American Idol Winner Performing at 2014 Dickens, Town Sings, Snow on Main Street & More!

Dickens of a ChristmasThe Heritage Foundation is excited to reveal that American Idol winner Kris Allen will be performing as part of Dickens of a Christmas in Historic Downtown Franklin on Saturday, December 13! In its 30-year history, this is the first time Dickens of a Christmas has hosted a headlining act on its stage.

Allen, who recently self-released his third album titled “Horizons,” will perform on Saturday from 3:45-4:30 p.m. on the Public Square Stage. Attendees can look forward to a soulful performance from the pop-rock singer-songwriter who will entertain the crowd with songs from his recent repertoire, including the new Christmas single, “Baby, It Ain’t Christmas Without You.”

Produced by the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County, Dickens of a Christmas transforms the streets of historic Franklin into a Victorian Christmas set for two days every December. This free event will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 13, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, December 14.

In addition to the scheduled performances on the stage near City Hall, Dickens will feature live entertainment at the intersection of 4th and Main Street, at Five Points, inside the Historic Franklin Presbyterian Church and on other locations along Main Street. One of the hallmarks of Dickens is costumed characters interacting with visitors on the street and this year will mark the return of Scrooge bellowing his “Bah! Humbug”, the nefarious Fagin, and English Bobbies (who are actually Franklin Police Officers on duty in costume). Guests may even run into a ghost of Christmas Past, Present or Future, Tiny Tim Cratchit or the Father of Christmas himself. More than 200 volunteers in costume will attend the festival.

In addition to the long-standing traditions involved with Dickens, some new features have been added to this year’s event:

For the first time, the public is invited to participate in two town sings. Guests will gather at the Public Square stage starting at 4:30 p.m. Saturday; Sunday’s town sing will take place in the Historic Presbyterian Church on Sunday, also at 4:30 p.m. 

“Dickens of a Christmas has become a tradition for many families who come to enjoy the memory-making moments of the weekend,” said Krista Dial, festival coordinator with the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County. “It’s a nostalgic time that offers a glimpse into what life could have been like on Main Street during the Victorian era.”

Attendees can also expect to enjoy Victorian-themed fare, including traditional English offerings such as bangers and mash, shepherd’s pies, and fish and chips—and of course, roasted chestnuts and sugar plums.

Other activities include:

  • Horse-drawn carriage rides on 3rd Avenue South for $2 per person.
  • A Holiday Bazaar arts and crafts area that stretches down Franklin’s charming Main Street.
  • Violinists, hand bell choirs, carolers and even a water harmonica player all add to the entertaining street scene.
  • A Victorian costume contest on Sunday at 3 p.m.
  • Various photo opportunities around Main Street, one of which will include snow.

Last year more than 50,000 people attended the two-day occasion, which has been listed as a Top-20 event in the Southeast by the Southeastern Tourism Society.

“We are thankful for our dedicated staff members and volunteers who help drive the Foundation’s mission by producing these annual street festivals,” said Mary Pearce, executive director of The Heritage Foundation. “The hundreds of thousands of people who attend them each year are able to see how making preservation a priority has given us a remarkable Main Street landscape. Plus, our streetscape and restored Victorian architecture has given attendees a much more authentic Dickens experience than what we had three decades ago!”

The two-day weekend street festival is produced by the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County and its division, the Downtown Franklin Association, which seek to protect and preserve the architectural, geographic and cultural heritage of Franklin and Williamson County and to promote the ongoing economic revitalization of downtown Franklin in the context of historic preservation.


Take a Seat for the Old, Old Jail!

auction button for chairs

 

AUCTION STARTED: Monday, Nov. 10, 2014
AUCTION ENDS: Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014

Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County Historian Rick Warwick first became interested in local chair makers back in 1971, and has since authored books and hosted dozens of exhibits and presentations on historic Williamson County and Middle Tennessee furniture – hand-made sugar chests, samplers and other local heirlooms among them.

Over the last 40 years, Rick has collected more than 200 chairs, focusing on the locals who made them in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and representative examples of different chair styles from each. Now he’s offered 40 prime pieces from the collection to be auctioned in support of the Heritage Foundation’s campaign to save the Old, Old Jail on Bridge Street in downtown Franklin.

Starting Monday, November 10th, an online auction chaired by Lynne McAlister and Wendy Dunavant will allow the public to bid on the chairs, with some starting as low as $150. An event at FirstBank at Five Points on Thursday, November 20 will include a guided tour of local furniture history with Warwick and other interesting educational elements.

Chairs from the collection are showing up in downtown Franklin storefront windows, and the online auction – including some groups of multiple chairs sold in lots, will start on Monday at http://mobilesmartbid.com/store.php?md=1&username=HeritageFoundationTakeASeat.

