News from the Tennessee Valley Living Today

Scott Mullen from Lexington, Tenn., was one of the fastest in calf roping with a time of 9.2 seconds at 2005's Limestone County Sheriff's Rodeo.
Daily file photo by Dan Henry
Scott Mullen from Lexington, Tenn., was one of the fastest in calf roping with a time of 9.2 seconds at 2005's Limestone County Sheriff's Rodeo.

Cowboys, knights, soldiers ... oh my!
Join in the fun this April,
May in Limestone

By Holly Hollman · 340-2445

LIMESTONE COUNTY — Don't bother with heading to England to watch knights fencing.

Don't invent a time machine to see a Civil War soldier.

Forget about trekking out West to meet a cowboy or cowgirl.

Just visit Limestone County in April and May. This time of year folks can collide not only with knights, soldiers, cowboys and cowgirls, but also country music singers and motorcycle riders.

That's due to the bounty of annual events and special programs slated for the spring.

"No matter what you're looking for, Limestone County has it all," said tourism director Jeanette Rich. "And the beautiful weather makes it a perfect place for outside activities."

The Dogwood Festival, Ardmore Renaissance Faire and Limestone Sheriff's Rodeo are popular yearly favorites.

Still, if enjoying the white and pink dogwood blooms blanketing the Athens square, or dressing in Medieval attire, or watching bulls fling cowboys off their backs isn't of interest, don't despair.

Spend a day at a hawg rally, Ty Herndon concert, old-fashioned barbecue or Civil War events.

"Once I get started telling about all the things to do here, there's just not a good place to stop," Rich said.

Just stop in Limestone County.

There's no telling who else will be here.

The 2006 Hawg House Rally in Athens.
Daily file photo by Gary Cosby Jr.
The 2006 Hawg House Rally in Athens.

Trail events


Wildflowers of the Trail, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Rails-to-Trails in Elkmont, free.

Bring a camera. Trail follows abandoned CSX railroad and goes by historic areas.


Fifth annual Betterliving Hawg House Rally, registration 8-9:30 a.m. with 10 a.m. departure, Betterliving Patio Rooms at 503 S. Jefferson St., Athens, $10 per rider and $10 per passenger.

Will ride the Limestone Two-Wheel Trail and have chicken stew and Sun-Drop at ride’s end. Proceeds benefit the trail designed for motorcycles and bicycles.


Horse Day, 9 a.m. until, Rails-to-Trail in Elkmont, free.

Ride the trail that follows an abandoned CSX railroad and goes by historic areas to the Tennessee state line.

Emma Holland, 5, with her decorated bike at the 2006 Do Da Parade in downtown Athens.
Daily file photo by Emily Saunders
Emma Holland, 5, with her decorated bike at the 2006 Do Da Parade in downtown Athens.

Dogwood Festival


Do Da Parade, 9:30 a.m., Big Spring Park.

Children decorate tricycles, bicycles, wagons and motorized vehicles and parade to the square.

16th annual Dogwood Festival, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., downtown Athens.

Will be music, food vendors, student art displays, children’s fingerprinting, fire safety, bike safety, face painting, pedal tractor pull and other events.

Civil War history

APRIL 13-14

Sultana Reunion, 3 p.m. Friday at Athens State University, McCandless Hall, music, free; 7:30 p.m. Friday, ballroom, lectures and displays, free; 8 a.m. Saturday, walking tour of university, free; afternoon bus tour of forts, registration required.

Sultana Association’s 20th reunion remembers Union soldiers killed during the sinking of the Sultana during the Civil War. Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest captured many of these soldiers at forts in Athens and Elkmont.

To register for tour, contact Norman Shaw at (865) 693-2171.


Confederate Memorial Day Service, 2 p.m., Athens City Cemetery at the Confederate Circle, free.

MAY 11

A Night with Forrest, 7 p.m., Athens State University’s McCandless Hall, $10.

