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K-25 Overlook & Visitor Center

Roane County is made up of 5 unique cities, but did you that one of those cities was once a secret community that changed the course of history? Oak Ridge, Tennessee, formerly known as “The Secret City,” was formed from farmland in Anderson and Roane Counties and used as a top-secret location for enriching the uranium that went into the atomic bomb that ended World War II.

Both counties are doing their part to preserve that history, and Oak Ridge is now a part of the Manhattan Project National Historic Park! Fortunately for us, Roane County holds much of the rich history of the Manhattan Project, including the community once known as Happy Valley.

In fact, Happy Valley is where the K-25 Facility sat from the 1940s until recent years, and it’s history is now being preserved through the K-25 Overlook & Visitor Center.

The Overlook & Visitor Center was recently renovated by our friends at Bionomics, Inc.  and the help of Designsensory with the shared vision to see this space become a recreational hub as well as an additional resource for preserving this piece of our past.

The Overlook features maps of trails surrounding the visitor center, historical displays and a chance to relax and recharge before exploring the recreational opportunities laid out before you.

The Overlook is open during daylight hours. Be sure to use the hashtags #soakinroane and #exploreroane when you visit!

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Hooray for Harriman

Every Labor Day, the City of Harriman opens its arms to everyone as they gather to celebrate the city’s history and tradition at the annual Hooray for Harriman street festival! This event features live music, lots of arts and crafts vendors, delicious food and fun for the whole family! This year’s event takes place September 2 from 9a – 4p in Downtown Harriman (N Roane Street).

This year, the Princess Theatre is getting in on the fun! You can beat the heat by stepping inside this restored art-deco theatre and enjoying a variety of entertainment. See schedule below:

9a-11a – The History of Harriman

11a – 12:40p – Film: “A Dog’s Life”

2p – The Singing Cookes on stage

Once you step back outside, you shouldn’t miss kids alley! There will be kids activities, inflatables and more! One of our favorite parts of the day is strolling from vendor to vendor finding all sorts of great handmade items. If you’re ready to start thinking about Christmas, it’s a great chance to get a jump start on gifts! Many of the downtown shops will be open as well, allowing you the opportunity to meet local business owners who are striving to make Harriman an even better place to live, work and play!

For more information about Hooray in Harriman, visit http://www.cityofharriman.net.

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From Steers to the Stage

As most of you know, Roane County is home to Roane State Community College, but did you know that Roane State hosts cultural and community events like rodeos, dog shows, concerts, plays and much more? You’ll find something for everyone at Henry/Stafford East Tennessee Agricultural Exposition Center (or Ag Expo for short) and the O’Brien Theatre!

Ag Expo

The Expo center hosts events nearly every single weekend with most being free or at minimal cost to visitors. These events range from reigning horse demonstrations to barrel racing filled rodeos to Westminster style dog shows. Many of the events use both the indoor and outdoor arenas and are open to spectators.

The Ag Expo is also home to the annual Three Rivers Antique Tractor Show & Pull every October. This two day event features tons of antique tractors, a garden tractor pull and a large tractor pull as well as live music, concessions and lots of activities for children!

O’Brien Theatre

The O’Brien Theatre is home to many types of productions from plays to concert and everything in between. This auditorium has played host to famed authors and actors and is the perfect setting for The Nutracker Ballet performed by Arts in Motion every year.

The Theatre is also adjacent to the O’Brien Art Gallery which features exhibits of all media throughout the year. The gallery is free, but events in the Theatre often have an admission charge.

Whether you’re looking for a choral concert or a chance to pull on your rodeo boots, look no further than right here in Roane!

For more information on Roane State, click hereroane state expo.

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Moonshine, Music & More

If you haven’t been to Rockwood lately, let me just start by telling you that you’re missing out. With more and more awesome events, restaurants, and concerts popping up, you need to check our calendar and schedule some time exploring this gem! Let’s start with a few of my favorites:

Rockwood Museum & Visitors Center

Featuring artifacts from Rockwood’s rich history, this museum is a labor of love and an absolute gem. Stop in to learn about this small town’s history of moonshine and more!

The Museum is available as Rockwood’s favorite event rental space providing round tables, chair, platform stage and kitchen.

The Museum & Visitors Center is also home to the #RoaneSong concert series.

RoaneSong

RoaneSong is the aptly named concert series that takes Rockwood by storm on select Friday nights throughout the year. These concerts are a great chance to get up close and personal with your favorite (and soon-to-be favorite) singer songwriters in an intimate venue setting.

Just some of the incredible talent Roane Song has hosted include Jason Eskridge, Sam Lewis, Blue Mother Tupelo, Johnny Neel and more!   Always family-friendly enjoy some of the best live music this side of Nashville for only $10-$15/person admission.  Reservations usually not required but calling ahead is recommended as many times it is standing-room only and feel free to BYOB or bring something to eat (food and beverage are not available).

Favorite Eats

It’s no surprise that you’ll find me in Rockwood on any given weekend enjoying a small taste of what this town has to offer. My personal favorites all offer a little something different, but you can’t go wrong with any of these listed below.

Cadillac Grill – Roane’s newest and biggest sports bar and grill! Try the rock-a-maki appetizer. You won’t regret it!

6 Blessings Cafe – Rockwood locals love this great little lunch spot. When at 6 Blessings, NEVER skip dessert!

Club House Bar & Grill – One word. Wings. If you want the best wings in Roane, run, don’t walk to Clubhouse Bar & Grill located at Rockwood’s Golf Course.

Jake’s Bar & Grill – If you go to Jake’s, and you don’t try their new pizzas, you’re doing it wrong. Seriously. Get the pizza.

MeMe’s Restaurant – You NEED to be here for breakfast. Really, any meal is amazing, but their breakfast is good enough to make you wanna smack your mama, y’all!

Live & Let Live’s Soda Fountain – After you’ve gone on a full food tour of Rockwood, there’s ALWAYS room for ice cream! Stop in and step back in time at this old fashioned soda fountain complete with hand scooped ice cream.

Boutiques & Antiques

If you’re looking to walk off some of those calories, you’re in luck. Rockwood has several great boutiques and antique stores to find your new favorite conversation piece! Whatever you do, don’t miss a visit to A&E Mercantile for cute clothing and accessories for women and children. They have a great selection for curvier girls, too! Some of my favorite outfits were bought right here in Rockwood!

When I’m in the market for home decor and antiques, I always stop by You Say Tomato. You never know what amazing items you’ll find as you wander through the many booths at this antique paradise! I can almost guarantee that you won’t want to walk out empty handed.

Husbands, don’t panic! If you’re not a fan of shopping in antiques and boutiques, make your way just outside of downtown to visit Jerry’s Bait Shop. Here you’ll find all of your bait and tackle dreams come true! You’ll even find a brand new farmers market stocked with fresh goodies and baked treats to take home!

Festivals & Events

When it comes to festivals and events, there’s no where on earth that knows how to celebrate what makes a community unique better than Rockwood. Rockwood is home to the Thunder Road Festival held each April celebrating the city’s history as a primary route for moonshine runnin’ long before this high octane spirit was deemed legal.

Rockwood is also home to Rockwood’s Summer Cruise-In series and Fall Festival held in conjuction with the East Tennessee Polk Salad Festival. Each of these events bring in live entertainment, delicious food, lots of arts and crafts vendors and a great opportunity to spend time soaking in Roane right here in Rockwood.

This is just a small taste of all you can experience right here in Rockwood. Go check it out for yourself and let us know how you like to #SoakinRoane!

clubhouse wings