You can see a few of these chairs in person by visiting the following downtown Franklin merchants:

  • The Registry – “Dorcas” was created by ex-slave Dick Poyner (1802-1882) at a chair factory on Pinewood Road. It features maple posts and slats, hickory rungs and a hickory seat woven by Rick Warwick.
  • Lulu – “Bernice” was also crafted by Dick Poyner, this chair features maple posts and slats, hickory rungs and an old cane seat.
  • The Cellar on Main – “Eugenia” is described as a fancy side chair with maple posts and slats, hickory rungs and hickory bark seats woven by Rick Warwick. The maker is unknown.
  • The Heirloom Shop – “Silas” was also made by Dick Poyner. It’s described as a side chair with maple posts and slats, hickory rungs with an elm bark seat woven by Rick Warwick.
  • Shoppes on Main – “Lucien” was found in Williamson County and features the initials “NB”. It’s made from hickory posts, slats, rungs and a bark seat. Also featured here is “Effie” which was purchased at the estate sale of Laura May Miller (Mrs. William). It’s described as a Knob Side Chair with maple posts, hickory slats and rungs. The oak seat was woven by Will Poyner.
  • Vue Optique – “Elijah” was crafted by ex-slave Dick Poyner (1802-1882) and features maple posts and slats, hickory rungs, original split seat with original Spanish brown paint.
  • Yarrow Acres – “Enoch Elliott” is a mid-19th century chair that was crafted at the Tennessee State Penitentiary. It includes maple posts and slats, hickory rungs, original paint and a hickory bark seat woven by Rick Warwick.
  • Bob Parks Realty – The “Bedford Brothers” chairs are believed to be from Maury or Marshall County. They are Knob Side chairs with maple posts, hickory slats and rungs with hickory bark seats woven by Rick Warwick.
  • Rare Prints Gallery – The “Thompson Twins” chairs were found in Leiper’s Fork. They are Knob Side chairs with maple posts, hickory slats and rungs and hickory bark seats woven by Rick Warwick.
  • FirstBank – “General Beauregard” was crafted by Robert Parker (1856-1915). It comes from Bakertown, TN in Hickman County. It’s described as an armed rocker with maple posts, arms and slats, hickory rungs and an oak split seat.
  • Landmark Bank – “Josephine” was found in Maury County. The maker is unknown. It is a heart-shaped-slat side chair with maple posts, hickory slats and rungs and a hickory bark seat woven by Rick Warwick.
  • Gallery 202 – “Vestal Coffin” was crafted by ex-slave Dick Poyner. It is an armed rocker with maple posts and slats, hickory rungs, walnut rockers and a hickory bark seat woven by Rick Warwick.
  • Shuff’s Music – “Fannie Mae” was found in Franklin and the maker is unknown. It is described as a triple ring side chair with maple posts and slats, hickory rungs, old green paint and a hickory bark seat woven by Rick Warwick.
  • The Red House – “Jedediah” was crafted by Dick Poyner at a chair factory on Pinewood Road. It’s an armed rocker with maple posts, arms and slats, hickory rungs, an old finish and a hickory bark seat woven by Rick Warwick.
  • Puckett’s – “Scarlet” was found in the Cool Springs area. It’s described as a knob side chair with maple posts and slats, hickory rungs and a hickory bark seat woven by Rick Warwick.
  • Bittersweet Primitives – “Hazel” was crafted by George W. Baker (1883-1955) in Kinderhook, Maury County, TN. It’s described as an armed rocker with maple posts and slats, hickory rungs and a hickory bark seat woven by Rick Warwick.

Since 1968, the not-for-profit Heritage Foundation’s mission has been to protect and preserve the architectural, geographic and cultural heritage of Franklin and Williamson County, and to promote the ongoing economic revitalization of downtown Franklin in the context of historic preservation.

Go here to view the auction, which opens on November 10th!

 This classic ladderback chair with original paint and great patina was made by inmates at the Tennessee State Penitentiary in the 1880s.

This classic ladderback chair with original paint and great patina was made by inmates at the Tennessee State Penitentiary in the 1880s.

Volunteers Who Make An Impact: Josh and Susan Denton

DICKENS
If you attended the 31st Annual Pumpkinfest last Saturday, you know it was one for the books! Drawing a crowd of more than 40,000 people, the Heritage Foundation rallied the troops to produce a bigger, better and more entertaining street festival than ever before.

The 2014 event marked another first: as a result of the year’s board retreat, each Foundation-produced festival will now be driven by staff and supported by chairmen, similar to the annual Heritage Ball.

Foundation board member Josh Denton and his wife, Susan, acted as the Pumpkinfest’s first chairs, going above and beyond to help staff members Rene’ Evans and Krista Dial throw one of the largest street parties of the year. The pair was approached in the spring to spearhead the initiative, and supported the Pumpkinfest team with creative ideas, scheduling, entertainment, sponsorships and more.

