Skip to content

Gearing Up For A Great Celebration



SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. -  Does the name William P. Kinsella sound familiar to you?  Probably not.  He is the author of the book Shoeless Joe from which the inspirational movie Field of Dreams was adapted.  The movie's central
theme and most remembered line is "If you build it they will come."  Kevin Costner played the lead role in the movie and heard this line in his mind several times... in his sleep, while driving down the road and many more.

Some seventy-one years ago a Shelbyville civic leader, Henry Davis, attended a Crimson Clover Festival in nearby Winchester.  He became very enthusiastic about what he saw and returned to Shelbyville with the idea that his home
county should have a festival to celebrate their most important asset - the Tennessee Walking Horse.  Mr. Davis probably wondered to himself "If we build it will they come?"

What started as a three-night event held behind the old high school here in Shelbyville has blossomed into a major event for our town, county and the Middle Tennessee area.  According to Walt Wood, CEO of the Shelbyville-Bedford County Chamber of Commerce, the Walking Horse and The Celebration has become Shelbyville's brand.  Stated Wood, "You say 'Shelbyville' and people immediately think of the Walking Horse. We're the Walking Horse Capital of
the World."

The effect of the event is far reaching.  Local civic clubs raise funds from various food booths, parking and program sales during the ten-night event. For some it is their only fund raiser of the year, and for most it is their biggest.  These monies raised are used throughout the year for school programs, sport teams, vision screenings and much more.

There is also money that comes into the local community to rent homes to stay in during the show, or the rent homeowners charge to allow trailers, campers and cars to park on their property.

Horse farms dot the landscape in Bedford County and boost the economy with livelihoods for countless families.  "We have never been able to put a impact figure on the property values, wages, sales of feed and tack, lodging and much more that the Walking Horse industry has on our local economy," stated Celebration Board Chairman Charles McDonald.  But the impact is massive.

What is in store for the 71st rendition of the "World's Greatest Horse Show?"  According to Celebration CEO Dr. Doyle Meadows "Plans are in place for this to be another great Celebration in many ways.  Contrary to rumors
heard throughout the area, our staff, horse trainers and owners as well are gearing up for a big show."  He continued, "The Celebration is not immune to the situation with today's economy.  We have good box seats and reserve
seats available and welcome support from the local community in purchasing them.  It is a good way to support something that is so important to our community." 

Through years of hard work and dedication from so many The Celebration has been built.  We look forward to seeing you there!



 

More Stories

  • **Updated Horse Show Schedule

    The Walking Horse Report will provide daily updates to the list of canceled and postponed horse shows... Read More
  • Owner and Exhibitor: Toni White

    The Walking Horse Report salutes our owners and exhibitors. We wish you the best of luck this season! Read More
  • Get the news…FAST

    Hello Tennessee Walking Horse enthusiasts and friends,

    I would like to start off this first monthly FAST, Inc. update by telling you about FAST and our mission. For those of you who don’t know or may not have checked in with us in a while, we have been very busy this year working towards supporting the 2020 horse shows and the walking horse industry.

    Read More
  • Owner and Exhibitor: Benjamin Bowen

    The Walking Horse Report salutes our owners and exhibitors. We wish you the best of luck this season! Read More
  • Putnam County Fair Horse Show canceled

    The Putnam County Fair in Cookeville, Tennessee has been canceled; therefore, the Putnam County Fair Horse Show, scheduled for Saturday July 18, has been canceled for this year. Read More
  • Christmas In July selects judging panel

    Christmas In July has selected their three-judge panel. Robbie Spiller of Shelbyville, Tennessee, Paul Robbins of Rutherfordton, North Carolina and Danny Kistler of Statesville, North Carolina will be marking the cards. The show is scheduled for Wednesday July 1 and Thursday July 2 at the Bedford County Ag Center in Shelbyville, Tennessee, and is slated to start at 5:00PM.  Read More
  • Owner and Exhibitor: Dr. Kasey Kesselring

    The Walking Horse Report salutes our owners and exhibitors. We wish you the best of luck this season! Read More
  • Owner and Exhibitor: Wanda Goodson

    The Walking Horse Report salutes our owners and exhibitors. We wish you the best of luck this season! Read More
  • Live from Columbia Spring Jubilee

    ReporTV will be providing live streaming coverage all three nights from the Columbia Spring Jubilee, beginning at 6:00 pm. Highlights will be posted the following day. The Report will also be providing LIVE results and judges' cards. Read More
  • Owner and Exhibitor: Marian Wright

    The Walking Horse Report salutes our owners and exhibitors. We wish you the best of luck this season! Read More