KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — One event this weekend is likely to catch the attention of East Tennessee history fanatics: The East Tennessee Historical Society’s History Hootenanny.

The event is free and open to the public. It takes place at the East Tennessee History Center from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on Saturday, August 20. The year will be the first time that the hootenanny has been held, turning a new leaf after the pandemic.

The event is set to be very fun and a guest can expect to have a “heck of a time at this hootenanny” according to Dr. Warren Dockter, President and CEO of the East Tennessee Historical Society.

“This is the first time we have ever run the History Hootenanny. This is a completely new program. We used to run the History Fair, but this is not gonna be exactly like this history fair because this will all be indoors.” Dockter said. “This is our first big, public program since emerging from COVID, hopefully, so this is completely new, the History Hootenanny, and it’s just going to be a lot of fun. We’re really excited about it.”

The Hootenanny will offer a wide variety of events for the whole family to enjoy.

“The History Hootenanny is a way to showcase all the wonderful things that we do in the History Center for the public.” Dockter said.

Dockter explained that visitors can expect to see a large variety of different events happening at the Hootenanny, including a local author showcase, publishers from Arcadia Books explaining how authors can publish their own books, a used book sale, The History Express bus tour to historic homes around Knoxville in addition to live music, children’s games, and much more.

With that many events, there are plenty of things for the whole family to enjoy, but Dockter shared that the events he’s looking forward to the most are meeting with local authors, the live music, and the children’s activities.

“I’m a bit of a history nerd, so I’m really excited about talking with local authors and going to the sort of publication with people talking about publishing books,” Dockter said. “I think that the live music, the Appalachian music is going to be a whole lot of fun. I’m really excited to listen to that.”

“I think there is going to be a lot of fun activities for kids. It’s always fun to see kids kind of learn about history while they play, particularly if they’re using historic games just to help educate them about history. It’s like active learning, and I think that’s really cool, so that’s something I’m looking forward to seeing.

A full schedule of the event is available here.

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The event is happening thanks to a variety of community partners including Arcadia Publishing, Friends of the Knox County Public Library, Historic House Museums of Knoxville, Knoxville History Project, Knoxville Walking Tours, University of Tennessee Department of History