Prior to the festival the Dentons also hosted a ribbon cutting breakfast, where sponsors event organizers and city officials were thanked. The best part? Susan cooked much of the morning spread herself!

Josh, whose family hasn’t missed a Pumpkinfest in 10 years, says that the value of the free event lies in its family-centered fun.

“This festival is a wonderful opportunity to showcase historic Franklin and all that it has to offer, especially during such a beautiful time of the year,” he says. “It’s great to be able to give back to the community by offering a fantastic—and free—experience for families throughout Middle Tennessee.”

Thank you, Josh and Susan, for using your time and resources to help further the Foundation’s mission in saving the places that matter!

The Dentons would like to give a big “thank you” to the 2014 Pumpkinfest sponsors: Sponsors for the 2014 Pumpkinfest include Bethel University; Gullett Sanford Robinson & Martin, Attorneys at Law; Monroe Carrel Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt; Williamson Medical Center; Hyundai Leaf Filter; Patterson Company; The People’s Church; Children’s and Adolescent Dentistry of Franklin School of Rock; Schroder Chiropractic; Bob Parks Realty; City of Franklin; and the Downtown Franklin Association (DFA).


New York Times Writes About Franklin, Praises the Heritage Foundation

Featured Image - Main Street

On Oct. 24, 2014, The New York Times published a glowing piece on Franklin, Tenn., calling it a “small-town gem near Nashville”–and the Foundation is proud to say that the paper mentioned our organization. 

Excerpt: “Only a few years ago, the 1937 building was just another small-town movie theater that had gone out of business, become an eyesore and put a damper on entrepreneurial spirit. But the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County — founded in 1967 and a major force in historic preservation — swooped in, rallied community support, bought the building and spearheaded an $8.7 million renovation.”

Read the story in its entirety below, or on the NYT website here.

“A Small-Town Gem Near Nashville”
by Christian L. Wright

It was Sunday night at the Cork & Cow. Around 6:30, four girlfriends met at the bar to have salads and Champagne and review the weekend. There was a nice hum in the dining room, where six couples had assembled at a long table along the tufted green banquette. At least a few of them had come for the weekly special that February evening: a $20 prime rib dinner and half-price bottles of wine. My sister and I had spent the day in Nashville and just wanted a quick bite, so we popped in to share some brussels sprouts and warm bread that came in a small cast-iron skillet. Service took a while, but no one seemed to mind. This is the pace of the South.

The steakhouse is in a two-story brick building on the corner of Main Street and Fourth Avenue South in downtown Franklin, Tenn. It’s not far from the town square, which is marked by a monument to the Confederate soldier, and across from a toy store that sells little wooden pickup trucks and novelties like garlic chewing gum. In recent years, a Starbucks and an Anthropologie have moved in along this five-block stretch. But it’s like a fantasy of small-town Main Street: brick sidewalks and cobblestone crosswalks, antique street lamps alternating with trees along the curb, wood-framed storefronts housing independent businesses, some spanking new, and well-preserved, low-slung buildings from the early 1900s all in a row.

Franklin is a Southern gem hiding in the shadow of Nashville, less than 20 miles north. Some call it a suburb of Music City — and plenty of farmland has been developed into subdivisions, strip malls and office plazas — but Franklin is a world away, with a history and culture all its own. Founded in 1799 and named in honor of Ben Franklin, the town is speckled with American artifacts, from Civil War bullet holes in the side of an outbuilding at the Carter House to a red brick factory with a tall, skinny chimney that produced Magic Chef stoves until 1959.

The 16-block historic downtown and three small residential districts that surround it won National Register of Historic Places status in 1975. It’s the kind of place where names on the slanting gray gravestones in the old cemeteries match the names of today’s prominent businessmen and local track and field stars. Maybe it doesn’t possess Savannah’s sultriness or the pedigree of Charleston, but the tea is just as sweet in the rolling hills of what the people around here call Middle Tennessee.

I never would have found Franklin if it weren’t for my sister, Lizzie. She moved here in 2009 with her family when her husband was hired as the head of the middle school at Battle Ground Academy, a private day school that was established in 1889. By now, I’ve visited often enough to see the place evolve and to witness the prosperity that is spilling over from Nashville’s boom times. Big corporations like Nissan have moved into the area, once a purely agricultural economy, bringing enough people and money to support a Whole Foods and tasteful new apartment complexes. And yet the place retains its small-town character — the population is barely over 66,000 — and a lovely old horse farm sprawls atop a hill overlooking the football field at the school.

Once, while the children were in school and Lizzie had the day off work as a nurse practitioner, we went rummaging around the Second Avenue antiques district, a “district” that’s the size of a postage stamp and spread among an old flour mill and a few houses that date from the early 1900s but draws an international clientele.

