‘Honoring Flag’ event to return Memorial Day weekend

The annual Honoring America’s Flag event will return to Mt. Juliet for Memorial Day weekend.

The event is a joint effort between the West Wilson Exchange Club and the Tyler Cates American Legion Post 281.

About 400 flags will be installed at the corner of North Mt. Juliet Road and Division Street, next to the train station. The purpose of the display, “standing amid the flags, we honor and reflect and salute those who have influenced our lives, serve, defend and sacrifice to preserve our nation and way of life,” according to the event website.

Flags will be sent out May 25 and displayed until May 28 when a closing ceremony will take place.

The public is invited to attend and participate in the opportunity to show their support and love for the flag. People can also buy and dedicate a flag in memory of or in honor of someone.

All funds raised from flag sales will be used to support charities in Mt. Juliet and Wilson County.

For more information or to purchase a flag, contact Nancy Britt at 615-289-7623 or Pat Unger at 615-210-6156.

Staff Reports

City officials call Ride Mt. Juliet a success

Families take part in bicycle ride led by fire truck and more

George Page • Mt. Juliet News
Families from across Wilson County came out Sunday to participate in Ride Mt. Juliet, presented by the Mt. Juliet Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee.

Families from across Wilson County came out to the fourth-annual Ride Mt. Juliet event, and followed Mt. Juliet fire Chief Jamie Luffman who drive a ladder truck on a 5.8-mile bike ride.

The event, presented by the Mt. Juliet Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee, lasted from 2-4 p.m. at the Music City Star terminal parking lot at the intersection of Mt. Juliet Road and Division Street.

“It was perfect weather for this fun, community event that promotes the mission of Mt. Juliet’s Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee, which is creating better, safer options for bicyclists and pedestrians,” said Mt. Juliet police Capt. Tyler Chandler.

Mt. Juliet police officers on bikes participated in the ride, and other officers helped with traffic control.

“I enjoyed helping with the event, and it was nice to see a good crowd come out to enjoy the weather with their friends and family on two wheels,” said Chandler.

Mt. Juliet Commissioner Art Giles, who is also a member of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, called it a successful, family friendly event.

“The event was again successful this year with all ages enjoying it,” said Giles.

By Jacob Smith 

jsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Encore Theatre announces auditions for ‘The Foreigner’

Encore Theatre Co. announced auditions will be next week for its upcoming July production of the award-winning play, “The Foreigner,” written by Larry Shue. 

Auditions will be Sunday and Monday from 6-8 p.m. Those auditioning should arrive no later than 7:45 p.m. Production dates are Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from July 13-22. 

The auditions will take place at the theatre at 6978 Lebanon Road in Mt. Juliet.

The cast will consist of five men and two women.

The characters are:

• “Froggy” LeSueur, who is in his 40s, perhaps. He seems well-fed, flushed with the spirit of adventure and right at home. He is a British Army explosives instructor, visiting the nearby Army base. He has a definite Cockney accent.

• Charlie Baker, who is Froggy’s best friend. He’s in his 40s, however, he’s completely different in personality. According to the script, “The other, standing in his forlorn trenchcoat, seems quietly, somehow permanently, lost.” Charlie has a British accent, but not the Cockney of Froggy.

• Betty Meeks, who owns Betty Meeks’ Fishing Lodge Resort in Tilghman County, Georgia. She’s somewhere between 50-70 years old and a native of the South. She’s good hearted, used to hard work, is wise in some ways and not so quick in others.

• The Rev. David Marshall Lee, who is  in his mid to late 20s. He has a friendly open face. David is neither the stereotypically pallid, remote young divinity student, nor the hearty, backslapping evangelist. He seems, rather, to be a regular fella –humorous and open, and it would appear he’s a good young man to have on someone’s side. 

• Catherine Simms, who is David’s fiancée in his mid to late 20s. She’s kind of a general all-around “good ol’ gal.” She has her opinions and is not afraid to tell them.

