Halliburton Books Widened Teacher’s Mind and Spirit

Jean Jones of Bernice, Louisiana, has donated five books written by West Tennessee author Richard Halliburton for the bookshelf that leads into Discovery Park’s Enlightenment Gallery. Fittingly, above the shelf can be found the quote “Culture is the widening of the mind and of the spirit” by Jawaharlal Nehru.

“As a youngster, my mother, Jerry Jo Johnson, was enchanted with Richard Halliburton and envied his world travels and adventures,” said Jones. “She grew up in the small town of Hubbard, Texas, and loved reading about Richard Halliburton and his exotic adventures, imagining herself in his shoes.”

Halliburton was born in Brownsville, Tennessee, and grew up in Memphis. He lived his life following a philosophy he expressed in his first book, “The Royal Road to Romance,” published in 1925. “Let those who wish have their respectability,” he wrote. “I wanted freedom, freedom to indulge in whatever caprice struck my fancy, freedom to search in the farthest corners of the earth for the beautiful, the joyous, and the romantic.”

Against the backdrop of the Golden Age, the Roaring Twenties, and the Great Depression, Halliburton’s exploits around the globe made him an internationally known celebrity and the most famous travel writer of his time. From climbing Mount Olympus in Greece to swimming the Panama Canal and literally flying all the way to Timbuktu, Halliburton experienced and wrote about adventures that others never even believed possible. His youthful spirit and bohemian lifestyle won the hearts of millions.

Inspired by Halliburton, Johnson toured Europe with her aunt as a young woman, then settled into a lifetime career of teaching and raising a family. Upon her retirement, she took off on several adventures—two lengthy trips to the Soviet Union, several trips to European countries and a cruise through the Panama Canal.

“Richard would have approved!” noted her daughter, Jean.

Jerry Jo Johnson died in August, 2005 in a hospital in New Orleans, as Hurricane Katrina howled outside.

The Halliburton books that inspired Johnson that you can now find on the bookshelf are:

  • New Worlds to Conquer, 1929, Garden City Pub.
  • The Royal Road to Romance, 1925, Garden City Pub.
  • Flying Carpet, 1932, Garden City
  • Richard Halliburton’s Book of Marvels—The Occident (school edition), 1937, Bobbs Merrill
  • Richard Halliburton, His Story of His Life’s Adventures, 1940, Bobbs Merrill

Roots of Rhythm

Join us for a special showcase of world music on April 19th, 2024 as Discovery Park of America hosts Roots of Rhythm. This show is an exciting blend of musical performances and educational lessons on music from the African diaspora.

“Roots of Rhythm” is a one-of-a-kind experience that elevates cultural awareness about music from around the globe through energetic performances and engaging audience participation activities. It is an interdisciplinary voyage that encompasses world history and geography through the lens of music, coinciding with the National Standards for Arts Education.

You can learn more about “Roots of Rhythm” on the UT-Martin Percussion website.

Presentations are free with your membership or park admission. Not a member? Join today.

Observing the 2024 Eclipse at Discovery Park of America: How Dark Will It Get?

During the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, the “path of totality” will span across North America. It will begin in Mexico and then pass through several states in the United States before crossing into eastern Canada. The 2024 Eclipse, while not a total eclipse at Discovery Park in Union City, Tennessee, promises an intriguing glimpse into a rare celestial occurrence.

What to Expect at 99.2% Coverage: Guests will experience games on the front lawn, activities like the Epic Eclipse Race, a hands-on STEAM challenge, and members of the education team sharing fun and fascinating facts about the sky above us. And when the time comes, children and adults attending will have the opportunity to witness approximately 99.2% coverage of the sun. While this partial eclipse won’t result in complete darkness or the dramatic appearance of the sun’s corona like it will in areas in the path of totality, it will offer a noteworthy sight. You can anticipate a subtle darkening of the sky, akin to a very cloudy day or late winter afternoon, as the moon partially obscures the sun. Shadows may appear slightly sharper, and there might be a slight drop in temperature, creating a unique atmosphere for observation.