Among the stalls at the Franklin Antique Mall, opened some 30 years ago, you can find everything from a circa 1940s fat-man cookie jar and good Irish lace to a copper weather vane in the shape of a rooster and a cache of tarnished flatware, some of it sterling. Floors are uneven, ceilings are low, and there is plenty of mustiness, but in the warrens it’s possible to find a treasure. There, up on a high shelf, alongside a couple of wooden buckets, sat a dusty rose pitcher.

“Could I see that, please,” I said to the woman with reading glasses on a chain. “What, darlin’?” That pink pitcher, please. She brought it down, and lo, it was an authentic Russel Wright, from the early ’60s, which I could snap up long before it ended up at the nice new shops in Hudson and Rhinebeck and other bustling towns in the Hudson Valley in New York. The price was $50; I offered $25; the woman made a phone call; sold! for $30. (Later I found one of similar vintage on eBay for a starting bid of $79.95.) My sister was a little embarrassed by my haggling. “She’s visiting from New York City,” said Lizzie to the woman, who went to look for Bubble Wrap.

The flea market gold mine is about two blocks from the main square and four blocks from the Franklin Theater, the Art Deco cinema that’s the pride of Main Street. Only a few years ago, the 1937 building was just another small-town movie theater that had gone out of business, become an eyesore and put a damper on entrepreneurial spirit. But the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County — founded in 1967 and a major force in historic preservation — swooped in, rallied community support, bought the building and spearheaded an $8.7 million renovation. “We had to reinvent it, not just save it,” said Dan Hays, the former head of the International Bluegrass Music Association in Nashville and now director of the theater. It’s now a 300-seat theater with a full bar, and it screens classic films, hosts society events and books local acts, like Sheryl Crow. “A lot of talent lives in Williamson County. We wanted to take advantage of that,” Mr. Hays said. “And it’s spurring activity on Main Street. It’s that pixie dust that changes a community.”

The change is perfectly obvious at Frothy Monkey, a branch of the original coffeehouse in Nashville. Against a backdrop of repurposed wood, exposed pipes and sustainable practices, in a converted house across from the First United Methodist Church, the late-morning crowd reveals a creative class that’s migrated into town. Small groups hatch plans over carrot muffins, a young couple sports footwear from Isabel Marant and Yohji Yamamoto, students from the local O’More College of Design get Americanos to go, and parties of one hunch over MacBooks.

“It’s the perfect life out here,” said John Hermann, the drummer from Widespread Panic who moved from New York (with a stop in Oxford, Miss.) years ago and is raising a family here. “People are friendly. ­People have time,” he said. “And everybody’s a songwriter. The way I meet a songwriter is when my furnace goes out. The Terminix guy, he’s a songwriter.”

Of course, there are some who have quit their day jobs. Plenty of the big names who play in Nashville live in Franklin, some out toward Leiper’s Fork. It’s worth taking the 15-minute drive to the village where older folks in Carhartt meet for lunch at the Country Boy Restaurant, and the original Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant sits behind a single gas pump in all its ramshackle glory.

Leiper’s Fork would be a complete time warp except for the housewares shop that sells antique dish cupboards for $1,295, the David Arms Gallery in a converted barn, and the sophisticated security systems of the secluded estates all around. A refugee from New York bought a farm there and now features its fruits at Joe Natural’s Farm Store and Cafe.

A few weeks ago, as I was heading back to have dinner with my niece and nephew in Franklin, I took a back road through countryside reminiscent of an English landscape, with cows and streams and stone walls and clouds skimming the tops of the trees. Oh beautiful, for spacious skies, as the song goes.

IF YOU GO

WHERE TO EAT

Frothy Monkey, 125 Fifth Avenue South; 615-465-6279; frothymonkey.com.

Cork & Cow, 403 Main Street; 615-538-6021; corkandcow­.com. Open for dinner.

Dotson’s Restaurant, 99 East Main Street; 615-794-2805. An old-school meat-and-three with first-rate fried chicken.

Gray’s on Main, 332 Main Street; 615-435-3603; graysonmain­.com. A gastro pub in a recently rehabbed old pharmacy that’s good for lunch and has music at night (plus a private club on the top floor).

WHERE TO STAY

In the sprawl, there are any number of chain hotels, from Marriott to Drury. For a more local flavor, try the Jefferson House, from about 1900, in the historic district, with three bedrooms and a leafy garden; from $200 per night with a two-night minimum; 615-281-0401; vrbo.com/3495690ha.

In Leiper’s Fork, set up at Brigadoon, an enchanted little house built in 1885, appointed with an assured style that might stop Ralph Lauren in his riding boots. It’s comfortable for four; weekend rate, starting Thursday, is $250 per night, plus a $125 cleaning fee; 615-281-0401; vrbo.com/337233.