• Owen Musser, who is in his mid to late 30s and is a friend of David’s. “Smarmy” is a good word for him. According to the script, “Psychologists tell us to beware of a man with two tattoos. One, he may have gotten on a drunk or a dare, but two means he went back. Owen is a two-tattoo man.” He’s a redneck, obviously.

• Ellard Simms, who is in his early 20s to early 30s and is Catherine’s younger brother. He’s not the brightest porch light on the block. “There doesn’t, we must admit, seem to be much to Ellard. He is a lumpy, overgrown, backward youth. 

The scene is a fishing lodge in rural Georgia often visited by “Froggy” LeSeuer, a British demolition expert who occasionally runs training sessions at a nearby army base. This time, “Froggy” has brought along a friend, a pathologically shy young man named Charlie who is overcome with fear at the thought of making conversation with strangers.

So, “Froggy,” before departing, tells all assembled that Charlie is from an exotic foreign country and speaks no English. Once alone, the fun really begins, as Charlie overhears more than he should – the evil plans of a sinister, two-faced minister and his redneck associate; the fact that the minister’s pretty fiancée is pregnant and many other damaging revelations made with the thought that Charlie doesn’t understand a word that’s said.

That he does fuels the nonstop hilarity of the play and sets up the wildly funny climax in which things go uproariously awry for the “bad guys,” and the “good guys” emerge triumphant.

Questions about the production, the auditions, as well as volunteering for backstage or technical work, may be sent to director Don Breedwell at dbreedwell@gmail.com or by leaving a message at 615-414-8312.

Encore Theatre to present ‘Peter Pan’

A story for all ages, performed by all ages, Encore Theatre Co. will present “Peter Pan” by J.M. Barrie for one weekend only.

Adapted by Don Breedwell and directed by Mary Gingold, the reader’s theater production is adapted from the Lux Radio Theater production presented Dec. 21, 1953.

The show will star Stephen Lazenby as Peter Pan, Steven Stroud as Captain Hook and Anna Grace Vaught as Wendy Darling, with Claire York as Tinker Bell.

Shows will be Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at Encore Theatre in Mt. Juliet.

Tickets will be $10 cash only at the door. Doors will open 30 minutes before show time. Reservations will be accepted by calling 615-598-8950.

Staff Reports

Leeville Family Fun Day upcoming Saturday

Submitted to Mt. Juliet News
Leeville Family Fun Day will offer free activities for all ages April 28 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Wilson Bank & Trust’s Highway 109 office in Lebanon

Wilson Bank & Trust will hold its 11th annual Leeville Family Fun Day on April 28 at the bank’s office on Highway 109 North.

The festivities will include live music, vendor booths, free inflatables, a petting zoo, an emergency vehicle display and concessions from Hoite’s Barbecue and Kona Shaved Ice.

Local business sponsors helped make Family Fun Day possible. Gold sponsors this year include Manheim Nashville and Wilson Farms; silver sponsors include Advanced Propane, B.J.’s trailers, and Sleep-In and Suites; and bronze sponsors include, Active Life Chiropractic, Aqua Sports Marine, Big and Small Storage, Burdines, Coach’s Eastgate Grill, Nutrishop, Permobil, Remar Inc., Subway and Wendy’s.

Event hours will be from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., and admission will be free. All activities will take place at the bank at 440 Hwy. 109 N. in Lebanon.

Staff Reports

Mt. Juliet trio advances to Path of Fame talent finals

More than 150 register for open-call auditions in Nashville

Submitted to Mt. Juliet News
Mt. Juliet trio Sheridan Hill – Lance Beavers, Dakota Beavers and Dylan Beavers – advanced in last Saturday’s Path to Fame Nashville auditions and are semifinalists for the top prize in the final competition that will take place June 16 in Pigeon Forge.

NASHVILLE – Mt. Juliet trio Sheridan Hill advanced in last Saturday’s Path to Fame Nashville auditions at Skyville Live where more than 150 people registered for a chance to advance their entertainment careers.