Understanding Eclipses: Eclipses have long intrigued humanity, blending science with myth and folklore. These events occur when the alignment of the sun, moon, and Earth results in a shadow being cast on one celestial body by another. During a solar eclipse, the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, partially blocking our view of the sun—a phenomenon that continues to captivate and inspire curiosity.

Fascinating Facts:

  • Total solar eclipses, where the sun is completely obscured, are infrequent occurrences, happening somewhere on Earth approximately every 18 months.
  • The 2024 eclipse is part of the Saros cycle, a pattern of eclipses that repeats roughly every 18 years and 11 days.
  • While the path of totality for this eclipse won’t cross directly over Discovery Park, it will offer a significant partial eclipse experience.
  • During the partial eclipse, observers may notice a subtle dimming of sunlight, changes in temperature, and unique crescent-shaped shadows cast by objects on the ground.
  • The only safe way to look directly at the sun during an eclipse is through special-purpose solar filters, like eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers. Discovery Park will have a limited number of glasses for sale in the gift shop, and you can preorder in advance here.

Also at Discovery Park:

Science and Space Gallery: Guests who visit the space and science-related gallery weave their way through the universe, starting on planet Earth and then venturing through the solar system, the galaxy, and then beyond. Data and imagery presented in these exhibits are taken almost exclusively from NASA sources. While an asteroid that enters Earth’s atmosphere is often called a “shooting star,” it’s actually a meteor. The pieces that do not burn up but hit the ground intact are called meteorites. The iron-nickel meteorite on display at Discovery Park fell to Earth in Nantan County, Guangxi, China in 1516 and weighs 661 lbs. This specimen was discovered along with others in 1958 when a field strewn with “iron rocks” was discovered by farmers looking for iron ore to make steel. When these heavy, iron-rich rocks wouldn’t melt, further investigation showed them to be iron meteorites.

STEM Landing: STEM Landing features a showcase of great STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) achievements. This area encourages guests of all ages to explore the different ways that STEM principles help shape our world. You will find a collection of NASA mission patches inside the geodesic dome, as well as an orbiter and other space-related artifacts. Then, you can walk outside and see an F-84 Jet and a Blue Angels plane on display, as well as a 110-foot Titan I missile donated by NASA.

As we prepare to observe the 2024 eclipse, let us embrace the wonder of the natural world and the mysteries of our solar system. Discovery Park invites you to join us on April 8 for this celestial event. While it may not bring total darkness or the breathtaking views of a total eclipse, the partial eclipse promises a fascinating and memorable experience with convenient parking along with easy access to food and beverage and restroom facilities.

Find out more at discoveryparkofamerica.com/solar.

Tickets for 2024 Singer-Songwriter Night Featuring Phillip Coleman and Friends Now on Sale

Local favorite, Phillip Coleman, is returning to the stage for Singer-Songwriter night on Thursday, May 16. As always, he’s bringing along some incredible friends. This year, Leslie Satcher and Carolyn Dawn Johnson will join in on the fun.

Leslie Satcher’s career began with Sony Music Publishing and Warner Bros. Satcher has written or co-written with many artists including Willie Nelson, Ariana Grande, Vince Gill, Sheila E., George Strait, Sheryl Crow, Martina McBride, Blake Shelton and others.

Carolyn Dawn Johnson is a Canadian country music singer-songwriter. Johnson co-wrote Chely Wright’s number one hit, “Single White Female” in 1999 and signed with record label Arista Nashville in 2000. She then released her debut album, “Room with a View,” with several top ten hits.

Sponsor Tables are $1,500 and can be purchased now at discoveryparkofamerica.com/singer24 or by contacting Mary Nita Bondurant at mbondurant@discoveryparkofamerica.com.