WHAT TO DO

The historic downtown is compact and best seen on foot. At the visitors’ center on Fourth Avenue North, just off Main Street, pick up a map that covers the town in six walking routes, divided into themes like Historic Homes and Haunts & Headstones. (There’s also an app — and loaner iPads.) For something more bucolic, explore the trails of Harlinsdale Farm, a former Tennessee Walking Horse compound that’s now a public park.

The Brooklyn Flea has nothing on Franklin’s antiques district at Second Avenue South and South Margin Street. Haven (343 Main Street, sanctuaryofstyle­.com) sells Helmut Lang trousers and books from Assouline out of an old grocery with original wooden elevator; French’s Boots & Shoes (328 Fifth Avenue North; frenchsbootsandshoes.com) has the latest cowboy boots and secondhand Uggs. Rare Prints Gallery (420 Main Street; rareprintsgallery.com) is as much museum as retailer of old engravings.

The Civil War sites — the Carter House, Lotz House and Carnton Plantation — are eerie reminders of the Battle of Franklin in 1864, one of the bloodiest of the war. The guided tours take time, but you can get admission to all three for $30; carnton.org.

A version of this article appears in print on October 26, 2014, on page TR4 of the New York edition with the headline: A Small-Town Gem Near Nashville.


Celebrate Pumpkinfest At Our Ribbon Cutting!

Pumpkinfest-155

One of the most anticipated Middle Tennessee events of the fall season is just around the corner: the 31st annual Pumpkinfest returns this Saturday, from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m., bringing a full day of free entertainment to families in the area.

Presented by the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County, the festival will stretch along downtown Franklin’s Main Street from First to Fifth Avenues, and will also include portions of Third and Fourth Avenues. Attendees can expect a day of live music and dancing, costume contests, more than 80 arts and crafts booths, a Franklin Tomorrow chili cook-off, pumpkin carving and much more.

Prior to the festival, the Foundation will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony beginning at the City Hall stage at 9:45 a.m., where local members, event organizers and city officials will recognize the importance of the festival to the downtown Franklin community—as well as the sponsors who have made the 31st event happen.

Josh Denton, Heritage Foundation board member and co-chair of the 31st Annual Pumpkinfest with his wife Susan, says that the value of the free event lies in its family-centered fun.

“This festival is a wonderful opportunity to showcase historic Franklin and all that it has to offer — especially during such a beautiful time of the year,” Denton said. “It’s great to be able to give back to the community by offering a fantastic—and free—experience for families throughout Middle Tennessee.”

Sponsors for the 2014 Pumpkinfest include Bethel University; Gullett Sanford Robinson & Martin, Attorneys at Law; Monroe Carrel Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt; Williamson Medical Center; Hyundai
Leaf Filter;
Patterson Company; The People’s Church; Children’s and Adolescent Dentistry of Franklin School of Rock; Schroder Chiropractic; Bob Parks Realty; City of Franklin; and the Downtown Franklin Association (DFA).

For more information about costume contests and the entertainment schedule, visit www.historicfranklin.com or call 615-591-8500.

Who: Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County

What: 31st Annual Pumpkinfest ribbon cutting

When: Saturday, Oct. 25; 9:45 a.m.

Where: City Hall Stage

The Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County and its division, the Downtown Franklin Association, produce Pumpkinfest each October. The annual festival is just one of the many activities presented by the non-profit group, which was founded in 1967 to protect and preserve Williamson County’s historic, architectural and geographic resources. 


NEWS RELEASE

Dickens of a Christmas
Historic Downtown Franklin
Saturday & Sunday, December 14-15, 2013
Dickens of a Christmas brings entertaining weekend to Historic Downtown Franklin

It’s a 29-year holiday tradition in Historic Downtown Franklin on the second weekend in December to travel back in time about 150 years to a Main Street from the time of Charles Dickens, and the tradition continues this year Dec. 14-15, 2013, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Dickens of a Christmas is a free street festival, is open to the public, and is expected to attract some 50,000 visitors over the weekend.
Presented by Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant and Alexander Automotive and produced by the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County and Downtown Franklin Association, Dickens of a Christmas is a Top 20 event in the Southeast, designated by the Southeastern Tourism Society.
More than 250 volunteers participate in the event as characters from Dickens’ stories, vendors or street performers. Show up any time over the course of the weekend, and you’re sure to meet Ebenezer Scrooge, his unfortunate partner Marley (the ghost in chains), little Tiny Tim Cratchit and his family, and many more, including Father Christmas.
In addition to more than two dozen street performers, there are many scheduled performances throughout the event, including:
City Hall Stage Schedule
Saturday
10:00 a.m. – Classic Country Christmas – “Marty Crum Band”
11:00 a.m. – Southern Academy of Irish Dance
Noon – West Meade Baptist Church, Decatur, AL
1:00 p.m. – Christmas Brass Choir – “Opry Brass Band”
2:00 p.m. – Franklin High School Choral Group
3:00 p.m. – Harpeth Suzuki Strings
4:00 p.m. – Vintage Vocals

