Vintage signs and petroliana items from the Discovery Park of America collection being sold online by Aumann Auctions, Inc.

Several Discovery Park of America items including an assortment of original, vintage gas station signs and petroliana items are being auctioned off online by Aumann Auctions, Inc. All items being auctioned off were from purchases made by the museum several years ago that have been kept in the museum’s off-site storage. By rehoming these items, the museum is keeping with best practices to periodically evaluate and retain a manageable collection to ensure that it can properly care for, store, and display the artifacts within it, as new items continue to come into its possession.

Some of the funds generated from the auction will be utilized to grow and care for the artifacts in Discovery Park’s permanent collection.

Aumann Auctions, Inc. of Nokomis, Illinois was founded in 1962 and conducts over 100 auctions annually throughout the country and online.

The online auction will go live at aumannauctions.com on Friday, Nov. 16, and remain open until Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023.

The second sale of various signage and petroliana will take place on November 22 and remain open until December 18, 2023.

Celebrate 10 years of Inspiration with $10 Admission at Discovery Park of America on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023

Celebrate Discovery Park of America’s 10th birthday with $10 admission at the ticket counter on Saturday, Nov. 4. 2023. Family memberships will also be discounted to $100.

Since Discovery Park of America opened its doors on Nov. 1, 2013, millions of children and adults have benefited from the big idea of Robert Kirkland and the community of Union City, Tennessee to create a place where inspiration would happen every single day.

To celebrate, the entire museum and park will be activated that day. Included free with admission or membership will be:

Schedule:

10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in Dino Hall

Kids Karaoke with DJ Deb

1-2:30 p.m.

Live music with Roger Alexander and Jim Bondurant

3 p.m.

10th anniversary ceremony with the burial of the time capsule that will be opened on Discovery Park’s 50th anniversary

Hosted by CEO Scott Williams and former CEO Jim Rippy

11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Encounters with animals who have been with Discovery Park for 10 years

Other fun activities happening throughout the day:

Living historians, reenactors and demonstrations throughout the park

Hands-on fine art stations to create works of art

Vibrant displays of balloons to add to the celebration

Indulge in delicious cookies specially prepared for the occasion (Free while supplies last)

Premiere of video featuring some of those who were present as Discovery Park was being built

A display of photos, articles and other early memorabilia from the museum and park’s inception

Photo caption: Discovery Park of America under construction.

Discovery Park’s 10th birthday is sponsored by: Leaders Credit Union

Several thousand guests experienced the first Native American powwow held at Discovery Park

Guests and Native American vendors and participants traveled to Northwest Tennessee to Discovery Park to take part in the inaugural Native American Powwow held Oct. 27 – 29, 2023.

This event, unique in Northwest Tennessee, provided a place for Indigenous people from tribes around the country to celebrate their culture while educating Discovery Park visitors on this aspect of our nation’s past, present and future.

Friday’s performances and exhibitions were planned with students in mind and included a “Birds of Prey” demonstration by a ranger from nearby Reelfoot Lake State Park.

The 2023 Northwest Tennessee Native American Educational Powwow included competitions and displays of Indigenous storytelling, drumming, singing and competition dancing. Native American artisans, craftsmen and traders displayed and sold their original work and food vendors provided opportunities for guests to enjoy traditional cuisines like fry bread, tacos and hominy.

The event also included several performances by Arvel Bird. With his violin, fiddle, Native flutes and Irish whistles, Bird’s performance featured a powerful and entertaining mix of music and stories.  No stranger to live entertainment, Bird has toured worldwide with Glen Campbell, Loretta Lynn, Tom T. Hall, Ray Price, Louise Mandrell and Clay Walker.

You can see pictures from all three days of the Powwow on Discovery Park’s Flickr page.

