Distillery resumes tastings in Lynchburg

Master Distiller Jeff Arnett walks visitors through recognizing a whiskey’s color at a recent tasting. Tastings resumed at the distillery on July 27 but with limited capacity. {Photo Courtesy of Jack Daniel’s Distillery}

On Monday, via their corporate website, Jack Daniel’s Distillery’s Visitor’s Center announced that they planned to resume the Jack Daniel tasting experience effective immediately … but with some social distancing measures. The tasting experience is available seven days a week and will be limited to 10 individuals per tasting. Masks are required.

Miss Mary Bobo’s is now open from Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Guests will dine at smaller tables and reservations are required. But you’ll still get amazing southern food with a side of local history.

The Visitor’s Center re-opened on July 1 for self-guided access. The White Rabbit Bottle Shop is also now open Thursday through Monday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The lower level of Lyncburg Hardware & General Store is also re-opened with limited capacity and all customers are required to wear masks.

On March 16, Jack Daniel closed all tours due to COVID-19 concerns. Tours remain unavailable. For more information, call 888-551-5225 or visit their website by clicking here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Tennesseans now get discount at state parks

Need a break? Spend the night in one of Tennessee’s 56 state parks, including nearby Tims Ford, and get a discount as a Tennessee resident. {Photo Provided}

In March 2020, the world changed for most of us. Suddenly social distancing, quarantine, masks, and sanitizer became part of our daily lexicon. As the COVID-19 global pandemic forced many inside, others continue to look for ways to connect outdoors. It’s in that spirit that the Tennessee State Parks system decided to offer a new discount specifically for Tennessee residents.

On Wednesday, they announced a 10 percent Tennessee Resident Discount meant to encourage spending the night outdoors while making it more affordable. Tennessee is already just one of six U.S. states who do not charge an admission fee at state-sponsored parks.

“Our hope is that all Tennesseans – especially young adults, new residents, families with small kids, and price-sensitive travelers – will get outside and discover the beauty and wonder of your state parks,” said Deputy Commissioner of Parks and Conservation Jim Bryson. 

The discount is available to reserve a campsite, cabin, or lodge room at any Tennessee State Park including Tims Ford, Old Stone Fort, South Cumberland, and Henry Horton. To reserve a spot at one of 56 state parks, contact them by phone at 800-471-5295 or by clicking here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Celebration will move forward despite COVID-19 concerns

The Celebration Board of Directors announced on Wednesday that this year’s event will take place with a few COVID-19 accommodations to keep fans safe. {Photo Credit Shane Shiflet via The Celebration}

SHELBYVILLE — Organizers say they plan to move ahead with the 82nd annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. Their board of director announced on Wednesday that they were in the process of finalizing plans for this year’s show slated to begin August 26.

Despite their intention to move forward, they will be making some changes to accommodate local, state, and federal COVID-19 guidelines. For example, if they prefer, box seat holders will be allowed to work with Celebration staff to move their seats to a less crowded area of the arena.

“The move will be a one-year temporary move and the customer will not lose the right to the original box they’ve previously had,” they stated. “Also, if the customer moves to a different location they will be refunded the difference in price if the new box is less expensive and charged the difference if the new box is more expensive than their original box.”

The Blue Ribbon Circle Club will continue this year but in a new, outside location in the front lawn of the current Blue Ribbon. Table tops inside the Blue Ribbon Circle Club will be spread out. Food selection may be limited and will no longer be self serve.

Due to COVID-19 guidelines, there will not be a corporate sponsors party this year. There will also not be any Celebration sponsored after-show parties or entertainment including live music.

“The board just didn’t feel comfortable with the current executive orders in place of having that many people in one confined location,” they said.

Individual barns can still have gatherings, food and normal customer entertainment but they won’t be allowed to bring in outside entertainment.