Individual tickets are now on sale for $50. Individual tickets will enjoy theater-style seating behind sponsor tables and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The doors open at 6:00 p.m. with a cash bar and complimentary heavy hors d’oeuvres outside of the ATA Traveling Exhibit Hall. The show begins at 7 p.m.

Southern Artist Showcase: Jubie Henderson

Southern Artist Showcase: Jubie Henderson

“When I carve, I don’t use a pattern. I just think of the bird I want, and I carve it.”

—Jubie Henderson, 1992

Discovery Park of America has premiered an exhibit of works by Jubie Hendeson (1914-1999) in the museum’s Southern Artist Showcase. The gallery features two new exhibits each year spotlighting Southern painters, photographers, sculptors and other fine artists.

Henderson was a self-taught wildlife artist and woodcarver from Fulton, Kentucky who specialized in native birds of the western Kentucky and Tennessee regions. While he focused most of his work on birds, and he is more well known for those pieces, he did occasionally produce paintings depicting landscapes from our area where he lived most of his life. Included are paintings of Reelfoot Lake. Due to physical limitations, he had to rely on his memory to recreate these scenes.

A farmer and cabinetmaker by trade, while recovering from rheumatic fever in his thirties (for the second time in his life), he began to paint. He never had an art lesson, but too weak to work and wishing to remain productive, he had a sudden urge to paint and found himself gifted with a natural eye for beauty and balance.

His first brushes were made from his pet dog’s hair, and he painted with oil that he mixed himself. His wife, Edith, took his paintings to the sewing factory where she worked to sell them for $5 each.

Needing to rest quite often, Henderson made an easel from yardsticks to fit over his bed.

As his reputation as an artist grew as his talent began to improve, people would visit his home to see and buy his artwork, and art students from the nearby University of Tennessee at Martin even came to learn from his painting and carving techniques.

During his life, his art has been featured at the Kentucky State Fair, the Midsouth Fair, the International Banana Festival, the First Face of Kentucky collection at the Kentucky State Capitol, the annual art exhibit at Cape Girardeau, and one-man shows in Martin, Tennessee and in Kentucky (Fulton, Hickman, and Paducah). He was a member of the Artists Registry at the Brooks Memorial Art Gallery (now known as the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art) for several years. His original work was also displayed there in 1970.

Jubie Henderson was a member of the Artists Registry at the Brooks Memorial Art Gallery (now known as the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art) for several years. His original work was also displayed there in 1970.

The exhibit of Jubie Henderson’s art is sponsored by Conley & Conley Law Firm and will be on display at Discovery Park through Aug. 11, 2024.

Discovery Park isn’t the only place you can find David Crockett

“The Ballad of Davy Crockett,” an action-packed Western featuring William Moseley, is set to release in select theaters and through video-on-demand on Friday, March 8, 2024. Moseley is known for his portrayal of the fictional character Peter Pevensie in the “The Chronicles of Narnia” trilogy, which won him a Kids’ Choice Award, in addition to nominations for a Saturn Award and a Young Artist Award. He also played Prince Liam in the E! series “The Royals.”

“It is the epic, story behind the legendary ‘King of the Wild Frontier,’” reads the movie’s description. “Long before his last stand at the Alamo, the legendary American hero Davy Crockett fought his way through a wild frontier to rescue his sons from the clutches of an evil land baron.”

Set in 1815, the film focuses on David Crockett’s adventures while fighting his way through the wild frontier to save his children from the clutches of an evil land baron (Colm Meaney of Hell on Wheels). According to producer-director Derek Estlin Purvis, “We wanted to explore the larger-than-life mythology that enshrouds the Crockett name and use his ardent opposition to Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal Act as a throughline for what turned out to be a beautiful action-adventure tale.”