Winners of the competition portion of the Powwow were:

 

Men’s Grass 

Dancer: Stephan White Eagle

Dancer: B.C. Daugherty

Dancer:  Tim Clifft

Men’s Straight 

Dancer:  Ronald Monoesessy

Dancer:  Aaron Partin-Rogers

Dancer:  Nick Behan

Girl’s Jingle 

Dancer:  Lena Tsosie

Dancer:  Harmony Bl

Dancer:  Ashtyn Terry

Women’s Traditional 

Dancer:  Jaida Whitecloud

Dancer:  Nicole Pavateo-Santos

Dancer:  Jennifer Tsosie

Men’s Traditional

Dancer:  Kerry Reed

Dancer:  Charles Mesteth

Dancer:  Gabe Cleveland

Women’s Jingle 

Dancer:  Mikah Whitecloud

Dancer Brianna Printup

Dancer:  Roxy Evans

Men’s Fancy 

Dancer:  Adam Bell

Dancer:  Marcus Gardner, Jr.

Dancer:  Robin Jumper

Girl’s Traditional

1st Place:  Skye Poola

2nd Place:  Lauren Jennings

Boy’s Grass 

Dancer:  Eli Poola

Boy’s Traditional 

Dancer: Kayden French

Boy’s Fancy 

Dancer:  Ehren Bell

 

Employees celebrate 5 and 10-year work anniversaries with Discovery Park of America

On Thursday, Oct. 19, Discovery Park of America recognized employees who have celebrated five and ten-year anniversaries with the museum and heritage park. All 10-year honorees received a solid-brass, early Victorian-style telescope. All 5-year honorees received a solid-brass compass in a hand-made wooden box that featured an inlaid compass rose.


These four celebrated their fifth year at Discovery Park.
Left to right: CEO Scott Williams, Kaitlyn Sanders, Sarah Glass and Ginger Ogden.


Here from the beginning, thanks for inspiring others to see beyond for 10 years.
From left to right, top to bottom: David Eastep, Tammy Ursery, Glenn Heatherly, John Watkins, Hugh Wade, Tom Pyron, Art Chivers, Lisa Love, Samantha Simbeck, Gloria Harris and Lisa Sears.
Not pictured: Mary Nita Bondurant, Judy Anding, Mike Ramsey and Jeanne McMillen

Tractors and signage from the Discovery Park of America collection being sold online by Aumann Auctions, Inc.

Several Discovery Park of America tractors and an assortment of original, vintage gas station signs are being auctioned off online by Aumann Auctions, Inc. All items being auctioned off were from purchases made by the museum several years ago that have been kept in the museum’s off-site storage. By rehoming these items, the museum is keeping with best practices to periodically evaluate and retain a manageable collection to ensure that it can properly care for, store, and display the artifacts within it, as new items continue to come into its possession.

The funds generated from the auction will be utilized to grow and care for the artifacts in Discovery Park’s permanent collection.

Aumann Auctions, Inc. of Nokomis, Illinois was founded in 1962 and conducts over 100 auctions annually throughout the country and online.

The tractors from Discovery Park are being auctioned as part of Aumann’s 2023 Fall Harvest auction. The auction ends on Monday, Oct. 23, 2023 at 6 p.m.

Tractors from Discovery Park included are:

Lot 32: Farmall Super M

Lot 33: Minneapolis Moline UTC Highcrop

Lot 34: Gibson Model I – Six Cylinder

Lot 35: Rare Gibson Model E Widefront

Lot 36: Silver King Model 42

Lot 37: John Deere Model BR

Lot 39: Oliver 70 w/ Rare Raby Cab and Widefront

Lot 40: John Deere 630 Row Crop

Details and dates of the assortment of original, vintage gas station signs will be announced soon.

Discovery Park of America Raises Funds with an Assortment of Products Celebrating the 200th Birthday of Obion County, Tenn.

Discovery Park of America is joining in the celebration of Obion County’s 200th birthday by creating a line of merchandise featuring each of the nine municipalities in the county. The illustration, created by Discovery Park’s award-winning graphic designer, Dylan Schaefer, features illustrations relevant to the area including wildlife, notable landmarks and other icons that are associated with Obion County and its history.

The image will be available for purchase on apparel, note cards, posters and tote bags.