Also this year, organizers will require all entries to stable 48 hours prior to their performance. For more information about this year’s changes, visit The Celebration website bu clicking here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Moore County … covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, the Lynchburg Music Fest, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

7 Things To Do July 4 Weekend

All Weekend — Going to the drive in is as American as baseball or apple pie. Southern, middle Tennessee is lucky to have one of our very own located in Estill Springs. The Montana Drive In will show a couple of vintage flicks this weekend that are perfect for a little socially distanced fun. They’ll play Gremlins (1984, PG), Batman (1989, PG-13), Curse of la Llorona (2019, R), Nightmare on Elm Street (1984, R), The Jungle Book (2016, G), and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015, PG-13) this weekend. Click here for showtimes.

Friday — Oh hello grandmother … kick off July 4th weekend with the musical styling and overall entertaining DJ Dusty D at Hard Dock Cafe at Tims Ford Marina from 5:30-8:30 p.m.. He’s a local fourth grade school teacher and Jack Daniel’s tour guide who also spins a few mean tunes. You’ll have a good time … we promise.

Friday — A July 4th weekend shrimp boil? Yes please. The Mercantile Cafe offers a Friday night shrimp boil each first Friday of the month and in July that lines right up with the July 4th holiday. The Shrimp Boil starts at 5 p.m. and ends at 8 p.m. and take out is available. Click here for more info.

Friday — The River Bistro is one of the hidden gems in the southern, middle Tennessee dining scene. Nestled in quaint downtown Normandy, they offer seafood, pasta, steaks, as well as a meat and three lunch menu. On Friday night, they’ll host live music by Rosenthal + Fox. Seating is limited due to social distancing and reservations are highly recommend. Click here for more details.

Saturday — Pssst. Come here and we’ll tell you a secret. A certain Moore County resident throws a huge Independence Day bash each year complete with fireworks. Though it’s a private event, the fireworks rival anything that a surrounding county puts on. You can view them from anywhere near the intersection of Highway 129 and Highway 55 on Saturday starting around sundown.

Saturday — There may not be a Frontier Days celebration this year but one Moore County tradition lives on. The Metro Volunteer Firefighters will be on the Lynchburg Square on Saturday with their famous roasted corn from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. They will offer corn for a donation and all proceeds will go to Moore County-based non-profits.

Saturday — July 4th and fireworks go hand-in-hand. Drafts and Watercrafts Restaurant at Twin Creeks will host their annual Light Over the Lake event on Saturday at 9 p.m. Seats at the restaurant will be available via reservation only. Call 931-201-5516 to reserve your spot. Even if you don’t snag a spot, the fireworks will be visible at both the Dry Creek Boat Ramp and the Winchester Bass Club area. Click here for more information.

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Moore County … covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, the Lynchburg Musict Fest, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Photo Contest: Donate your nature photos to friends of area state park

Take a recent picture of spring flowers, waterfalls, or other scenic views at South Cumberland State Park? Donate them to a great cause and become low key famous in their recent photo contest. {File Photo}

GRUNDY COUNTY — Area photographers are invited to submit their most picturesque photos of the South Cumberland State Park (SCSP) to the annual Picture the Park photo contest sponsored by the Friends of South Cumberland (FOSC).

Winners will be named in several categories, and the photos will be used on the Friends’ website, in printed literature, in physical products offered in exchange for donations to the Friends, or to sell in order to raise money for projects facilitated for the SCSP.

Categories include moving water, wildflowers in the park, rock climbing, hiking, scenic vistas, and more. For a complete categories list, click here.

“By entering our contest and donating your photos to the Friends, you’ll help us tell the amazing story of the park and receive much-deserved recognition for your photographic talents,” said Friends board member Rick Dreves.

Deadline to submit photos is midnight on Sept. 13. More information, submission requirements and categories are available by clicking here.

