The Fanboy Expo, like stepping through the screen of a blockbuster superhero movie, brings comic and movie fans face-to-face with their favorite characters, actors, and artists. For two days, costumed attendees hob-nob with the Highlander, talk shop with Jerry "The King" Lawler , or chat with Lorenzo Lamas about his much publicized transition from starring in Renegade to opening his petting zoo, Lorenzo Lamas' Llamas. In addition to meeting celebrities from silver and small screen sci-fi and fantasy hits, comic book fans can also pick their favorite artist and creator's brain, snagging an autograph in the process. Should they find themselves in need of a new action figure or collectable t-shirt, fans can make their way to a number of merchandise and memorabilia dealer booths throughout the event space.
After paddling his way into the U.S. Olympic Team–trial finals twice, Jeff West, founder of Ace Kayaking School, began sharing his love of the sport with readers of popular publications and more than 5,000 eager students. Striving for a maximum 3:1 instructor to student ratio in all of his courses, Jeff and his team teach key skills to beginners and experienced rollers alike while gliding down the Ocoee River's famous Table Saw rapids. In addition to whitewater kayaking, Ace teaches stand-up paddleboarding and the advanced waterfall navigating techniques of creek boating and freefalling in a barrel.
The Emerging Cinemas network presents world-class performing arts, recorded on-scene at internationally recognized theaters and splashes them across the big screen before popcorn-chomping American audiences. Coppélia, choreographed by Patrice Bart, is a comic tale that follows the en pointe follies of a lovesick villager whose fiancée must compete with a life-like dancing automaton to win his affections. Composed by Mozart, The Magic Flute, a two-act opera with both dialogue and singing, tells the story of young prince Tamino and his love interest, Pamina, as they struggle through a series of fantastical trials and stress-induced cupcake binges to realize their union.
One runner tucks his laser gun under his arm as he ducks behind an obstacle. Just before he's out of sight, his sister shoots at him from afar, settling the score with her sibling without having to deflate the tires on his bicycle. Within Battlefield Knoxville’s 36,000-square-foot arena, up to 40 players, armed with a selection of futuristic and realistic weaponry, go toe to toe at once. During play, groups embody fantasy action scenarios during games of Capture the Flag, Base Assault, and Rescue the Hostage. The facility also includes a gaming center where players give their limbs a rest at 13 flat-screen gaming stations that offer group bouts on Xbox 360 and PlayStation3 consoles.
A U.S. Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association–rated master pilot, Matt Taber has been soaring through the skies since 1978, during which time he's managed to design several of his own gliders. He's also devised and constructed other contraptions, such as glider-towing equipment and lightweight tow planes—both of which his company, Lookout Mountain Flight Park, uses to teach new recruits how to surf the skies. Matt leads a team of USHPA-certified pilots and instructors that coaches students of all levels in basics and advanced maneuvers through on-the-ground training and hands-on tandem flights, during which pilots safely guide their charges over the scenic mountains and blurry bushes of Lookout Valley at altitudes of up to 4,000 feet. Conducted on a 55-acre private training facility, lessons can include the overnight use of amenities such as a pool, volleyball court, bathhouse, and cabins.
Coal Creek Armory's defense experts supervise a 10-lane indoor range where civilians, law enforcement, and the military hone their firearms handling. A triple-filtration system extracts discharged particles and pumps back out clean air to keep shooters comfortable. Light markers at 7, 15, and 25 yards illuminate the electronically placed targets, and an armored backstop turns the sounds of bullet impact into the pleasing notes of a xylophone. Additionally, every guest gets complimentary eye and ear protection, and a flat rate for handgun rentals lets sportsmen swap out and experience different models. Beyond overseeing the range, Coal Creek's team also leads courses such as basic handgun safety, advanced marksmanship, and training tailored to security officers. The armory also encompasses a pro shop, where onsite gunsmiths repair and customize firearms.