Schaefer, originally from Milan, Tenn., graduated from the University of Tennessee at Martin. While at the university, he received the first-place award for digital art/photography in the 2022 Visual and Fine Arts Exhibition.

“We’re thrilled to be able to participate in the celebration of Obion County’s 200 years,” said Calista Drone, Discovery Park’s gift shop director. “Thanks to Dylan’s unique design, I think this will be a best seller in our gift shop for years to come and will help fund our mission to inspire children and adults to see beyond.”

The products will be available for purchase at Discovery Park beginning Tues., Oct. 24, 2023, two hundred years to the day after the county was born.

The original act establishing Obion County was passed on October 24, 1823, entitled “an act for the establishment of a new county in the northwest part of the State.” It was given the name Obion from the Obion River, a Native American word thought to translate to “many prongs.” The county was organized on January 19, 1824, at the home of William M. Wilson, three miles southwest of Troy.

Discovery Park of America included in travel-inspired toy catalog from the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development

Discovery Park of America is included among 25 of Tennessee’s biggest attractions including Pigeon Forge’s Dollywood, Memphis Zoo, Chattanooga’s Ruby Falls, Bristol Motor Speedway, Navitat Knoxville, Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry and others in a travel-inspired toy catalog from the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. While 100,000 families will find the catalog in mailboxes this week, printable versions are now available for download and catalogs can be ordered at www.Tennesseeplaycation.com.

In addition to the collectible toy builds, the catalog offers 88 pages of fun and games to keep children entertained on a road trip.

“More than ever, we know parents want to gift their kids memorable experiences and yet they still want something to unwrap,” said Mark Ezell, commissioner, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. “Tennessee Playcation bridges the gap and makes it easy to do both in a fun, kid-inspired package that is the first holiday catalog of its kind.”

Developed by advertising agency VMLY&R, Tennessee Playcation is part of a larger holiday campaign hitting key markets this fall to spotlight family attractions across the state.

“This promotion is certainly well-timed for us here at Discovery Park as we also prepare to launch next year’s big temporary exhibit, “Sean Kenney’s Nature Connects: Made with LEGO Bricks,” said Scott Williams, president and CEO of Discovery Park. “With this exciting new toy catalog from our friends at the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, the LEGO bricks exhibit coming Summer 2024 and numerous camps and other activities, there will be many fun and creative ways Discovery Park will inspire children and adults to see beyond.

Dates and details of “Sean Kenney’s Nature Connects: Made with LEGO bricks” at Discovery Park will be announced soon.

A Tyrannosaurus Rex Fossil building block is available for purchase online or will be available for purchase in Discovery Park’s gift shop on October 9, 2023.

“Tennessee Playcation” follows the state’s award-winning 2019 campaign, “Kid Reviewed.” The department introduced special wearable technology called the Laugh Tracker to scientifically prove where kids have the most fun by measuring laughs and heart rate. In addition to the data, reviews were recorded and posted at www.Kidreviewedtn.com to help parents make kid-informed decisions.

Tyannasoarus Rex Mini Building Blocks

 

Discovery Park joins the Interpretive Center on the Great River Road

Discovery Park was honored to be selected for inclusion as an Interpretive Center on the Great River Road National Scenic Byway last week at the 2023 Mississippi River Parkway Commission (MRPC) annual meeting in Alton, Illinois.

Celebrating 85 years in 2023, the Great River Road was established in 1938 when governors of the 10 river states opted to use existing roads and highways rather than building a new continuous road, as a means of conserving land, time and money.

Stretching for 3,000 miles through and beside 10 states—including Tennessee—the Great River Road has a separate commission in each state. These commissions coordinate through the MRPC, founded to preserve and improve the natural resources, cultural heritage, economic viability, scenic quality, recreational amenities and other features significant to economic development in the Mississippi River Valley.

Interpretive Centers must first apply to be included and then go through an evaluation process after which they are voted on by the Culture and Heritage Committee of the MRPC.

Edmond McDavis III, director of the TN Delta Alliance, which is funded through a grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation, is the point person for interpretive centers in Tennessee.