Sunday
Noon – Smooth Jazz Christmas Classics “Poinsettia”
1:00 p.m. – Harpeth Suzuki Strings
2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. – Franklin High Choral Group
3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. – Williamson County Youth Orchestra
4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. – The Arts Place
5:00 – Town Sing Lead by Jean Thomason & The Vintage Vocals
Five Points Schedule
Saturday
Noon to 2 p.m. – Clearview Baptist church Handbell Choir
4 p.m. – Franklin High School Chorus
Sunday
1 p.m.-3 p.m. – Clearview Baptist Church Handbell Choir
4 p.m. – Franklin High School Chorus
Fourth & Main Schedule
1:00 p.m. – Flat Creek Community Contra Dancers under the direction of Ms. Chrissy Davis Camp.
2:30 p.m. – Bell Buckle Morris Dancers under the direction of Miss Anna Claire Camp, featuring authentic Cornish sword and stick dances.
3:30 p.m. – Flat Creek Community Contra Dancers under the direction of Ms. Chrissy Davis Camp.
Other activities include:
• Horse-drawn carriage rides around the Public Square for $2 per person.
• A holiday bazaar arts & crafts area encircles Franklin’s charming Public Square.
• Dancers and street musicians on Main Street throughout the event. Violinists, hand bell choirs, harpists, carolers and even a water harmonica player all add to the entertaining street scene.
• Costumed characters from Dickens’ stories interacting with visitors on the street. Scrooge bellows his “Bah! Humbug” while the Cratchit Family parades the streets with Tiny Tim. Ghosts of Christmas Past and Future make regular appearances. Urchins under the direction of the nefarious Fagin from Dicken’s Oliver pester English Bobbies (who are actually Franklin Police Officers on duty in costume). Father and Mother Christmas delight children.
• Victorian treats abound, from authentic fish ‘n’ chips to turkey legs, roasted nuts, kettle corn, roasted corn, roasted pork, sausages and sugar plums.
• Everyone is invited to join the Town Sing starting at the Public Square at 4:30 p.m. Sunday with candles ($1 donation requested) and song sheets.
Dickens of a Christmas is free and open to the public, presented by The Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County and its division, the Downtown Franklin Association, which seeks to protect and preserve the architectural, geographic and cultural heritage of Franklin and Williamson County and to promote the ongoing economic revitalization of downtown Franklin in the context of historic preservation.
Getting there: From Interstate 65, take Exit 65 and head west toward Franklin for three miles on Highway 96/Murfreesboro Road/Third Avenue South, which runs into the Public Square at the heart of the festival. Turn right or left at Church Street as you approach the Square to access either of the two free parking garages on Fourth Avenue South or Second Avenue South. Additional on-street free parking is available.


Dickens of a Christmas – Saturday & Sunday, December 14-15, 2013
Dickens of a Christmas brings entertaining weekend to Historic Downtown Franklin
It’s a 29-year holiday tradition in Historic Downtown Franklin on the second weekend in December to travel back in time about 150 years to a Main Street from the time of Charles Dickens, and the tradition continues this year Dec. 14-15, 2013, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Dickens of a Christmas is a free street festival, is open to the public, and is expected to attract some 50,000 visitors over the weekend.
More than 250 volunteers participate in the event as characters from Dickens’ stories, vendors or street performers. Show up any time over the course of the weekend, and you’re sure to meet Ebenezer Scrooge, his unfortunate partner Marley (the ghost in chains), little Tiny Tim Cratchit and his family, and many more, including Father Christmas.
Anyone is invited to join the fun by showing up in costume and engaging with the characters on the street, or just come as you are and enjoy a beautifully preserved Main Street with more than 70 unique shopping and dining destinations in the 15-block National Register Historic District.
Activities include:
• Horse-drawn carriage rides around the Public Square for $2 per person.
• A holiday bazaar arts & crafts area encircles Franklin’s charming Public Square.
• Dancers and street musicians on Main Street throughout the event. Violinists, hand bell choirs, harpists, carolers and even a water harmonica player all add to the entertaining street scene.
• Costumed characters from Dickens’ stories interacting with visitors on the street. Scrooge bellows his “Bah! Humbug” while the Cratchit Family parades the streets with Tiny Tim. Ghosts of Christmas Past and Future make regular appearances. Urchins under the direction of the nefarious Fagin from Dicken’s Oliver pester English Bobbies (who are actually Franklin Police Officers on duty in costume). Father and Mother Christmas delight children.
• Victorian treats abound, from authentic fish ‘n’ chips to turkey legs, roasted nuts, kettle corn, roasted corn, roasted pork, sausages and sugar plums.
• Everyone is invited to join the Town Sing starting at the Public Square at 4:30 p.m. Sunday with candles ($1 donation requested) and song sheets.
Dickens of a Christmas is free and open to the public, presented by The Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County and its division, the Downtown Franklin Association, which seeks to protect and preserve the architectural, geographic and cultural heritage of Franklin and Williamson County and to promote the ongoing economic revitalization of downtown Franklin in the context of historic preservation.
Getting there: From Interstate 65, take Exit 65 and head west toward Franklin for three miles on Highway 96/Murfreesboro Road/Third Avenue South, which runs into the Public Square at the heart of the festival. Turn right or left at Church Street as you approach the Square to access either of the two free parking garages on Fourth Avenue South or Second Avenue South. Additional on-street free parking is available.


