The seventy-eight hour period from 6:00 p.m. on Saturday night November 15th, until midnight on Tuesday the 18th was historic for Calsonic Arena in several ways and helped display the facilities versatility.  From tough bulls and riders, tuff trucks, people in command of our military, to saying thanks to those that make the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration the worlds’ greatest horse show, Calsonic Arena played host to three special events over a four-day period.

The weekend began when the doors opened at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday night for the Southern Truck-N-Bull Challenge.  Preston Fowkles of the Lone Star Rodeo Company teamed up with Bobby Paul of Monster Motorsports of America LLC to bring two exciting and popular spectator competitions to the venue for the very first time.  Twenty-five of the nation’s top bull riders competed for top dollars while trying to tame some of the rankest bulls in the country.  That exciting event was followed by dune buggies taking center stage, as drivers attempted to conquer the humps and jumps that had been prepared for them on the arena floor.  Local participants got into the action while competing for top honors in the “Locals Only” obstacle class.  Spectators also witnessed a truck tug of war that was billed by the promoters as “Redneck Cowboy Tug of War”.  Spectators and participants alike left having enjoyed witnessing some much needed fun and entertainment.


Sunday Calsonic Arena was transformed to a banquet facility for use Monday evening by the Arnold Community Council and their annual membership dinner.  Wade Adams, Grounds Superintendent for The Celebration had his crew in the arena the entire day cleaning the arena, packing the arena floor and setting tables for the eloquent event.

Monday evening saw another first for Calsonic Arena and the City of Shelbyville.  Arnold Community Council (ACC) had approximately six hundred people in attendance at their annual meeting.  ACC is a thirteen county community group that was formed in 2000 to promote the Air Force's Arnold Engineering Development Center.  The groups key note speaker for the evening was Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force.  General Schwartz is the highest-ranking uniformed member of the Air Force and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which advises the President, the Secretary of Defense and the National Security Council. 


Others in attendance for the gala event where community and civic leaders throughout southern Middle Tennessee along with retired Admiral Frank Kelso, of Fayetteville, who served as Chief of Naval Operations in the early 1990s,  current AEDC commander Col. Art Huber, and former AEDC commander David Stringer, who now works with NASA.

Jerry Mansfield, ACC President praised the work of all the staff at The Celebration stating “We cannot express our appreciation enough for all of the time and effort Dr. Doyle Meadows and his staff put into making our event a memorable one for everyone who attended.  This was the largest event in our organization’s history and thanks to their efforts it ran smoothly.”


From dignitaries of one group to VIPs of another, Tuesday evening saw the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration host it’s annual Appreciation Dinner on the floor of Calsonic Arena.  From part-time show staff to full time seasonal workers to full time staff, the Board of Directors and CEO of The Celebration® used this evening to say “thank you” to those who made the 70th Edition of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration the success that it was.  Those in attendance were treated to a scrumptious meal of barbeque, chicken and all of the fixings.  Board Vice-Chairman Charles McDonald expressed the board’s appreciate to all who make those who attend our event welcome.  He noted that “you are the one that people meet, get their questions answered from and remember once they leave our fair city.”  Celebration CEO also thanked all those in attendance for helping make his first Celebration as show manager run so smoothly.