As one of more than 100 Interpretive Centers, Discovery Park will now be included in the free 10-state Great River Road map that shows the Great River Road’s route through all 10 states and highlights the Interpretive Centers along the way. Travelers can plot their route and find scenic overlooks, agritourism attractions, museums and more. Maps are distributed to tourists at various locations and can also be ordered on the Great River Road website. Discovery Park will also be included on future signage that indicates the locations of Interpretive Centers along the Great River Road.

For more information, visit www.discoveryparkofamerica.com/greatriverroad

 

Photo Caption: Tennesseans at the 2023 Mississippi River Parkway Commission annual meeting in Alton, Illinois included (l to r): Mike McClanahan; transportation manager, Tennessee Department of Transportation Highway Beautification Office; Christian L. Treglia, director of brand promise fulfillment, Tennessee State Parks; Scott Williams, president and CEO, Discovery Park of America; Dale Dozier, building official, Dyer County, Tenn.; and Edmond McDavis III, director of TN Delta Alliance.

 

 

Homeschooled Students to be Included in Union City Rotary Club’s Student Travel Program in 2024

Beginning with the summer 2024 trips to Europe and Washington, D.C., the Union City Rotary Club’s Student Travel Program will be open for application to Obion County juniors who are homeschooled in addition to those at Obion County Central High School, Union City High School and South Fulton High School. The Union City Rotary Club also announced they will begin working with Global Citizen Adventure Corps, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization designed to cultivate global citizen leaders through education, travel, and service opportunities. The Robert E. and Jenny D. Kirkland Foundation fund the trip to Europe, and an anonymous donor funds the trip to Washington, D.C.

Selections of students for the trips are made after an application and interview process that begins with the student and at least one parent or guardian attending one of two information sessions that will take place at Discovery Park of America on Sun., Oct. 22, 2023 at 2 p.m. or Mon., Oct. 23, 2023 at 6 p.m.

The partnership with Global Citizens Adventure Corps will also allow participating students the opportunity to earn three hours of transferable college credit via Bethel University.

“The Union City Rotary Club’s student travel program has sent more than 200 students to Washington, D.C. and countries throughout Europe for a life-changing experience,” said Donny Bearden, the 2023 president of the Union City Rotary Club. “Having heard from many of these young people after their trip, I know it enriches their lives as they are exposed to people, places and things they’ve never even imagined.”

After an application is submitted, students will participate in an interview with members of the Union City Rotary Club’s student travel program selection committee on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023. The 12 students selected for the Europe trip and 10 students selected for the Washington, D.C. trip will be notified that evening. The trips to Europe and Washington, D.C. are scheduled for late June or early July 2024.

Who: High School and Home School Juniors and at least one parent

What: Rotary Club’s Student Travel Program Information Session

When: Sun., Oct. 22, 2023 at 2 p.m. or Mon., Oct. 23, 2023 at 6 p.m.

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

Press Release: Discovery Park of America welcomes four new board members

Union City, Tenn. (August 3, 2023) Discovery Park of America is pleased to announce the appointment of four new members to the board of directors: Dr. Keith Carver, Steve Carr, Jerry Ward and Bettie Graham.

  • Dr. Keith Carver, senior vice chancellor and senior vice president, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture
  • Mayor Steve Carr, Mayor, Obion County, Tennessee
  • Jerry Ward, owner, Jerry Ward Autoplex
  • Bettie Graham, owner, Union City Coca Cola

The primary mission of Discovery Park of America is to inspire children and adults to see beyond. With this in mind, the addition of these accomplished professionals to the board signifies the organization’s commitment to fostering community growth and providing enriching experiences to its visitors.

Scott Williams, the president and CEO of Discovery Park, expressed his enthusiasm for the newest additions to the board, stating, “We are thrilled to have Keith, Mayor Carr, Jerry, and Betty join our board. Each of them is passionate about the mission of our organization, and we’re grateful they will be serving the community alongside our other board members and staff.”

