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Annual October Sky Festival to be Held October 21, 2023
The annual October Sky Festival will be held on October 21, 2023 in Oliver Springs, Tennessee. The Oliver Springs Historical Society, a non-profit 501c3 organization, has been holding this festival for 16 years and it has grown each year until now we have over 100 vendors and an estimated attendance at over 5000. It all started as a mixed celebration of the 1999 filming of the movie October Sky (starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper and Laura Dern) in Oliver Springs and the celebrating of our town.
Oliver Springs, settled in 1821, has over 200 years a history based around the famed mineral springs in the area. In 1873, the first resort hotel was built in Oliver Springs highlighting the mineral springs' health benefits. From 1895 until it burned in 1905, the 150 room Oliver Springs Hotel was a nationally known destination. After the hotel burned, coal mining became the income source for the area. During WWII another source of income for the area was the secret city of Oak Ridge and part of the Manhattan Project during WWII.
Our festival combines this history, along with renovation and restoration of area Victorian homes, music and fun. It is family friendly, free admission and a learning experience all in one. We have 3 venues within walking distance. Arrowhead Park, with vendors of all kinds, kids' fun and entertainment. The Oliver Springs Historical Society Museum, which is the keeper of the history of this varied and historical region. The Museum is an ongoing renovation of a building that once was an auto garage, bus station, theater, bowling alley, a church meeting location, and a snack bar! It now features a meeting room, 100 seat theater and stage, a walk-through replica of the streets and businesses of the past, coal mining artifacts and much more. The next venue within walking distance is the Oliver Springs Train Depot, a museum of train-related displays, an actual walk-through train caboose and a display just for this festival called Heritage At The Depot. There will be displays by several genealogy groups of families from this area and a quilting exhibit. Also nearby, a classic car show will be on Main Street downtown. We are expecting over 200 cars to participate. Once again, this, too, is within walking distance to the other venues.
For more information about the Ocotber Sky Festival, visit https://octoberskyfestivaltn.org/.