Many readers will remember a story last summer about a successful proposition to change to name of Lake City, a small town in east Tennessee, to Rocky Top, TN. There was a degree of opposition in Lake City, and the threat of legal action by the estate of Felice & Boudelaux Bryant, who wrote the classic song, but the name change went through without a hitch.
The idea behind the change was to turn the newly renamed municipality into a tourist destination, both for the association with the song, and the various sports programs at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville just south of Rocky Top, who have adopted the song as an anthem.
In that vein, one of their first endeavors has been to put together the First Annual Rocky Top Bluegrass Festival, scheduled to run April 24-25 at the George Templin Memorial Athletic Field on Main Street.
The mayor, Mike Lovely, says that the festival had its genesis in a phone call that came in from bluegrass legend, Bobby Osborne.
“Mr. Osborne contacted us because the Osborne Brothers were the first to perform and record Rocky Top and he wanted to be the first to perform the song in our newly named town of Rocky Top, Tennessee. As a result of his interest, we decided to have a festival featuring some of the top groups in bluegrass.”
Proceeds from the festival will go to the Coal Creek Miners Museum building fund, the North Anderson County Boys and Girls Club, and the town’s elementary and middle schools. Food and craft vendors will also be on site for the festival.
Full details, including lineups, directions, and accommodations information, can be found online.