Sheridan Hill is made up of two brothers, Dakota and Dylan Beavers, and their father, Lance Beavers, who were actively pursuing his own musical career when he discovered his two sons’ talent. The group performs original music and a variety of covers from Americana to R&B genres. Sheridan Hill brought its own spin of acoustic instruments and harmonizing vocals to the stage during its performance of an original song, “Long Way Down.”

Four performers advanced one step closer to realizing a lifetime dream of an entertainment career. Nashville-based talent executive John Alexander will focus on artist development with the grand champion, including career development consultations with Grammy-nominated, platinum-selling country star Kelsea Ballerini and other entertainment executives representing all aspects of the entertainment industry. Alexander discovered Ballerini, spent more than a decade at Great American Country television network, managed artists such as Patty Loveless and is co-founder of the Nashville-based artist development company Bandtwango.

“The incredible talent Music City is known for was well represented at the auditions on Saturday. Our semi-finalists possess that hard-to-define ‘it’ factor and are actively pursuing ways to pursue their path to fame,” Alexander said. “This group is one step closer to achieving that dream with the proper connections and opportunities that winning this competition would provide.”

The final competition will take place June 16 in Pigeon Forge, where one grand champion will be selected from 12 competing performers.

Performers have one more opportunity to audition May 12 for the Path to Fame talent competition in Atlanta.

More information for the Path to Fame Talent Competition may be found at pffame.com. More information about visiting Pigeon Forge is available at mypigeonforge.com.

Staff Reports

Encore Theatre to present ‘Death by Design’

Angie Mayes • Mt. Juliet News
(Seated) James Laxton, who plays Edward Bennett, Corinne Cook, who plays Sorel Bennett, (back row) Tamasin Platt, who plays Victoria Van Roth, Jeff Lay, who plays Walter Pearce, and Tammy Sutherland, who plays Bridgit, act out a scene during practice for the April 20 opening of ‘Death by Design’ at Encore Theatre Co.

Encore Theatre Co.’s live theatre group will present “Death by Design,” a murder-mystery comedy by Ron Urbinati, which opens Friday.

Show co-director James Bealor, who also serves as Encore’s creative director, said the play is “quite a funny show. You have interesting characters. There’s a murder at the end of act one, and we spend act two trying to figure out who did it. It’s quite a surprise ending.”

The play, which combines the mystery elements of Agatha Christie and the comedy of Noel Coward, is set in an English countryside manor in 1932.

Don Breedwell, the theatre’s technical director and facilities manager, is also a co-director of the show. He said Encore chose the play because “we like mysteries, and we like comedy. Both of those elements are contained in this play. It’s a nice period piece, and I think it will meet the requirements of the dynamics of our audience.”

With the show set in England, the actors bring their best accents to the table in the show.

“It is hard doing the British accent,” said Corinne Cook, who plays Sorel Bennett. “I’m from California, so it’s not cutting the Southern accent out of it. It’s just getting the right take on it and keeping it the whole play.”

Tammy Sutherland plays household maid Bridgit, who is Irish.

“I like to do accents,” she said. “I’ve done a number of accents. I haven’t done Irish in a long time, so I wanted to do Irish again.”

Bringing a Cockney accent to the show is Evan Grabenstein, who plays Jack. He said he wanted the role as a “challenge. I’ve done a Cockney accent before, but I haven’t really refined it. This gave me the chance to play a role as elongated as this.”

He said after a while, it’s hard to continue the accent, “but it comes down to knowing the lines and knowing exactly how to say it. There’s one particular line where I took four hours trying figure out how to say each individual word.”

Cook said she likes the fact that her character “is oblivious to anyone else. She’s very narcissistic and it’s all about ‘me.’ Nothing else matters and it’s fun to be in that headset for a while.”

Sutherland is fond of Bridgit, who she describes as a “curmudgeon-type personality and I can bring that forth, so to speak. I like the fact that she is kind of fiery and doesn’t pay attention to her employers. She does what she wants to do. She’s very lively in that sense so I enjoy that.”

Grabenstein said he likes the character because Jack and Bridgit are the “comic relief” of the show, and that gives him a chance to perform comedy.