There are many places at Discovery Park where guests can experience folk hero, frontiersman, politician and West Tennessee settler David Crockett every day. In addition to an exhibit and film, guests can take their photo next to a statue of Crockett. He lived in our region from 1822 until he departed for the Alamo in 1835. Crockett was also one of the earliest hunters around nearby Reelfoot Lake. Discovery Park’s annual celebration of Crockett’s birthday will take place on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2024 and will once again feature interactive activities, live demonstrations and musical entertainment. Included will be a variety of programs on topics such as woodworking, fur trapping, outdoor cooking and more.

Discovery Park CEO, Scott Williams, recently published a biography on David CrockettThe Accidental Fame and Lack of Fortune of West Tennessee’s David Crockett that is available in the Discovery Park gift shop and on Amazon.com. “Of course, Crockett is still popular and pops up everywhere from Disneyworld to the Simpsons, said Williams. “I’m glad there’s now a film being released that will introduce one of Tennessee’s biggest icons to a whole new generation.”

UPDATE: Obion County Celebrates Another Step Closer to I-69

Route 690, part of the future Interstate 69, is officially open in Obion County. A group of local business leaders gathered in Discovery Park of America’s Cooper Tower on Wednesday to celebrate the first cars and trucks utilizing the new route. After the work had been halted because of a lack of federal funding, the Tennessee Department of Transportation later decided to complete an approximately 45-mile portion of I-69 running from the Kentucky line to Dyersburg using state dollars. Eventually, it will connect with I-155, a spur that crosses the Mississippi River and extends to I-55 near Hayti, Missouri. The remaining portions of the planned I-69 route through West Tennessee, including parts in Lauderdale, Tipton and Shelby counties, are currently on hold pending funding.

Coverage of Wednesday’s Opening Celebration:

WPSD Local 6, Businesses excited for influx of traffic as State Route 690 officially opens

WBBJ, 7 Eyewitness News, State Route 690 opens for travelers in Obion County

Thunderbolt Radio, Much Anticipated State Route 690 Four Lane Open in Obion County

Paducah Sun, Businesses excited for influx of traffic as State Route 690 officially opens

Future home of Interstate 69 is now open

Today, Discovery Park employees and members of the Obion County Chamber of Commerce celebrated the opening of the portion of the future I-69 that travels from Fulton, Kentucky through Union City, Tennessee with lunch in Discovery Park’s Cooper Tower.

“Robert Kirkland first picked this spot for Discovery Park nearly 15 years ago in anticipation of this day. It’s fantastic to see it finally open, “said Scott Williams, CEO of Discovery Park. “Now, we can all look forward to the completion of the final leg south toward Dyersburg. That is really going to be a game changer for tourism and industry in this entire region.”

TDOT crews made the transition from the current roadway to the new roadway direction on Wednesday morning. The section from west of SR 21 to south of SR 5 in Obion County has taken multiple projects over a decade and an investment of over $220 million.

The US 51 interchange with US 45 in Tennessee, stretching into Kentucky, is identified for funding in TDOT’s 10-Year Project Plan, with construction scheduled in Fiscal Year 2028. Once completed, I-69 in Tennessee will be connected to I-69 in Kentucky.

West Tennessee Chapter of the American Advertising Federation Hosts February 2024 Program, ‘Impact of Blue Oval in West Tennessee’ at Discovery Park of America

West Tenn.– The American Advertising Federation West Tennessee, a chapter of The American Advertising Federation (AAF), will be hosting their February 2024 program featuring Marianne Purcell Dunavant, Ford’s community relations manager, on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Discovery Park of America. The program, sponsored by Discovery Park, is free for members and students and $10 for non-members. Lunch will be provided. Register at AAFWestTennessee.com.

The planned $5.6 billion Blue Oval City campus in Stanton includes Ford’s Tennessee Electric Vehicle Center, which will help build out its next-generation electric truck, and the Blue Oval SK battery plant, will help produce EV batteries for future Ford and Lincoln vehicles.

During this program, Dunavant will share what West Tennessee rural communities can do to benefit from and support this new development that is anticipated to create 30,000 jobs across the region.

