Knoxville, TN– As the city commemorates its 225th anniversary, over 1,200 school children from throughout the city schools will converge on Morningside Park for a picnic Friday to interact with living historians as well as local legends and city mascots. Area fourth, fifth, and eighth graders will take a trip back in time to learn about Knoxville’s vibrant 225-year history at area museums and historic sites. For over two hours, local historians, interpreters, and scholars will conduct educational programs and tours to connect the student to the city’s rich and varied cultural and historical resources.

Students will receive a first-hand exploration of the history that links with the subject matter being taught to them in the classroom. These programs will reinforce the content they learn in school while bringing to life the artifacts, structures, and individuals that populated Knoxville’s past. Once students finish at their assigned site, they all will be bussed over to Morningside Park for a living history picnic where they will enjoy lunch overlooking the Tennessee River and conversing with frontiersmen, Revolutionaries, historic artisans, Civil War soldiers, and even the Knoxville Ice Bears’ Chilly.

Sponsored by Visit Knoxville and the participating sites and museums, the programs are a part of the Founders Day Weekend celebrating not only those who established the city, but also the various women and men who contributed to city’s vivid and surprising history. By visiting some of the city’s most precious properties including Blount Mansion, Crescent Bend House & Gardens, Museum of East Tennessee History, Forts Dickerson and Higley, Historic Ramsey House, James White’s Fort, Mabry-Hazen House, Marble Springs, McClung Museum, Old Gray Cemetery, Tennessee Theater, and Zoo Knoxville, the organizations seek to promote the area’s historic sites and museums to the next generation and educate the students through the power of direct connections with the city’s valuable cultural and historical resources.

Touring each site, students will be prompted to ask questions about it, think about the ways Knoxville has evolved and changed over two centuries, and challenged to ponder the future of the city as it moves forward into the twenty-first century. At the living history picnic afterwards, informal programs will allow opportunities for the school children to independently inquire about Knoxville’s history and intimately interact with living historians and their historic impression. The picnic will occur from approximately noon until 1:45 pm.

Knoxville’s 225th Anniversary celebration will bring students to Morningside Park on Friday, September 30 for a living history picnic. There students will eat lunch and interact with living historians and local legends and mascots. Before arriving at Morningside, the students will visit and tour historic sites and museums and participate in educational programs from 9:00am until 11:30am.

Contact Calvin Chappelle for more information