“He’s kind of a happy-go-lucky, free-flowing kind of guy,” Grabenstein said. “He doesn’t let anything get to him. He knows he’s got orders and has things to do. The less he complains about it, the sooner he’ll be done.”

The show runs Friday and Saturday and April 27-28 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday and April 29 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased by calling 615-598-8950. The theatre is at 6978 Lebanon Road, just west of Highway 109, in Mt. Juliet.

For more information about Encore Theatre Co., visit encore-theatre-company.org.

By Angie Mayes

Special to the Democrat

Mt. Juliet Christian Academy to present ‘Singin’ in the Rain’

Submitted to Mt. Juliet News
Mt. Juliet Christian Academy drama students Braeden Mahabir as Don Lockwood, Abigail Wilson as Kathy Seldon and Mason Tabor as Cosmo Brown prepare for the April 20-22 production of ‘Singin’ in the Rain.’

Mt. Juliet Christian Academy’s high school drama students will perform “Singin’ in the Rain,” often referred to as “the greatest movie musical of all time,” next weekend for public audiences.

“Singin’ in the Rain” will be performed Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Doors will open 30 minutes prior to each performance. Tickets will be available at the door for $10 per adult and $7 per student. Cash and checks will be accepted. Also, concessions will be available before the show and during intermission.

Directed and choreographed by Mt. Juliet Christian Academy theater and choral director Kimberly Overstreet, the play will feature senior Braeden Mahabir as Don Lockwood, junior Abigail Wilson as Kathy Seldon and junior Mason Tabor as Cosmo Brown, as well as many other middle and high school drama students.

Previously, Mahabir starred as Billy Crocker and Wilson starred as Hope Harcourt in “Anything Goes” in 2017. Wilson also played Maria during the 2016 school production of “The Sound of Music.” Tabor was seen last year as Horace Vandergelder in the school’s production of “The Matchmaker.”

Entertainment for any fan of musicals from Hollywood’s golden age, “Singin’ in the Rain” was adapted for the stage by Betty Comden and Adolph Green and features unforgettable songs, situations, moving tap routines and snappy dialogue. Set during the 1920s when Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont are Hollywood’s favorite silver screen stars, “Singin’ in the Rain” has all the makings of a Hollywood headline – from the beautiful starlet, the dashing leading man and a boy-meets-girl romance that features some of the best dance numbers, comedy routines and romantic ballads ever written.

Mt. Juliet Christian Academy is at 735 N. Mt. Juliet Road. The performance will be in the gymnasium.

Staff Reports

Local author holds autism presentation at library

Jacob Smith • Mt. Juliet News
Mt. Juliet author D.G. Driver presents her book, ‘No One Needed to Know,’ and talks about autism Thursday afternoon at the Lebanon Public Library.

Mt. Juliet author D.G. Driver held a presentation on autism Thursday afternoon at the Lebanon Public Library.

Driver’s new book, “No One Needed to Know” is aimed at readers 8-13 years old and focuses on an 11-year-old girl named Heidi who deals with the pressures and responsibilities of having an older autistic brother.

Heidi sees her brother bullied by children in the neighborhood and worries if her friends find out about him she will get bullied, too. She’s often impatient with her brother and blames him for when things go so badly for her at school.

But, Heidi also needs to learn more about her brother’s condition and ultimately teach others why he’s special and how to be kind to all people with special needs.

In her presentation, Driver said that while it’s often hard to pinpoint the inspiration from her books, this one comes directly from her personal experience.

“When I’m writing books that are about mermaids and shape shifting orcas, it’s a little bit harder to say,” said Driver. “But, for this book, it’s not. This book came straight out of my life. My brother, Joe, is four years older than me, and he is autistic. So, I looked back at the time when I was 11 or 12 years old and the feelings that I had and the experiences that I was having, and I pulled from that to create this story.”

Driver stressed that it’s not an autobiography, and a lot of the events in the book are made up, nevertheless, some of it did happen to her. Outside of writing, Driver currently works as a special education teacher.

“I, my whole career, have worked with special needs kids,” said Driver.

In her presentation, Driver explained what autism is and how it can affect people who are diagnosed with it.

