KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — If witnessing the coronation of King Charles III has sparked your curiosity about British culture, a historic East Tennessee community is celebrating all things British the weekend following the coronation.
Historic Rugby was founded in 1880 by British author Thomas Hughes during Queen Victoria’s reign. He used the money he made from the children’s book “Tom Brown’s School Days” to buy land on the Cumberland Plateau. Hughes wanted to establish a Utopian village however that dream did not come to light. The village would eventually fall into disrepair until the 1960s when the residents decided to restore the original layout of the community.
Historic Rugby’s 49th annual British Festival pays homage to the town’s founding as an independent British colony and this year it will celebrate the coronation of King Charles III. Visitors will be able to enjoy live music, a maypole, demonstrations from local artisans, British food and more. It runs from May 13 to May 14.
The Maypole will take place five times during the weekend, three times on Saturday (12:00, 2:00, 4:00) and twice on Sunday(12:30, 2:30). Lark in the Morn English Country Dancers will teach attendees how to wrap the maypole with beautiful ribbon designs. Anyone is invited to join in or watch this joyful activity.
Attendees will also have the chance to learn more about cricket at the Ivy Cottage. American cricket player Tom Melville will be sharing more about the game’s history and leading an informal match.
Another of the weekend’s highlights is the Queen’s Tea on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. in Hester Hall. The tea will include sandwiches, scones, and desserts, along with the Rugby Blend Tea. Tickets are required and can be bought online at https://historic-rugby-inc-3.square.site/.