America’s Secret City Festival features family fun, history, antique shopping

America’s Secret City Festival features family fun, history, antique shopping

OAK RIDGE — America’s Secret City is letting the whole world in on its big secret June 20-21 at the sixth annual Secret City Festival. This year’s highlights include performances by The Turtles featuring Flo and Eddie and Mary Wilson of the Supremes, a World War II re-enactment, an expanded children’s area, arts and crafts vendors with a juried arts show, antique dealers and plenty of fun, food and activities for the whole family. The festival site is open to the public, and most of the weekend’s events are free of charge, thanks to the festival’s many sponsors. The Secret City of Oak Ridge is best known for its role in developing the Atomic Bomb which helped bring an end to World War II. Today, the city celebrates its past, present and future with an annual festival featuring tours of historic Manhattan Project sites, a special World War II Re-enactment, live entertainment and family activities. One of the festival’s main events, the World War II D-Day re-enactment, is the largest multi-battle World War II public event in the Southeast. The battle re-enactments will feature approximately 200 men and women representing World War II soldiers, medics and nurses from both sides of the conflict. In addition, there will be over a dozen authentic period vehicles in action on the field including American armor and American and German artillery and soft-skinned vehicles. Living history demonstrations will take place all day Friday and Saturday, and the re-enactment will occur twice on Saturday. The children’s area will feature a petting zoo, pony rides, mule and wagon rides, Euro Bungy, rock climbing wall, karaoke and dance floor, water wars and an exhibit by the Home Depot. There will also be a special area designated for toddlers. Other highlights include a Manhattan Project Reunion and Manhattan Project site tours including K-25 and Happy Valley, Y-12, the X-10 Graphite Reactor and the Department of Energy’s Manhattan Project Facilities Public Bus Tour. Festival entertainment will include concerts by The Turtles featuring Flo and Eddie on Friday and Mary Wilson of the Supreme on Saturday, as well as great local bands including Dave Landeo, LB1, Jada Blade and Bossman Blues, just to name a few. An arts and crafts show and antiques and collectibles show will take place all day Friday and Saturday, as will World War II Secret City Heritage Displays presented by the Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association. The juried arts show will take place in the Oak Ridge Civic Center gymnasium, where artisans will be selling their crafts as well as giving hands-on demonstrations and educational sessions through the weekend. The 10th annual Lavender Festival and Herb Fair at Jackson Square will take place on Saturday, offering spectators the chance to learn the basics of cooking, crafting and healing with lavender. The Secret City Scenic Excursion Train will be chugging along during the festival on Saturday, with tickets available in advance for the day’s trips. This is the only train of its kind in the United States, traveling over a mile through the historic and once secret K-25 site. For tickets and additional information, call (865) 241-2140. AMSE is gearing up for this year’s festival with some exciting new exhibits and a great discount offer. Visitors to AMSE will receive a Secret City Festival admission rate of $3 per person on June 20-21, which is up to a $2 discount off regular admission. AMSE will feature a totally remodeled “Oak Ridge Story: The Manhattan Project and World War II” permanent exhibition, and an Oak Ridge Cultural Heritage Preservation exhibit, topographic maps exhibit of Oak Ridge prepared in 1947 for the Atomic Energy Commission, “Team Up! Explore Science and Sports” traveling exhibition. Activities are planned throughout the community during the days leading up to and during the Secret City Festival. Some of these events are free to the public, while others require an admission fee. Through June 13, combo concert tickets will be available for $30 each and may be purchased via the Internet, at the Oak Ridge Civic Center front desk or by calling (865) 482-4432. Individual concert tickets are available for $20 each and can be purchased up to the day of the festival and at the Festival Information Booth during the festival. The sixth annual Secret City Festival is presented by the City of Oak Ridge, the Oak Ridge Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Arts Council of Oak Ridge. This year’s festival sponsors are B&W Y-12 and the City of Oak Ridge and the media sponsors are The Oak Ridger, Lamar Outdoor Advertising, WBIR-TV, Comcast and BBB Communications. For more information including a full schedule of events and times, visit www.SecretCityFestival.com or call the information line at (865) 425-3610. Published in The Messenger 6.4.08

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