“Autism is a neurological disorder, which means it affects the brain and the way the brain works,” said Driver. “It is not an illness. It is not something you can catch, like the flu. There’s not a cure for it. Autism usually causes difficulty with social interactions. So, people who are autistic have a hard time relating to other people. They may not be able to read your emotions. They might not be able to read things like sarcasm. They might not be able to look at your face and understand things you’re trying to say to them. They’re very literal.”

Driver went on to talk about bullying and how it can affect not just those with autism, but everyone.

“My brother was bullied,” said Driver. “We used to have the same bus stop. He went to a different school than I did because he was older, but our bus stop was the same. So, we would walk there, it was a good four blocks away, and we always had to pass by this boy’s house and every day he would call my brother a really bad name. It was hurtful, and I didn’t like it. I knew that guy later in high school and he tried to be my friend and he tried to be my friend on Facebook and I won’t let him, even to this day.”

Books about teaching empathy and kindness to children are gaining in popularity. For that reason, “No One Needed to Know” won the 2017 Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval and the Silver Medal for Best Preteen Fiction. The novel also won the 2017 Purple Dragonfly Children’s Book Award and the 2017 Human Relations Indie Book Gold Medal Award for Special Needs Awareness in Children’s Fiction.

Driver is a familiar face in Lebanon. She performed in the Centerstage Theatre Co. productions of “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Father of the Bride” last year and she directed “Miracle on 34th Street,” which was performed at Winfree Bryant Middle School.

She has been a published author for more than 20 years, and she is a teacher at an inclusive child development center in Nashville. To learn more about Driver and her books, visit dgdriver.com.

By Jacob Smith

jsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Tickets available for St. Jude Dream Home in Mt. Juliet

Submitted to Mt. Juliet News
An artist’s rendering shows what the St. Jude Dream Home will look like once it’s built in Mt. Juliet. Tickets are on sale to win the home.

Tickets for the 2018 Nashville St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway in Mt. Juliet are currently available.

Lunchbox from the Bobby Bones Show helped kick off the campaign by reserving one of the first tickets at an event this week in the Jackson Hills community in Mt. Juliet. St. Jude representatives and supporters were present to accept the $100 bill.

The 2018 Nashville St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway tickets can be reserved at Two Rivers Ford in Mt. Juliet or by calling 800-746-6713.

Tickets can also be reserved at dreamhome.org.

This year marks the 14th anniversary of the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway in Middle Tennessee and the second year to build a giveaway home in Mt. Juliet. St. Jude officials said they were excited to continue partnerships in Mt. Juliet through the Nashville campaign.

“Signature Homes is proud to have been the builder for the Nashville St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway for five years. We are thrilled to support this campaign once again, and we will continue to support St. Jude patients and families in Middle Tennessee,” said Chris Carpenter, division president of Signature Homes.

Signature Homes will build the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway house, valued at about $450,000. The house features four bedrooms and three bathrooms, a gourmet kitchen, spa master bath, covered patio, media room and designer trim details throughout.

In addition to the house, other prizes available include:

• a 2018 CMA Awards package, including two lower-level tickets to the 52nd annual CMA Awards, courtesy of the Country Music Association, and a luxurious one night stay, courtesy of Hotel Indigo.

• a trip for two to see the Zac Brown Band, including concert tickets, hotel and airfare, courtesy of The BIG 98 and Warner Music Nashville, plus a $2,500 MasterCard, courtesy of Wilson Bank & Trust.

• a 2018 Ford Escape, courtesy of Two Rivers Ford.

Winners of the 2018 Nashville St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway and additional prizes will be drawn June 24 at 4 p.m. live on WZTV Fox 17.

Only 13,500 tickets will be available for the 2018 St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway. The giveaway will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

StaffReports

Encore Theatre to hold auditions for ‘Peter Pan,’ ‘Double Wide Texas’

Two auditions will be held during three days, and players can try out for both shows with one visit to Encore Theatre Co.

Auditions for both “Peter Pan” and “Double Wide Texas” will be Sunday through Tuesday at the theatre at 6978 Lebanon Road, just west of Highway 109, in Mt. Juliet.