Marianne Dunavant’s focus is local government and community relations in support of Blue Oval City. Dunavant previously served as a State Outreach Director for Victims’ Rights since 2020, and previously served as the District Director for 8th Congressional District U.S. Representative David Kustoff from 2017-2020.

AAF West Tennessee serves as a networking resource and tool for keeping up with the latest trends in advertising, technology, creativity and communication, especially for those working in West Tennessee’s rural communities.

Who: AAF West Tennessee February Meeting

What: “Impact of Blue Oval City” featuring Marianne Dunavant, Blue Oval City’s community relations manager

When: Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Where: Discovery Park of America, 830 Everett Blvd., Union City, TN 38261

How to register: Register at AAFWestTennessee.com

Free for members, $10 for guests.

To join AAF West Tennessee, visit AAFWestTennessee.com.

Jackson Symphony hosts weekly string classes at Discovery Park of America

The Jackson Symphony Orchestra will host string classes at Discovery Park beginning in January 2024. Bethany Ostenson will be teaching a beginners and intermediate string class with the bass, cello, viola and violin. The classes are free for students in fifth grade and older.

Ostenson will host a parent information night on Monday, Jan. 8 at 6 p.m. The classes will begin the following Monday, Jan. 15 and continue through Monday, May 20. The beginner’s class will meet at 6 p.m. each Monday, with the intermediate class following from 7-8 p.m. Students should provide their own instruments although the symphony has grant money that can be used to help families that do not have sufficient funds.

The goal is to enlarge the size of the current Jackson Symphony youth programs and also to bring classical music and performing experiences to kids in our rural area.  Students in the Northwest Tennessee region will attend the classes in Union City and will travel to Jackson for rehearsals and performances throughout the year.

Beth Ostenson has been with The Jackson Symphony Orchestra since June of 2013. The mission of The Jackson Symphony Music Academy is to expand access to rehearsal and performance opportunities for young musicians across West Tennessee.

To find out more, contact Ostenson at 731-514-5882 or bethostenson@gmail.com. Click below to register or join us for our parent meeting and information night:

Date: Monday, Jan. 8
Time: 6 p.m.
Place: Discovery Park of America
Find out more: https://www.thejacksonsymphony.org/music-academy

Northwest Tennessee Tourism Gears Up for a Dynamic 2024 with New, Fresh Website

(Northwest Tennessee, January 2, 2024) – As 2023 draws to a close, the Northwest Tennessee Tourism Association (NWTTA) proudly reflects on a year marked by significant achievements and renewed momentum. From impactful advocacy efforts to a revitalized digital presence, the organization solidified its commitment to promoting the region as a premier tourist destination.

Year of Progress:
NWTTA was able to execute the first-ever Northwest Tennessee Legislative Breakfast with resounding success. State legislators, tourism stakeholders, and community leaders gathered at Discovery Park of America to discuss the critical role tourism plays in Northwest Tennessee’s economy. The breakfast solidified NWTTA’s role as a champion for the industry, paving the way for future advocacy efforts. Save the date for this year’s event as they cap off National Travel and Tourism Week, on Friday, May 24, 2024!

Committed to operating with efficiency and transparency, the organization undertook a comprehensive overhaul of its bylaws. The updated bylaws streamline governance, promote member participation and influence, and set the stage for continued organizational growth.

In a testament to the organization’s growing influence and impact, NWTTA reached its full board capacity for the first time ever. This diverse group of leaders from across the region brings a wealth of expertise and perspectives to the table, ensuring well-rounded decision making and a commitment to representing the entire area.

A Digital Refresh:
Buckle up and get ready to navigate Northwest Tennessee like a pro with our completely revamped website (www.nwtntourism.com)! Thanks to
a partnership with Tencom Services of Dyersburg, Tennessee, the site launches in January 2024, and will be your one-stop shop for planning your authentic getaway to our corner. Viewers can explore hidden gems, discover local flavors, and delve into captivating stories of our people and places. Our intuitive interface and user-friendly features will make planning any trip a breeze, whether you’re a seasoned traveler, a first-time visitor, or even a local.

