Tennessee Tourism Announces What's New in 2009

Wednesday, January 07, 2009 | 06:00pm

NASHVILLE – The year 2009 brings several significant additions to the tourism industry and some important historical milestones. This is an exciting time for new exhibits, attractions, hotels, restaurants and experiences in Tennessee.

One of the most important milestones is the 75th anniversary of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Many major events are being held both in the park and throughout the gateway cities to commemorate this monumental event. For more information on the park and events, visit www.greatsmokies75th.org.

Another important 2009 milestone is the 100th anniversary of the Chattanooga Choo Choo. The highlight of the year-long festivities includes a special big-band concert by the Glenn Miller Orchestra, whose original band members put the Terminal Station on the map with their recording of “Chattanooga Choo Choo.” For more information, visit www.choochoo.com.
Below, find a brief summary of what’s new in 2009. For a complete listing, visit
East Tennessee –
Belle Island Village, a $114 million, 26-acre, themed development with retail, hospitality and entertainment venues, is projecting a spring 2009 grand opening. Featured at Belle Island Village will be the world's largest private collection of Hollywood memorabilia - preserved by Debbie Reynolds. Also featured is the Darrell Waltrip Racing.
Experience, which highlights the career of one of NASCAR's most beloved drivers and lets you experience the look, feel, and overwhelming sensations the racers feel. http://www.belleisland.com/
Dollywood launches Imagine by Le Grand Cirque, a show that will headline the park’s Festival of Nations spectacular in the spring. Imaginé presented by Le Grand Cirque will amaze audiences at Dollywood with their athletic ability, lavish costumes, dynamic lighting, mesmerizing music and breathtaking feats. www.dollywood.com
The Tennessee Aquarium and Hunter Museum of American Art team up to bring a special exhibition to Chattanooga in May, 2009. Jellies: Living Art showcases jellyfish, some of the most mysterious creatures on Earth, alongside breathtaking glass sculptures inspired by nature. This award-winning exhibit was the highest-rated gallery in Monterey Bay Aquarium’s history. Works of art will be featured at both the Tennessee Aquarium and the Hunter Museum. http://www.tnaqua.org/
Middle Tennessee –
Frist Center for the Visual Arts will host “Medieval Treasures from the Cleveland Museum of Art,” February 13-June 7. The Cleveland Museum of Art possesses one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of early Christian, Byzantine and medieval European art in the world. http://www.fristcenter.org/
There will soon be a lot more to love at the Loveless Café in Nashville. The Loveless Barn is scheduled for completion by January 2009. It will be an exciting new venue space located on the historic Loveless Cafe property. http://www.lovelessbarn.com/
The James K Polk home in Columbia, Tenn. will have a new museum. Polk Presidential Hall will be an exhibit and program hall hosting four exhibits per year, some from the Smithsonian. http://www.jameskpolk.com/new/.
West Tennessee –
The Casey Jones Home & Museum in Jackson, Tenn. is adding a brand new museum in spring 2009 featuring extensive architectural design elements that will create a truly authentic train station experience and allow for greatly enhanced exhibits. There will be a theatre for viewing the story of Casey Jones, expanded exhibits, a traveling exhibit hall and a gift shop. http://www.caseyjones.com/
Memphis Zoo will open a new four acre exhibit featuring grizzlies, timber wolves, elk and trumpeter swans in summer 2009. Memphis Zoo was voted the number one zoo in America on TripAdvisor’s top zoos and aquariums. http://www.memphiszoo.org/
HRH Vineyards & Crown Winery is scheduled in to open in Humboldt in spring 2009.
The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development strives to maintain an up-to-date listing of new events and attractions across the state. Updates to the list are made throughout the year.
For more information, contact Cindy Dupree at (615) 741-9010, or by e-mail at Cindy.Dupree@state.tn.us, or visit our Web site at www.tnvacation.com.

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