Auditions for the Lux Radio Theater presentation of “Peter Pan” from the classic play by James M. Barrie and directed by Mary Gingold will be Sunday from 5-7 p.m. and Monday from 6-8 p.m. Performances will be May 4-6.

This is the story of a mischievous little boy who can fly and his adventures on the island of Neverland with Wendy Darling and her brothers, the fairy Tinker Bell, the Lost Boys, Captain Hook and others.

Roles for all voices and all ages will be available. Auditions will be cold readings from the script. Some roles will be read by the same person. Headshots and bios will not be required.

Anyone with questions may email Gingold at mgingold@comcast.net.

Auditions for “Double Wide Texas,” a Jones Hope Wooten comedy directed by Michael Rex, will be Monday and Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. Performances will be weekends from June 1-10.

In the hilarious, fast-paced comedy, the inhabitants of one of the smallest trailer parks in Texas – four doublewides and a shed – are thrown for a loop when they realize the nearby town of Tugaloo is determined to annex them.

Roles will be available for three men and six women between 20-70 years old. Auditions will be cold readings from the script. Headshots and bios will be welcomed but not required.

Anyone with questions may email Rex at athulf36@gmail.com.

Currently in its 11th year, Encore Theatre Co. is a nonprofit community theater that serves Wilson County and surrounding areas.

Staff Reports

West Elementary School students promote kindness

Video helps set the tone for week of activities with common theme

Photo courtesy of YouTube
West Elementary School students encourage their peers to inspire dreams and other acts of kindness in a video to kick off the school’s Kindness Week.

West Elementary School kicked off its Kindness Week with a video promoting kindness and positivity.

The video, set to Imagine Dragon’s “Thunder,” features West students and faculty discussing their dream jobs and how they encourage each other to achieve their dreams.

Students in the video said they want to be firefighters, soccer players, architects, teachers and more. The group said they encourage teacher and other students in several ways, including smiling, giving teachers coffee, cheering others on in races, making others feel included, pitching in to help others and more.

“Kindness Week is probably my favorite ever, because it’s a full school of encouragement,” said West second-grade teacher Kayleigh Miller. “I love encouraging people by looking them in the eye and saying, ‘Hey. How’s your day?’ I also love encouraging my kids with hugs. That’s my favorite.”

The video also features students reciting catchy phrases to promote kindness, including “If you can’t think of something nice to say, you’re not thinking hard enough.”

West principal Chris Plummer also shared brief thoughts on kindness in the video.

“West is best when you’re being kind,” he said.

West will hold a series of special days during Kindness Week to reinforce that “Bulldogs Don’t Bully.”

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Community Calendar and the People’s Agenda

Community Calendar

POLICY: Items for the Community Calendar may be submitted via email at editor@lebanondemocrat.com, in person at The Democrat’s office at 402 N. Cumberland St., by mail at The Lebanon Democrat, 402 N. Cumberland St., Lebanon, TN 37087 or via fax at 615-444-0899. Items must be received by 4 p.m. for the next day’s edition. The calendar is a free listing of nonprofit events, community club and government meetings. The Democrat reserves the right to reject or edit material. Notices run on an as space is available basis and cannot be taken over the phone. Include a name and phone number in case of questions.

March 14

WSM Road Show

6 p.m.

The free WSM Road Show musical talent competition will be Wednesday, March 14 from 6-8 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre in Lebanon. The winner will play the Grand Ole Opry on the same night as Alan Jackson. For details on the competition, visit wsmonline.com.

March 15

Human Trafficking in Tennessee Panel Discussion

5 p.m.