New Year, New Goals:
Looking ahead, Northwest Tennessee Tourism is setting ambitious goals for 2024. These include the launch of a comprehensive marketing campaign, hosting several exciting events throughout the year, and building membership by strengthening partnerships with stakeholders across the region.

Northwest Tennessee Tourism Executive Director, Kasey Muench, states, “We are incredibly grateful for the support of our members, partners,
and the entire NWTN community for making 2023 a year of tremendous progress. Our board and I have laid a strong foundation, and we’re excited to continue building upon it in 2024. I’m anxious to keep connecting the dots across the region by continuing to be a resource for our members and telling our story through cohesive marketing initiatives. Every business, organization, and individual with a stake in our region’s success has a place at our table.”

In addition to the AL-MS-TN Rural Tourism conference held in Obion County in October, NWTTA will host several events of its own. The details of those upcoming opportunities will be exclusively released through their monthly newsletter. Stay up-to-date on all the exciting happenings in Northwest Tennessee by following @NWTNTourism on social media and subscribing to their newsletter through their new website: www.nwtntourism.com. We can’t wait to welcome you to our corner of the world in 2024!

About Northwest Tennessee Tourism:
Northwest Tennessee Tourism Association is a dedicated organization committed to promoting the nine counties of Benton, Carroll, Crockett, Dyer, Gibson, Henry, Lake, Obion, and Weakley. We work to showcase the region’s unique attractions, rich history, and vibrant culture, inviting visitors to experience the authentic charm of Northwest Tennessee. If you’re interested in becoming a member of NWTTA, simply log on to their website (www.nwtntourism.com) or email Kasey Muench at kasey@nwtntourism.com

Kasey Muench, Northwest Tennessee Tourism Executive Director
kasey@nwtntourism.com, www.nwtntourism.com

Free admission for children throughout the month of January 2024

We’re excited to share a look ahead at just some of the fun and exciting things happening at Discovery Park for you and your family in 2024.

Thanks to a partnership with Magnolia Place Assisted Living, children 17 and younger will receive free admission to Discovery Park of America in Union City, Tennessee throughout the month of January 2024. There are also many other unique exhibits, experiences and programs taking place during the year.

A series of sculptures built with more than 250,000 LEGO® bricks will be on display throughout Discovery Park’s 50 acres from May 3 to September 2, 2024, with the award-winning traveling exhibition “Sean Kenney’s Nature Connects® Made with LEGO® Bricks.” Featuring works created by artist Sean Kenney, “Nature Connects” presents 18 displays of sculptures made from LEGO bricks that were specially curated to enhance a visit to Discovery Park. This one-of-a-kind LEGO exhibit is brought to you by Leaders Credit Union. Leaders is insured by the NCUA.

For more than 15 years, Kenney has been creating contemporary sculptures with LEGO bricks for high-profile clients including museums around the world. His multiple-award-winning traveling exhibitions have been touring globally since 2012, he has authored 9 children’s books and guest-judged the hit TV show “LEGO Masters.”

Included in this collection is a monarch butterfly built with 60,500 LEGO bricks that took 377 hours to build, a life-sized gardener built with 37,400 LEGO bricks that took 320 hours to build and various giant plants, animals and insects. An educator guidefor the exhibit is now available online for parents or educators who would like to provide lessons before or after experiencing the exhibit. The temporary exhibit will be free with admission or membership, and there will be several week-long Lego camps this summer.

The newest permanent exhibit, “Duck, Duck, Goose: Waterfowl of the Mississippi Flyway,” will be open in 2024. Created in partnership with Ducks Unlimited, the $1.1 million exhibit uses artifacts, interactive elements and hands-on experiences to tell the story of waterfowl hunting, conservation and the ecosystem of the Mississippi Flyway. It’s located both inside Discovery Center and outside in The Settlement at the William A. (Bill) Homra and Allen Homra Lodge and Landing.

