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Today's Date:


Giant Kraken Tentacles
and Costumed SCUBA Divers

- Signal the Beginning of ODDtober at the Tennessee Aquarium -
Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest Scheduled for October 1st

Chattanooga, TN - - -

ODDtober at the Tennessee Aquarium,Chattanooga, TN What: Giant Kraken Tentacles have emerged above The Tennessee Aquarium's River Journey building, heralding the beginning of ODDtober. Guests brave enough to visit on the first day of ODDtober will also enjoy a spirited jack-o-lantern carving contest.

Like the return of pumpkin spice latte, the Aquarium's annual underwater pumpkin carving competition marks the beginning of weekly exhibitions during the month-long ODDtober celebration. Two costumed divers will descend into the depths of the Aquarium's Tennessee River exhibit to carve pumpkins while huge Alligator Gar and eerie Paddlefish lurk in the waters nearby.

After the competition is complete, the public will vote for a winner when photos of the divers' carvings are posted to the Aquarium's Facebook page.

This event kicks off ODDtober, an entire month focused on the weird and wonderful side of nature. Guests visiting during October will witness the kooky behaviors and bizarre adaptations of creatures from around the world through special programs, keeper talks and dive shows.

In addition to the daily programs offered free with Aquarium admission, underwater pumpkin carving will take place in either the Tennessee River or River Giants exhibit at 11 a.m. each Saturday in ODDtober.

When / Where: Tuesday, Oct. 1st, at 11 a.m. Tennessee Aquarium River Journey building (Tennessee River exhibit)

A Place to Call Home

- Tennessee's Newest Crown Jewel -
The Tennessee State Museum

Nashville, TN - - -

Can you imagine 'couch surfing' for 200 years? It's not as if youíre being moved from one friend to another every other week. In fact, you get to spend the first 120 years in one place and then the next 70 years in another. Not really 'couch surfing' though, is it? More like squatting! Borrowing a place to crash while your place is being 'remodeled'. ;-) Maybe, if after 200 years of crashing at someone else's place, maybe, if you finally get your own place and itís a place built especially for you Ė maybe, all those years of bumming off your friends would seem worth it in the end. Considering how this place, built just for you, was indeed one of the Crown Jewels of your state would make you simply smile and be happy that this day had finally arrived!
While not likely any of this could happen to anyone it is what has happened to art collections that the people of this great state hold dear.

The weather was beautiful when we left lower Middle Tennessee for our next adventure. Still, it is the beginning of January, so you never know what to expect from Mother Nature. Fortunately, on this day, the temps would climb to the mid 60's and provide a great outing with a beautiful back drop from Mother Nature.
Tennessee State MuseumTennessee's newest museum, built on the grounds next to Bicentennial Mall, is a great place to spend time exploring. The building is itself a great example of how art meets form and function!

For those new to the museum a little history is in order.

Nashville's first museum open in 1817 on the public square by portrait artist, Ralph E.W. Earl. Then, in 1937 the Tennessee General Assembly created the first State Museum. Mementoes from World War I were collected and added to the collections from groups such as the Tennessee Historical Society. These collected mementoes were displayed in the lower level of the War Memorial Building. In 1981 the collection was moved to the James K. Polk Center and stayed there until the new Tennessee State Museum was built in its present location.
The Mission Statement for the museum reads:

"The mission of the Tennessee State Museum is to procure, preserve, exhibit, and interpret objects which relate to the social, political, economic, and cultural history of Tennessee and Tennesseans, and to provide exhibitions and programs for the educational and cultural enrichment of the citizens of the state."

The collections on display are certainly real treasures. We were able to explore the prehistoric Tennessee landscape. There is even a video showing how land masses moved and the continents were formed. Fascinating to watch and learn how our planet came to look the way it does today.
Whether you're a fan of the historic past (as in - before there even was a place called Tennessee) or a fan of the most recent past, you'll find something to see at the Tennessee State Museum! Remember learning about dugouts? No, not baseball! We're referring to the how people traveled the water ways many long years ago. There is one on display at the museum that was donated by a couple living here in Tennessee. It's looking a little worse for wear but once you learn its history you realize that it looks pretty good considering.
Dugout Canoe - Tennessee State Museum
If you look closely along the right side of the dugout you can see what looks like scallops in the wood. The truth is, the owners had no idea what they had on their property. It had been in the same place for generations and had been used for the same thing from one generation to the next.
Care to guess what it was used for? . . . .

It was used to feed hogs! You can see how it would indeed make a perfect place to 'slop the hogs'! It wasn't until the owners ran across a smaller dugout that they realized what they had there on their farm. Just one of the fascinating stories you can hear at the Tennessee State Museum.

Before you go be sure to check out their Calendar of Events. By following along with one of their Museum Highlights Tours the guides will help bring all the fascination in the museum to life with stories like the one about the dugout. Tours usually last around 45 minutes so there'll be plenty of time to go back and look things over a little more if that's what you'd like.

Tennessee's Newest Crown JewelMarge and Jim H., visiting the museum for the first-time last Saturday, were very impressed. "Jim and I are really enjoying all the different things on display here." Marge was especially impressed with the sizes of the uniforms. "You can really see how people are larger now than in the past" she explained. "I guess it is a testament to our improved lifestyles."

There are many other surprises in store for you and your family as you tour the Tennessee State Museum. Make it a point to enjoy this free attraction that is certain to take its place as one of Tennessee's crown jewels.
As always, make good memories to share with your family and friends. And we'll see you guys out and about in the 3 States of Tennessee!

PS - Just be glad you aren't having to couch surf for the next 200 years!

WWI Cannon - Tennessee State Museum
Tennessee State MuseumCivil War Era Cannon - Tennessee State Muse
Ashley Howell, Executive Director

1000 Rosa L. Parks Blvd
Nashville, TN 37208

Have fun and enjoy the 3 States of Tennessee!

Not A Branch Of State Or Federal Government
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