The Capt. Thomas H. Hobbs Camp No. 768, Athens, Sons of Confederate Veterans program on Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest. Entertainer Ross Moore to perform Southern music, and author Michael Bradley will discuss a new book on Forrest. Proceeds go to the restoration of Forrest’s boyhood home in Chapel Hill, Tenn.

Contact Jimmy Hill at for tickets or information. Seating is limited.

Ardmore Renaissance Faire 2006.
Courtesy photo
Ardmore Renaissance Faire 2006.

Renaissance Faire


Ardmore Renaissance Faire costume-making workshop, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Ardmore Tennessee Annex Building behind the library and City Hall on Main Street, free.

Bring your fabric and workers will cut and sew your costume. Bring a non-fraying fabric of any color or design. For tunics measure top of shoulder to palm, then double. A man’s tunic should be about three to four yards; a child’s two to three yards and a dress four to five yards. Members of the Huntsville SCA will teach Celtic dances during the workshop.

For more information call 423-7588.

APRIL 21-22 Fifth annual Ardmore Renaissance Faire, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Ardmore Town Park, Main Street, $3 for adults, $2 for children or $10 for a family.

Shop the marketplace, test your skills in our gaming glen, cheer on knights engaged in games like archery, hand-to-hand combat and fencing. Vendors will sell period clothing and swords, candles and incense, jewelry and masks, stuffed creatures and fairy wands. Medieval dress encouraged. Weapons allowed if peace tied.

On the Net:



Relay for Life Benefit Concert, 7-10 p.m., Yesterdays Event Center on Brownsferry Road, Athens, $10.

Featuring Dirt Road Band and Silver Eagle Band. Get tickets at Athens City Hall or call 233-8737.


Singing on the Square, 6:30 p.m., downtown Athens, free.

Will feature the Calhoun Community College Chorale and Miss Lacey Snider. Bring a lawn chair. Downtown restaurants will be open.

MAY 12

Ty Herndon with Shannon Brown Concert, 8 p.m., Athens State’s Beasley Field, $20 in advance or $25 at the gate.

Bring a lawn chair. Proceeds benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Limestone County.

MAY 18 Singing on the Square, 6:30 p.m., downtown Athens, free.

Will feature James Smith, Lanny Rose Band and Old Time Christians. Bring a lawn chair. Down

Rodeo events

MAY 5-6

Bareback and Saddle Bronc Clinic, 9 a.m.-until, Sheriff’s Rodeo Arena on Alabama 99, pre-register for $100.

MAY 12

Best Bucking Bar-B-Q Cookoff, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sheriff’s Rodeo Arena, free or $5 to judge in people’s choice.

Will be music, arts and crafts and buggy rides. Proceeds benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Limestone County.

Rodeo Parade, 1 p.m., from
arena to the Limestone County Courthouse Square, back to arena.

MAY 14

Preston’s Western Wear Rodeo Kickoff, 5 p.m., at the store on U.S. 72 at Interstate 65, free.

Will be events for children and horseback rides.

MAY 15

Street Dance, 7 p.m., Limestone County Courthouse Square.

Includes live band, line dancing and western fashion show.

MAY 17

Slack for team roping contestants, 6 p.m. gates open with 7 p.m. start, Sheriff’s Rodeo Arena, $5.

MAY 18

Exceptional Rodeo, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sheriff’s Rodeo Arena, free. A rodeo for special needs children and adults with rides, music, food and games.

MAY 19

Last night of the 25th annual Limestone Sheriff’s Rodeo, gates open at 6 p.m. with the Kid’s Gold Rush at 7 p.m. and opening ceremonies at 8 p.m., $10 for adults in advance or $15 at gate and $8 for children in advance or $10 at the gate.

Will be bareback and saddle bronc riding, calf roping, break-away roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing, chuck wagon races, bull riding, rodeo clown acts and a children’s calf scramble.

On the Net: Get more information and registration forms for events at


MAY 4-5

Homespun Arts and Crafts Show and Plant Sale, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Athens Bible School at 507 S. Hoffman St., no admission.

In addition to booths with food, crafts and plants, there will demonstrations on quilting, soap making and a gristmill.

On the Net:

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