 FOSC is a group of volunteer citizens dedicated to supporting the SCSP, which, at 30,837 acres, is the state’s largest. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit membership corporation, funding for the Friends is derived from individual and corporate memberships and from private donations. Visit the website to learn more. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Jack re-opens Visitors Center but no tours yet

According to Jack Daniel’s officials, the Visitor Center, White Rabbit Bottle Shop, and Lynchburg Hardware and General Store have “soft” opened but the distillery isn’t yet offering tours or tastings. Miss Mary Bobo’s will also remain closed for now. {Photo Provided}

You may or may not have noticed this week that the Lynchburg Hardware and General Store on the square has re-opened with social distancing in mind. Signs are posted stating that folks should stand “two barrels apart” and that the maximum capacity for shoppers inside at one time is 20 people.

According to distillery officials, Jack Daniel’s plans to “soft open” some facilities but will not re-open to tours and tastings just yet. The Jack Daniel Visitor Center, White Rabbit Bottle Shop, and Lynchburg Hardware and General Store are all open to the public. Miss Mary Bobo’s Restaurant will remained closed until tours resume.

“Clearly, the health and safety of our employees and visitors is our primary concern.  There are a number of steps that have been taken to ensure a safe visit for our friends including limiting the number of people in the facilities at one time, increased sanitation efforts to meet and exceed safety guidelines, and other activities,” one official told us. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

TWRA: Stop littering state parks

Keep Tennessee Beautiful, that’s what state wildlife officials are shouting to the rooftops as more and more litter shows up in state public wildlife areas and state parks.

Since social distancing became the norm back in March, more and more folks are flocking to fishing areas, hiking trails, and camping sites throughout Tennessee. Locally, the parking lots at both Short Springs State Natural Area, South Cumberland State Park, and Tims Ford State Park stay full. Some tourism experts estimate that traffic is up in state parks by as much as 30 percent.

trash at South Cumberland
Earlier this week, the Tennessee State Park Facebook page posted these pictures of trash left at South Cumberland State Park. {Photo Provided}

And some of these folks aren’t being very good guests.

“People are parking in undesignated areas, littering, vandalizing, going off trail, injuring themselves, etc.,” they said in their FB post.

“Our mission is to preserve and protect these natural, cultural and historic places. We need our visitors to help us take care of these lands so that present and future generations can enjoy them.”

State Park officials remind visitors that most parks have re-opened but with occupancy and usage limits. If you arrive in an area experiencing high visitation with no available parking, state park officials ask that you find another destination for your outing or come back at a different time. Officials also remind guest never to park along the shoulder of roads – as this is dangerous and destroys the grounds. If you are hiking, always stay on the designated trail.

For a complete list of Tennessee State Park rules and regulations, click here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

7 Things To Do This Weekend

Saturday is the first day of summer and so it is with great excitement that The Lynchburg Times relaunches one of its favorite weekly features, Seven Things. We’ve searched hundreds of websites and social media page so you don’t have to. These are our seven favorite things happening in middle Tennessee this weekend. Enjoy and remember to maintain social distancing

1 | Adopt a Beehive at Tims Ford State Park — Did you know that Tims Ford State Park in Franklin County sells its own locally-produced honey? It’s true. Park officials recently installed two honeybee hives and locals can adopt either a single bee, a colony, or the complete hive. Learn more by clicking here.

2 | Dirty Dancing and Footloose at the Montana — Thursday is the last day to see a pair of iconic 80’s films at the local drive in. Dirty Dancing will begin at 8:30 p.m. on June 18 and Footloose will follow at 10:25 p.m. The Montana Drive In is located at 10251 Tullahoma Highway. To read our complete coverage on this event, click here.

3 | Free Screening of My Friend Karl — Did you know that Tullahoma boasts it’s very own documentary film maker? Tullahoma High School student and filmmaker Colin Shuran recently finished his first, feature-length documentary – a film title, My Friend Karl – and you can watch it for free, under the stars on Friday, June 19 around dusk at the South Jackson Civic Center. The film tells the story an unlikely friendship through the lens of mental illness, homelessness, and advocacy. It’s a great teaching film for all ages.

