Located 50 miles southeast of Nashville, Shelbyville, Tennessee, is known as the Walking Horse Capital of the World because of its annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. Shelbyville is also famous for its pencil manufacturing and has been referred to as Pencil City. Shelbyville's town square, the seat of Bedford County, was the first to include the design of a full city block with the courthouse in the center and intersecting streets at each corner. The design was subsequently copied by many counties in the United States and is known as the Shelbyville Square.
Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration
Occurring in late summer over 11 days and ending on the Saturday night before Labor Day, the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration (twhnc.com) features competitions of this gentle dispositioned, easy-to-train breed including 2-year-old walking stallions, 3-year-old mares and geldings ridden by youth, women, men and riders age 50 and older. Twenty world champion horses are named during the competition and more than $650,000 in prizes is awarded. The show also includes a barn-decorating contest, trade fair and a dog show. The show's campgrounds have hookups for more than 350 recreational vehicles.
The Fly Arts Center
The Fly Arts Center (flyartscenter.com) on South Main Street is home to the Bedford Players Theatre, the Bedford County Museum and the Bedford Art Gallery and Gift Shop. Shows are performed throughout the year including musicals, drama, children's theater and dinner theater. The center also offers children's art and drama classes and holds the festival of trees competition and holiday bazaar near Christmas. The Gallery and Gift Shop sells the work of local artists including painting, drawing, photography, ceramics, glass work, metalwork, woodwork, jewelry and sculpture.
The Bedford County Museum
Showcasing the history of Bedford County since its origins in 1807, the Bedford County Museum (flyartscenter.com) displays paintings, weapons, garments and other memorabilia that document that county's military history. Of note is the Helen Womack Arrowhead Collection and an iron sculpture made by local resident Carl Rogers. The museum also documents the history of the Fly Manufacturing Company, a prominent Bedford County clothing manufacturer from 1915 to 1972. The museum is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
H.V. Griffin Park
Located on Tulip Tree Drive, the H.V. Griffin Park (shelbyvilletn.org) is an 84-acre community park with sports facilities including softball fields, baseballs fields, soccer fields, basketball courts, sand volleyball courts, tennis courts and batting cages, The park also includes a skateboard area, 18-hole disc golf course, a 1/2 mile outdoor track and outdoor swimming pool, shuffleboard courts, horseshoe pits, picnic areas, shelters, a playground and washrooms. Concession stands are located near the swimming pool and softball and baseball fields.
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