This is not the only place waterfowl can be found at Discovery Park in 2024. Now through Jan. 21, 2024, a temporary exhibit, “Capturing Waterfowl: Seth Dortch Photography,” takes viewers on a waterfowl hunt through a collection of photographs taken by photographer and outdoorsman, Seth Dortch of Union City, Tennessee. The photography showcased will provide snapshots into the world of waterfowl hunting and provide a visual journey through the eyes and lens of Dortch. 

From Feb. 27 to Aug. 11, 2024, the Southern Artist Showcase will feature the art of Jubie Henderson. A self-taught artist and cabinet maker from Fulton, Kentucky, Henderson was an artist with a disability whose paintings and carved birds of the southern United States won accolades and fans among art collectors and others. Although bedridden for many years, he found art was a way to remember the hills and farm country where he lived. He also painted many scenes of Reelfoot Lake as he remembered it from his youth. Henderson died in 1999 leaving behind an impressive collection of artwork.

A unique opportunity will occur on April 8, 2024, when a total solar eclipse will cross North America, passing over Mexico, the United States and Canada. An alternative to traveling to Poplar Bluff, Missouri, Paducah, Kentucky or one of the other nearby points of totality, is experiencing the eclipse at 12:41 p.m. at Discovery Park where there will be 99.2% sun coverage. There will be fun activities and educational opportunities to provide a comfortable space for families to witness the eclipse and learn more about the science behind it.

Discovery Park recently opened the Farm Credit Mid-America Education Pavilion and two new greenhouses. In 2024, they will provide hands-on opportunities for guests to learn about growing cycles, garden design, soil health and other topics relating to the basics of plant science. 

The popular Canstruction event has been moved to February 1, 2024. This event is open to local students 10 to 18 years of age. Each team will design a 3-D structure, using only canned goods and other limited, approved materials. Teams will receive money to purchase canned food for their sculptures. The sculptures will be judged and awards presented to the winners. They will be on display in the ATA Temporary Exhibit Gallery Feb. 1 to Mar. 4, 2024.

“Pumpkin Village” returns in October 2024 with a section of the park enhanced with pumpkins, mums and other festive fall decorations.

Other popular events will return in 2024 including “Singer-Songwriter Night with Phillip Coleman,” the “Rhythm on the Rails” spring concert series on the Total Tech Solutions Stage, “Discovery Park’s Military Expo,” “The Northwest Tennessee Educational Powwow,” The “Let it Glow” Drive-thru and Walk-thruand more. In addition to the powwow, there will be other opportunities for children and adults to engage in unique ways with specific cultures including the return of Juneteenth and Hispanic Heritage Day.

Timed to be on exhibit during Discovery Park’s annual Military Expo is a traveling photography exhibit, “Vietnam: 2 soldiers. 2 Artists. 2 Journeys Then & Now.” The exhibition, on loan from Monthaven Arts & Cultural Center in Hendersonville, Tennessee, spotlights the work of David Wright and Chuck Creasey. Both were soldiers on the ground during the Vietnam War who wrote about and drew illustrations of their experiences. The exhibit includes these early artworks and works painted later from photos taken in Vietnam during the war and from a trip to Vietnam fifty years later. The exhibition will be displayed in the ATA Temporary Exhibits Gallery from March 6 – May 31, 2024.

The Northwest Tennessee Photography Club Showcase in Art Hall will be updated in June and December 2024.

For a complete list of exhibits, programs and events in 2024, visit DiscoveryParkofAmerica.com/calendar, and for helpful reminders and details about events throughout the year, be sure to sign up for the museum and park’s weekly enewsletters and follow Facebook.com/DiscoveryParkofAmerica.