Friday, October 11, 2013

Centennial Conservation Expo October 12th!

The City of Knoxville's Centennial Conservation Expo celebration is Saturday, October 12th at Chilhowee Park and it promises a full slate of family-friendly events and entertainment. Among the highlights will be some special guests, live music, circus performers, children's games and activities, art exhibits, and displays from a host of conservation agencies and organizations.

The Centennial Conservation Expo will take place from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12th, at Chilhowee Park. Admission and parking are free. The Expo will mark the 100th anniversary of the National Conservation Exposition of 1913, which ran for two months at Chilhowee Park and drew a million visitors. Some of the people involved in organizing that Exposition went on to help with the establishment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and other significant local conservation efforts.

An opening ceremony at 11 a.m. will feature Mayor Madeline Rogero along with guests including keynote speaker Leila Pinchot, the great-granddaughter of legendary conservationist Gifford Pinchot. Gifford Pinchot was the first head of the U.S. Forest Service, under President Theodore Roosevelt, and also served as the chairman of the advisory board for the 1913 Conservation Exposition. Leila Pinchot recently received her doctorate in Natural Resources from the University of Tennessee, and she will talk about the legacy of the past century of conservation efforts here and elsewhere.

Also rumored to be attending are Theodore Roosevelt himself, and the long-lost Prophet of the Smokies. The Prophet was a mainstay of Knoxville public events during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but he has not been seen in public since 1916.

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