Scopes Festival News
As we begin to get back to life as usual, the Rhea Heritage Preservation Foundation is planning for the 2021 Nokian Tyres Summer Nights Music Series as well as the Scopes Trial and Bluegrass Festival.
“We are proud to have Nokian Tyres partner with us as our sponsor for Summer Nights 2021.” Said Dorothy Anderson, Administrative Assistant and Event Coordinator. “I think this outdoor event will be a great way to come together again as a community and still observe covid protocols.”
Every Friday night in July the Rhea County Courthouse stage will come alive with some great music from Rhea Springs Revival, Mother Legacy, Michael Seabolt Band, Brandon Maddox and straight from Nashville on the finale night, Runaway Home.
There will be e-raffle giveaways every night leading up to a set of Nokian Tyres on the finale night. The more nights you attend the more chances you have to win.
There will be something new this year, an open mic time every night from 4:00 until 5:30 to showcase local talent. “We have so many talented people that we felt this would be a good outlet” added Ms Anderson, “We hope to add this as an annual part of the concerts if we have good participation. Applications can be obtained by emailing us at email@example.com “
Scopes Festival will be a one day event on July 17th from 10am until 8pm. There are many activities and games planned for everyone’s enjoyment. Food vendors and crafters, watermelon cutting and seed spittin contest and of course music all day long from some toe tappin bluegrass bands including Double Cross and Mt Laconte Jug Band.
The Scopes Trial Play will be a bit different this year. It will be a shortened version of the usual play but will still be presented in the Rhea County Courthouse main courtroom. Seating will be in compliance with the covid protocols for distancing. Ticket prices will be $5.00 for general seating, $8.00 for reserved seating and $6.00 reserved seating for organized groups. Tickets can be purchased on the website, scopesfestival.com
We deeply regret to announce that the Scopes Festival and Summer Nights concerts are cancelled for 2020.
Because of guidance from the State of Tennessee and concerns about potential risks to our patrons, the Rhea Heritage Preservation Foundation believes that it is in the best interest of all concerned not to present the concerts and festivals this year.
We are grateful for the support we have received in the form of individuals looking forward to the concerts and festival, and the commitment of performers and vendors to help produce a full schedule of activities.
Our intention is to rebound in 2021 and present another outstanding series of concerts in July, and a full-blown Scopes Festival the third weekend of July. Please check back with us early in 2021 for further updates.
The Scopes Festival will look different this year, but it’s still on schedule as a one-day event for the third weekend in July.
“Saturday, July 18, will see a day full of outdoor activities for the whole family,” Festival
Chairman Tom Davis announced. “We are planning demonstrations of crafts that were a part of everyday life in the 1920s, live music, storytelling, and even a watermelon-cutting. We also hope to have some characters from the Scopes Trial drop by and talk with guests about their impressions of Dayton.”
Social distancing directives and other COVID-related issues made it impossible to begin
rehearsals for Front Page News, the central feature of the festival. Questions lingered about being able to accommodate a crowd in the courtroom where the play has been traditionally presented. In the end, it was decided that the play was not possible for 2020’s festival.
Bluegrass bands will perform on the courthouse lawn during the day, and vendors are being invited to sell their wares. “We also plan to have games for the whole family,” Davis said.
“This has been a difficult change in plans for us to make,” he admitted, “but we believe we will have an event that will help all of us get outside and celebrate as our community recovers from the pandemic’s impact.”
The Scopes Festival and the Nokian Tyres Summer Nights concerts scheduled each Friday in July, are made possible by major funding from Rhea County, the City of Dayton, Nokian Tyres and the Tennessee Arts Commission.