The public is invited to a panel discussion on “Human Trafficking in Tennessee,” sponsored by Cumberland University’s criminal justice department, Thursday, March 15 at 5 p.m. in Labry Hall room 130. Representatives from End Slavery Tennessee, Magdalene House-Thistle Farms and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will discuss the causes, current state and successful means of combating human trafficking. Marjorie Quin, Cumberland’s criminal justice program director, will moderate the discussion.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5015 meeting

6 p.m.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5015 in Lebanon will meet Thursday, March 15 at 6 p.m. and on the third Thursday of each month in the Veterans Building at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center. Any veteran who has been awarded a campaign medal or combat medal for any hostility is eligible for membership, verified by the veterans’ DD 214 Form. Presently, Post 5015 is having success in rebuilding its post and becoming active in district and local events. It is not a Lebanon post, but a countywide post. To learn more, contact Post Commander John Marshall at jtmarshall2@icloud.com; Senior Vice Commander Ken Kackley at hkenkjr@aol.com or Junior Vice Commander Harold W. Weist at grnmarine@tds.net.

Fiddlers Grove Model Train Club

7 p.m.

The Fiddlers Grove Model Train Club will meet Thursday, March 15 and each third Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. in the Fiddlers Grove Train Museum at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon. This is an all-scale model railroad club. During the meeting, everyone will share their knowledge and introduce the hobby to folks new to the interest. The Train Museum has an extensive O-gauge layout and a small HO-scale layout with plans to expand the HO track. The club is open to anyone interested in model train railroads. For more information, contact Ron Selliers at trainslayer53@gmail.com.

Beer and Hymns

7:30 p.m.

Beer and Hymns will return Thursday, March 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre in Lebanon. Tickets are $11 each. Black Abbey Brewing Co. will have beer for sale. For tickets and more information, visit beerhymns.com.

March 16

Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber St. Patrick’s Day Open House

2 p.m.

The annual St. Patrick’s Day Open House will be Friday, March 16 from 2-4 p.m. at the Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce office at 149 Public Square in Lebanon. Light refreshments will be served.

“California Suite” Comedy Theater at Vol State

7:30 p.m.

The classic Neil Simon comedy, “California Suite,” by the Volunteer State Community College theater program as part of the spring 2018 visual and performing arts series will be Friday, March 16, Saturday, March 17, Friday, March 23 and Saturday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 18 at 2:30 p.m. in the Wemyss Auditorium in Caudill Hall on the Vol State campus at 1480 Nashville Pike in Gallatin. Admission is a suggested $5 donation, which is used to fund student scholarships. For more information, call 615-230-3200 or visit volstate.edu/art.

March 17

Southern Pygmy Goat Club Spring Show

8 a.m.

The Southern Pygmy Goat Club will present its spring pygmy goat show Saturday, March 17 in the Livestock Building at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon. There will be no admission fee for visitors. There will be exhibitors from several states. The day will consist of two shows, which are sanctioned by the National Pygmy Goat Association. The NPGA licensed judges will be Karen Crawford of Graham, of Washington and Kevin Kress, of Glen Ellen, California. At about 1 p.m., there will be a “Parade of Pygmies” as a part of the St. Patrick’s Day festivities.

“California Suite” Comedy Theater at Vol State

7:30 p.m.

The classic Neil Simon comedy, “California Suite,” by the Volunteer State Community College theater program as part of the spring 2018 visual and performing arts series will be Saturday, March 17, Friday, March 23 and Saturday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 18 at 2:30 p.m. in the Wemyss Auditorium in Caudill Hall on the Vol State campus at 1480 Nashville Pike in Gallatin. Admission is a suggested $5 donation, which is used to fund student scholarships. For more information, call 615-230-3200 or visit volstate.edu/art.

March 18

Blood Drive

9 a.m.

An American Red Cross blood drive will be Sunday, March 18 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Celebration Lutheran Church at 3425 N. Mt. Juliet Road in Mt. Juliet. Food will be served. To make an appointment to donate blood, download the free Red Cross blood donor app, visit redcrossblood.org or call 800-RED CROSS.

Wilson County Board of Education Administration and Training Complex Dedication

2 p.m.

The Wilson County Board of Education will dedicate its administration and training complex Sunday, March 18 from 2-4 p.m. at the former Lebanon High School at 415 Harding Drive in Lebanon. For more information, contact Jennifer Johnson at 615-453-7294 or jenniferjohnson@wcschools.com.

