Home of the walking horse

Home of the walking horse

August 18th, 2012 by Todd South in Glimpse 2012-b

The opening ceremony begins at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in Shelbyville. (AP Photo/The Tennessean, Mandy Lunn, File)

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

Shelbyville and Wartrace give Bedford County, Tenn., a host of attractions that draw visitors from across the nation and world. From horse lovers to music or MoonPie fans, there's something for everyone.

-- Compiled by staff writer Todd South

BEST THING TO DO

For Those With 2 Legs and 4 -- Shelbyville holds the annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration each summer during the 11 days and nights leading up to Labor Day.

• This is the premiere competition for the breed.

• Thousands attend and compete from across the globe for the title of World Champion and more than $650,000 in prizes.

Source: Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration

BEST PLACE TO EAT AND WHY

Meat and Three -- Have an old-fashioned homemade meal at Pope's Cafe at 120 Public Square East in Shelbyville.

• At this well-known meat-and-three-style restaurant, diners like to try the hand-patted hamburger and finish off a visit with the chocolate chess pie.

• Walking horse enthusiasts say it's a must-stop tradition when they come for the show.

BEST KEPT SECRET

A Local Legend -- Strolling Jim, the first world champion Tennessee walking horse, is buried in a pasture directly behind the Walking Horse Hotel, at 101 Spring St., Wartrace, and is accessible seven days a week.

• The horse was ridden by trainer Floyd Carothers at the first Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration in 1939. • Strolling Jim died in 1957.

Source: Wartrace Chamber of Commerce

SOUNDS OF SUMMER

Wartrace MusicFest -- On the first Friday and Saturday in June, music and food lovers have a two-in-one treat of bluegrass and barbecue at the popular event.

• Kids 12 and under get in free.

• Camp sites have no hookups and ground fires are not allowed.

Source: Wartrace Chamber of Commerce

WELCOME TO PENCIL CITY

Shelbyville is the Bedford County seat and has a population of more than 20,000 as of the most recent U.S. census.

• Sometimes called the Pencil City for its industrial contribution to pencil manufacturing.

• The town also boasts that it is the home of the Golden Eaglettes, a girls high school basketball program that has brought home a dozen state championships.

Source: Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce

LOCAL ATTRACTION

Storm and fire and war, oh my

•The county's first courthouse was built in 1810 in Shelbyville's public square. A small wooden structure, it was replaced with a brick courthouse shortly afterward by the first permanent building in the middle of the square.

•The great storm of 1830 destroyed the building and residents erected its replacement a year later. It stood until burned by Union soldiers during the Civil War.

•The fourth courthouse was under construction from 1869 until 1873 at a cost of $1,500. A mob burned it in 1934.

•The current Bedford County Courthouse was built in the Greek Revival style in 1935.

Source: Bedford County Courts

LIST OF FESTIVALS

Box tease: Wartrace MusicFest

•On the first Friday and Saturday in June music and food lovers have a two-in-one treat of bluegrass and barbecue at the popular Wartrace MusicFest.

•Kids 12 and under get in free.

•Camp sites have no hookups and ground fires are not allowed.

Source: Wartrace Chamber of Commerce