30th Annual Pumpkinfest
Fills Franklin’s Main Street Saturday, Oct. 26

FRANKLIN, Tenn.—Historic Downtown Franklin hosts one of the community’s favorite street festivals Saturday, Oct. 26, with the 30th annual Pumpkinfest from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on five blocks of Main Street.

Presented by Bank of America, Pumpkinfest includes stages at Five Points and the Public Square, costume contests, continous entertainment on two stages, a chili cook-off, arts and crafts and some new fall activities this year.

“Pumpkinfest is a great day to enjoy Main Street,” said Downtown Franklin Association President Bob Roethemeyer, who owns the shop Avec Moi on Main Street. “This year, downtown merchants are adding a scarecrow contest to add to the fun. You’ll see the scarecrows up around downtown Franklin in advance of the event and the public will have a chance to vote on their favorites. Fall is really a great time to enjoy America’s favorite Main Street.”

Other activities of Pumpkinfest include:
• More than 75 arts and crafts booths will feature handcrafted fall and holiday items. Booths will be set up and open from the Public Square and East Main Street to First Avenue from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.
• Children’s activities will include pumpkin painting, free games with small prizes offered by several local non-profits, inflatables, pony rides and a petting zoo, games and more.
• Two stages will offer continuous entertainment from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• The Franklin Tomorrow Chili Cook-off will feature 12 teams competing in the 11th annual contest. A $10 ticket includes 12 samples from local teams. The tent is at Third Avenue South, between City Hall and the Courthouse, and they’ll be serving from 11 a.m. to about 3 p.m. or as long as the chili lasts.
• Children, adults and even pets can compete in five categories during the annual costume contest on the Public Square. The categories are: pets; children, ages 0-2; 3-5; 6-11 and 12+. The entry fee is $2, and sign-up is next to the stage in front of City Hall, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There is a maximum of 50 contestants in each category. Contestants must be entered and present at the stage on the Public Square by 3 p.m. to participate. Competition starts at 3 p.m. and concludes by 4 p.m.
• For some spooky fun, tours of downtown Franklin’s two historic cemeteries on North Margin Street (two blocks from Main Street) will be offered from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday evening. In “Grave Matters: Stories Behind the Stones,” costumed actors relay fascinating stories of the cemeteries’ inhabitants. Tickets are $15 for ages 14 and up, and $5 for ages 7 to 13. Tickets may be purchased at www.franklinonfoot.com, at the Heritage Foundation office at 134 Second Avenue North or at the gate the night of the event.
Here’s the stage line-up for the 30th annual Pumpkinfest:
City Hall Stage
9:50 a.m. Opening Ceremony
10:00 a.m. Southern Academy of Irish Dance
11:00 a.m. Tennessee Dance Arts Conservatory
Noon Franklin School of Performing Arts
1:00p.m. Prima Performance
2:30 p.m. Tommy Jackson’s “Rocky Top Revue”
2:00 p.m. Ann Carroll School of Dance & Columbia State
3:00 p.m. Costume Contest
4:00 p.m. Tommy Jackson “Rocky Top Revue”
5:15 p.m. Nashville’s Country Swing Allstar’s
6 p.m. Festival concludes

5 Points Stage
10 :00 a.m. Dixie Strutters
11:20 a.m. Johnny Campbell & The Bluegrass Drifters
12:30p.m. Fiddle Frenzy
1:20p.m. 2 Country 4 Nashville
2:30p.m. Annabelle’s Curse
3:45p.m. John England & the Western Swingers
5:00p.m. Diamond Hitch

Now in its 30th year, the annual fall event is produced by the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County and its division, the Downtown Franklin Association. Pumpkinfest is presented by Bank of America, the City of Franklin, Williamson Medical Center, Vanderbilt, Fox 17, Williamson A.M./The Tennessean, and Clear Channel Radio.

Pumpkinfest is a free event, except for special activities as noted. For more information please call 615-591-8500 or visit www.historicfranklin.com or www.downtownfranklintn.com.


