after being barred for 5 years he returned on the 6th year to win the 1984 championships again. Winfield bars the winner for 5 years and they can come back on the 6th year but in 1986 they decided to open up the contest to everyone and not bar the past years champs. Steve returned to win his goal. He became the winner and the first and, at this writing, the only Three Time Winner of the
National Flatpicking Championships.
Steve continues to work hard in the world of music. He began producing books and videos in 1989 after teaching private lessons for close to 20 years. His catalog of instructional materials is now over 85 items. His listening CDs and Videos number over 17. Steve began touring the world conducting seminars, workshops, clinics and concerts in 1990 and after 5 years he and his wife, Donna, began “Steve Kaufman’s Flatpicking Camp”. Every other year they have added more camps into their agenda and now under the title “Steve Kaufman’s Acoustic Kamps” they host a Fingerpicking Kamp, Old Time Banjo, Bluegrass Banjo and Mandolin Kamp as well. They have grown into the largest Kamps of their kind in the world with students traveling from around the world to Maryville, Tennessee. Since 2002, Steve Kaufman received the Gold Award from a reader’s poll in Acoustic Guitar Magazine for running the “Best Workshops, Seminars and Camps”.
Steve stays busy being a husband and father, running his Kamps, tour schedule, writing books and recording videos and CDs. To see Steve’s complete touring schedule and instructional and listening products, go to www.flatpik.com or write email@example.com for an Always Current Catalog mailed to your door.
In partnership with the Wilson County Fair, the Regional Transportation Authority of Middle Tennessee (RTA) will be operating a special Music City Star excursion train to the Wilson County Fair on Saturday, August 15 and Saturday, August 22.
Each Saturday during the fair, the Music City Star will depart from Riverfront Station at 2 p.m., stop in Donelson at 2:12 p.m., Hermitage at 2:20 p.m., Mt. Juliet at 2:28 p.m., Martha at 2:37 p.m., Lebanon at 2:51 p.m., and arrive at the Temporary Fairgrounds Station at 3 p.m.
The return train to Nashville will leave the Temporary Fairgrounds Station at 9 p.m., with boarding for the return trip beginning at 8:30 p.m.
The 101st Airborne Living History and Fiddlers Grove Historical Village have teamed to bring a day of activities in honor of veterans to the Fiddlers Grove Historical Village at the Wilson County Fairgrounds.
Folks of all ages will be able to see what it was like to be a soldier in WWII, sing along during an authentic USO Show, look at photographs from the Tennessee Maneuvers, listen to wartime radio broadcasts and much more.
Join us on Saturday June 27th from 10:a.m to 7:00 p.m..
The day will kick-off with a flag presentation and a parade through Fiddlers Grove. All veterans are encouraged to participate in the parade.
The Freedom Belles Troupe will perform four 30 minute USO Shows. The performers will be dressed in 1940s style clothing and sing a variety of war time hits. The performances will be at Noon, 2pm, 4pm and 6pm at the Opry Pavilion located in Fiddlers Grove.
Wilson County native Woody McMillin will sign copies of his book, In The Presence of Soldiers. The book is about the WWII maneuvers which took place all over middle Tennessee.
Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children. Anyone who dresses in 1940s clothing or in their military uniform will get a $2 discount on admission..
Fiddlers Grove Historical Village is located at 945 East Baddour Parkway at the Wilson County Fairgrounds.
Welcome to Watertown, Tennessee – a beautiful escape from the mundane adventures of the modern city to the charming comfort of a village from yesteryear.
Watertown is a steadily growing small enclave in Wilson County, just ten miles outside of Lebanon on Highway 70. Known for our agriculture, our southern charm, and our excursion trains and events, Watertown has made its name on the tourism map of Places to Be.
Hi! My name is Wanda. However, my very country, very Southern grandma raised me. Good ole’ Granny. She changed the sound “uh” in any name to “er”. Therefore if you were Donna you became Donner. Not to be confused with Santa’s reindeer. Sonia morphed into Sonyer. Wanda…Wander, etc. You get the picture.
Well, Wander stuck. Since I’m a restless wanderer – this name seems to fit.
It’s more than 50 years old and the majority of its most beloved episodes appear on our digital flat screens or mobile devices in black and white, but the classic sitcom “Andy of Mayberry” still appeals to all age groups – even those hard-to-impress Generation X’ers. There’s a good reason for this. It’s uncomplicated. It’s authentic. It’s based on real life without being un-nerving like the so-called reality shows which are a far cry from being real. This simple show appeals to our instincts to get back to basics when we’re surrounded by cacophony.