In addition to the four new board members, Discovery Park’s board of directors is comprised of a group of individuals committed to the park’s continued success: Al Creswell (board chair), Johnny Bacon, Emily Billingsley, Bob Cartwright, Ron Cooper, Mike Cox, Alice Fennel, Lindsay Frilling, Grace Gary, Terry Hailey, Ann Joiner, Bennie McGuire, Tim Shanks, Sam Sinclair, Betty Ann Tanner, Will Wade and Scott Williams.

As new board members are added, their cartoon-style portrait is hung on the wall in Art Hall alongside other board members. The paintings, an idea championed by Discovery Park founder Robert Kirkland, have been done by Pat Wade and Dr. Paul J. Marsidi.

Community Jam Session on Saturday, August 12 Q & A

Q: What is a community jam session?

Community jam sessions are a way for musicians of all levels to come together, connect and create music in a casual and supportive environment. Jam sessions bring musicians from all walks of life together. This session is open for anyone who wants to participate, whether they are a seasoned musician or a beginner. It’s an opportunity for people to share their passion for music and engage in a collective musical experience. Unlike more formal performances or rehearsals, community jam sessions have a laid-back atmosphere.

Mulberry Jam, an acoustic old-time string band based in the Memphis area, will lead the community jam session.  Mulberry Jam will perform in The Settlement Pavilion prior to the jam session at 12:15 p.m. Find the full schedule of events for the David Crockett Birthday Celebration here.

Q: How do I know if I am ready for a community jam session?

If you have a basic understanding of your instrument and a desire to collaborate and learn from others, you’re ready.

Q: Are there any specific rules or etiquette I should follow during the jam session?

 Discovery Park’s community jam session will be informal and laid-back, but it is still essential to be respectful and considerate while others are playing. Listen attentively to other musicians and be responsive to their cues and give space for everyone to take turns and share the spotlight.

 Q: What is the purpose of a community jam session?

A jam session provides a collaborative environment for musicians to improvise and play music together.

Q: How do beginners prepare for their first jam session?

Beginners can prepare for their first jam session by choosing a few songs to play and having a good understanding of the songs they will perform.

Q: How do I register to participate in Discovery Park’s community jam session on Saturday, August 12?

 Those participating in Discovery Park’s jam session can register by arriving at Discovery Park by 1:00 p.m. with an acoustic instrument. All participants must enter through the main entrance of the Discovery Center. Each participant with a string instrument receives free admission. The jam session will take place in the Settlement Pavilion on the north side of Heritage park.

This presentation is funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment of the Arts and the Tennessee Arts Commission.

Obion County selected to host the 2024 Alabama-Mississippi-Tennessee Rural Tourism Conference

Obion County, Tennessee has been selected to host the 2024 Alabama-Mississippi-Tennessee Rural Tourism Conference to be held October 21-23, 2024. Discovery Park of America will serve as the venue for the conference’s presentations, educational sessions and banquet.

This is the first time the county has been selected to host this annual event and the third time for the conference to be held in Tennessee. The Northwest Tennessee county was selected after a review process that included presentations in Cookeville, Tennessee by several other rural counties with a strong presence of tourism-related businesses and organizations.

In addition to Discovery Park, the Obion County proposal, created and presented by the Obion County Tourism committee, includes opportunities for attendees to experience Reelfoot Lake, White Squirrel Winery, Union City’s downtown, The Pavilion at Houser Creek Crossing and more.

The Alabama-Mississippi-Tennessee Rural Tourism Conference takes place in a different rural community in Alabama, Mississippi or Tennessee each year. Attending will be around 250 individuals who work in tourism or economic development, members of city councils, elected officials or those who want to network with professionals in the tourism industry. Attendees experience educational sessions that allow them to learn ways to grow tourism in rural communities.

“I join our entire tourism community here in Obion County with excitement as we prepare to host this conference and roll out the red carpet,” said Steve Carr, Obion County, Tennessee Mayor. “From eagles to white squirrels and sunken cypress trees to dinosaurs, we have a lot to share, and I know those attending this conference are going to be impressed with their experience here in Obion County.”