It didn't take long for the first professional hockey team in Evansville to make their mark; in just their second year in the All American Hockey League, in 2010, the fledgling IceMen won the Davidson Cup in seven games. Though that first clan of IceMen has since gone extinct, the team soon resurrected as part of the ECHL, where they serve as the minor-league affiliate of both the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Saint Louis Blues. During games, fans fill the 9,400-seat Ford Center arena as the polar-bear mascot, Blizzard, entertains crowds and teaches children of the dangers of costume warming.
An annual celebration of everything athletic, the Music City Sports Festival treats both fans and athletes to a schedule packed with local, regional, and national sports programming and personalities. Instructional clinics anchor the two-day event, inviting kids aged 5?18 to try their hand at traditional sports, such as baseball and tennis, or more niche sports including lacrosse and archery. Away from all the swinging and sprinting, the festival's speaker series showcases current and former pro athletes and coaches. As they speak, attendees gain in-depth insights while getting close enough to their heroes. A host of other activities rounds out the event, from autograph sessions to giveaways, and vendors doling out gear and goodies.
A hush falls over the pews and all heads turn to see the bride step into the light as she glides down the aisle. The groom's face breaks into a huge grin, and guests can't help but smile themselves. For an instant, everyone in the room forgets that this couple is already married, and that no one in the room knows who they are. But, everyone agrees that the ceremony is beautiful. This is The NotWedding, a mock wedding in which on-trend wedding vendors display their talents to entice those planning their big day. Brides- and grooms-to-be are treated to an entire faux wedding, complete with ceremony, dinner, and dance reception. They spend dinner jotting down the names of the bakers who created the delectable wedding cake, the chefs who sizzled up the artfully plated meals, and the rental centers that provided the elegant table settings. Guests can also glean ideas for modern and hip decorations and wedding-planning advice, including tactful ways to tell their fianc?e's father to retire his ruffled periwinkle tuxedo.
With the exception of four years during World War II, the Tennessee State Fair has kept the family-friendly party going ever since 1906. Classic fair foods such as cotton candy, corn dogs, and snow cones fuel visitors as they stop in on the prize-seeking animals, tap their toes to live music, and belt tunes at the karaoke showdown. While smaller kids ride the merry-go-round and explore the Tomb of Doom, their older siblings can get their thrills on rides with spine-tingling names such as the Mega Drop and the Fireball. And parents can learn all about Tennessee's small-time brewing operations and distilleries at local drink-making showcases.
Ever since painter and film producer Robyn Morshead first organized the festival in 2009, Artlightenment has continually showcased vital emerging filmmakers and visual artists every November. Structured around an annual theme, such as light and humor, the festivities kick off with two days of film screenings inside the 1898-built Old Fall School. From there, Artlightenment hosts everything from art exhibits and receptions to film seminars, artist workshops, and live concerts. Before the grand finale??a fashion show??awards are distributed in categories both traditional and unorthodox, such as "Best Artistic Expression."
At the Nashville Pirate and Rum Festival, distillers, brewers, and live music team up to host a memorable lakeside party full of delicious cocktails, cold beers, and fun with friends. Near the waves of Nashville Shores Waterpark, visitors celebrate Middle Tennessee's finest street cuisine and seafaring traditions with heaping plates from food trucks,and tropical rhythms from the Parrots of the Caribbean band. Guests watch fire dancers twirl torches and tongues of flame as they sip unlimited samples of 20 different beers and 25 artisan rum cocktails such as the Hemingway daiquiri, mai tai, and blue hawaiian.