It’s Art Scene Friday

— More than 30 galleries and working studios in downtown Franklin open their doors the first Friday evening of every month for Franklin’s very own art crawl.  Friday, June 7, is Art Scene Friday! Come experience a sweeping variety of magnificent work, from blown glass to turned wood to mixed media and more from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Begin at any participating location! The event is free, but a $5 unlimited trolley ticket runs all night to take guests from spot to spot. Many of the locations serve complimentary wine and hors d’ouevres and are within walking distance.

 


TOWN & COUNTRY TOUR OF HOMES BOASTS NINE MUST-SEE PROPERTIES

Annual Event Acts as Important Fundraiser, Educational Tool for Heritage Foundation

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – In early June, local residents open their doors to host the Town & Country Tour of Homes—a fundraiser for the non-profit Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County that underscores the importance of historic preservation. This year’s 38th annual event, to be held June 1 and 2, includes nine properties that encompass the community’s dedication to protecting the architectural and cultural resources of the surrounding area. Tickets are available through www.HistoricFranklin.com or by calling 615.591.8500, Ext. 18.

The homes and businesses on this year’s tour will showcase architectural styles of the 19th and early 20th centuries, as well as modern interpretations of Federal, Victorian and French Country-style homes in a newer neighborhood. Heritage Foundation Membership and Development Director Kristy Williams says that while everyone loves the historic homes, the new builds are always a welcome and eye-opening aspect to the tour.

“Most of our featured properties have either been exceptionally preserved or rehabilitated,” said Williams, who coordinates the event. “But we’re also featuring three contemporary homes, an always-fun addition to the tour.

“It’s a valuable component for the Heritage Foundation, because it gives homeowners a tangible look at how a new build can respect its geographical heritage. It really serves as an educational tool for the organization.”

Each of the modern homes is located in Westhaven, a community that was purposefully designed to mimic the character and charm of downtown Franklin. The trio offers a bevy of warm interior design ideas that complement the differing architectural styles.

The six additional properties on the tour represent both the “town” and “country” parts of the tour, from the historic village of Leiper’s Fork to homes just off of Franklin’s Public Square. Tour destinations include:

• The ca. 1849 Pleasant View Farm—better known locally as Gentry Farm—in the countryside on Highway 96 West has been in the same family since 1849. The farm encompasses nearly 400 acres, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

• In addition to the 1869 home place, the early 1800s Gentry’s Farm Log Cabin on the farm will be open to the public. The historic property was moved from an area near Goodlettsville, Tenn., 25 years ago; each log was numbered and reconstructed exactly as found. The structure was originally built nearly 200 years ago and is a double-pen, one-and-half-story log home with a dogtrot typical to early Middle Tennessee log homes.

• The early 1900s Leiper’s Fork Inn, just down the road from the Westhaven community. Two 100-year-old cottages were rescued and moved to the Leiper’s Fork village, and combined to create a bed-and-breakfast that celebrates the structure’s architectural heritage.

• A ca. 1910 Southern Colonial Revival home on 2nd Avenue South, today home to company Outdoor Classic Structures, a design-build firm with a studio that focuses on non-climatized areas and outdoor construction. The quaint corner cottage features stunning gardens surrounding this tiny treasure and is a contributing property to downtown Franklin’s National Register District.

• The Historic Reynolds Bungalow, built in 1915, on South Margin Street originally served as a boarding house for Battle Ground Academy students. The modified craftsman home was completely restored as a LEED-certified, environmentally sustainable home.

• Ty’s House, the unique Second Empire-style residential structure on Mt. Hope Street, was recently renovated to preserve the ca. 1905 home. The Mount Hope Perpetual Care Association (the adjacent cemetery’s non-profit organization) and Hard Bargain Association (HBA) took great care to save the fish-scale gable detailing and extensively rehabilitated the property, which now serves as a community center and office for HBA.

• In Westhaven, Paul Huff of Stonegate Homes constructed a French Country-style home that lends a casual cottage feel. Just around the corner in the neighborhood, participants will walk through a two-story Federal-style home, representative of the stately simplicity found in the earliest home still standing in Downtown Franklin. While still in Westhaven, the public will get a look into a Victorian Italianate-style home on Stonewater Boulevard. This popular version of Victorian-era architecture is also seen throughout the Historic Downtown Franklin commercial district.

Downtown Franklin resident Marti Veto is the chair of the 38th Annual Town & Country Tour of Homes, presented by Bob Parks Realty. Tickets are $30 each before the tour, and $35 on the days of the tour. Tickets may be purchased at any of the sites during the tour, online at www.historicfranklin.com or by calling Williams at (615) 591-8500 x18.

Since 1967, the not-for-profit Heritage Foundation’s mission has been to protect and preserve the architectural, geographic and cultural heritage of Franklin and Williamson County, and to promote the ongoing economic revitalization of downtown Franklin in the context of historic preservation.

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