4 | DJ Dusty at the Hard Dock Cafe — Oh, hello grandmother? We’re not sure where this catch phrase came from exactly but if you are from around here you know exactly who it belongs to. He’s a Lynchburg Elementary School teacher, a Jack Daniel’s tour guide, and a one-of-a-kind personality. He also happens to be a fabulous DJ who will keep you smiling and dancing all night. He’ll be at the Hard Dock Cafe at Tims Ford Marina beginning at 6 PM on Saturday.

5 | Hike to Horsepound Falls — Saturday marks the first day of summer and the perfect day for a hike. South Cumberland State Park officials plan an organized hike to Horsepound Falls on Saturday, June 20. You’ll experience two falls, a creek, and maybe if you are lucky the tailend of the spring wildflowers. Read our complete coverage by clicking here.

6 | Watrace Summer Concert Series — Live music outside by the historic railroad tracks? Yes please. On Saturday, June 19 head into this charming, historic railroad town for the Wartrace MusicFest Summer Concert series. It happens every third Saturday at 6 p.m. and features live music, shopping, craft beer and pizza from the Iron Pizzeria. Saturday’s line up includes Goodbye June, Kiss Kiss Bang, The Blue Trees, The Cold Stares, Sweet Fever, and Fred Reilly.

7 | Acoustic Jam at Tims Ford State Park — Some nights you’re a picker and other nights you’re a grinner. On Saturday, June 20 you can be either at the All Acoustic Open Jam Night hosted by David Watson Music. The music starts at 5: 30 p.m. at the state park’s Recreation Building and it’s open to musicians of all levels and abilities. To learn more, click here.

The Caverns now offers cave tours

Fog clings to the entrance of The Cavern on a recent chilly morning. The popular music venue will begin offering cave tours to the general public on July 4. {Photo Courtesy of The Caverns}

PELHAM — It’s the subterranean wonder of southern, middle Tennessee and a music venue of national interest … now locals can also enjoy guided walking tours of The Caverns beginning July 4.

Nestled at the foot of Monteagle Mountain in Pelham, The Caverns blend two signature Tennessee features – beautiful, scenic nature and live music. Not only are they the home of the PBS series Bluegrass Underground but also big names from Brandi Carlile to Kathy Mattea and Steve Earle have graced their one-of-a-kind stage.

During the new walking tours, guests will explore the natural acoustics and otherworldly beauty of the subterranean amphitheater and also get a behind-the-scenes view of the music venue. Guides will discuss the unique history of Grundy County, the geology of the cave science that formed the venue, as well as local myths and lore surrounding the spot. Tours will end in a the ultimate selfie photo op … front and center on The Caverns iconic stage.

Due to a couple of steep hills, the walking tour is rated moderate and it is not handicapped accessible. Tours will happen from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the hour beginning Saturday, July 4. For thrill seekers, there is also an Adventure Cave Tour led by experienced cavers that explores the deeper areas of the cave system.

For more information, or to book a tour visit The Caverns website. For regular updates about upcoming shows, visit their Facebook page.

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Prichard’s Distillery re-opens for tours, tastings

{Editor’s Note: Since we are the unofficial whiskey capital of the South. Each Whiskey Wednesday we bring you headlines from not only Jack Daniel Distillery but also other distilleries in both southern, middle Tennessee and the state. Cheers!}

Bottles of Prichard’s Fine Rum roll off the line at the Kelso distillery. It recently re-opened for both tours and tastings. {Photo Courtesy of Prichard’s}

KELSO — At least one local distillery is now re-open to tours, tastings, and shopping. Prichard’s Distillery in Kelso recently announced that they would re-open but with social distancing measures in place.

Staff will wear face masks and gloves during all tastings and visitors will be asked to maintain six feet apart while onsite. Tours will also be limited to eight or less at any one time. Tours are now available from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturdays.

Prichard’s Distillery is located at 11 Kelso-Smithland Road. For more information, contact them at 931-433-5454 or check out their website or Facebook page. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}