“California Suite” Comedy Theater at Vol State

2:30 p.m.

The classic Neil Simon comedy, “California Suite,” by the Volunteer State Community College theater program as part of the spring 2018 visual and performing arts series will be Sunday, March 18 at 2:30 p.m. and Friday, March 23 and Saturday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the Wemyss Auditorium in Caudill Hall on the Vol State campus at 1480 Nashville Pike in Gallatin. Admission is a suggested $5 donation, which is used to fund student scholarships. For more information, call 615-230-3200 or visit volstate.edu/art.

March 19

Blood Drive

Noon

An American Red Cross blood drive will be Monday, March 19 from noon until 4 p.m. at the East-West Building at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center at 945 Baddour Pkwy. in Lebanon. To make an appointment to donate blood, download the free Red Cross blood donor app, visit redcrossblood.org or call 800-RED CROSS.

March 21

Mt. Juliet Chamber Connection Luncheon

11:15 a.m.

The Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce’s monthly luncheon will be Wednesday, March 21 from 11:15 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at Rutland Place. Mt. Juliet Mayor Ed Hagerty will present his State of the City address. Early registration is $18 by March 20 at noon and $23 for late registration. To register, visit mjchamber.org.

The People’s Agenda

POLICY: Items for the Government Calendar may be submitted via email at editor@lebanondemocrat.com, in person at The Democrat’s office at 402 N. Cumberland St., by mail at The Lebanon Democrat, 402 N. Cumberland St., Lebanon, TN 37087 or via fax at 615-444-0899. Items must be received by 4 p.m. for the next day’s edition. The calendar is a free listing of government meetings and government-related events. The Democrat reserves the right to reject or edit material. Notices run on an as space is available basis and cannot be taken over the phone. Include a name and phone number in case of questions.

March 16

Wilson County Board of Zoning Appeals meeting

9 a.m.

The Wilson County Board of Zoning Appeals will meet Friday, March 16 at 9 a.m. in commission chambers at the Wilson County Courthouse.

Wilson County Planning Commission meeting

11 a.m.

The Wilson County Planning Commission will meet Friday, March 16 at 11 a.m. in commission chambers at the Wilson County Courthouse.

March 19

Wilson County Commission meeting

7 p.m.

The Wilson County Commission will meet Monday, March 19 at 7 p.m. in commission chambers at the Wilson County Courthouse.

March 26

Mt. Juliet City Commission meeting

6:30 p.m.

The Mt. Juliet City Commission will meet Monday, March 26 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall at 2425 N. Mt. Juliet Road. A public hearing will be at 6:15 p.m.

March 29

Wilson County Board of Education work session

5 p.m.

The Wilson County Board of Education will meet in a work session Thursday, March 29 at 5 p.m. at the new central office at 415 Harding Drive in Lebanon.

– Staff Reports

Local choirs come together for All-Sing

Jacob Smith • Lebanon Democrat
The Wilson County All-Sing was held Thursday night as choirs from five local high schools performed at Lebanon High School.

Choirs from five local high schools performed songs Thursday night at the Wilson County All-Sing event.

The Lebanon High School Blue Diamonds, Mt. Juliet High School MOVE, Wilson Central High School Chamber Choir, Lebanon High School Mixed Choir, Watertown High School Concert Choir, Mt. Juliet Christian Academy Singular Sensations Show Choir, Wilson Central High School Women’s Chorale, Wilson Central High School Aca-Flockas, Lebanon High School Concert Choir, Mt. Juliet High School Vocal Ensemble and All-County Mass Choir performed during the event.

The Lebanon High School auditorium was packed as people came to watch the performances of the local students. Six performances made up the first portion of the program, with six more following a brief intermission.

The event, which is sponsored by the Mt. Juliet Noon Rotary Club, raised money for Rotary’s service efforts in the community, and a portion of every ticket sold went to the high schools. Tickets were $10 each, and All-Sing T-shirts also sold for $12.

Lebanon High School Blue Diamonds started the first portion of the show with “Back to Basics.”

Next, Mt. Juliet High School MOVE performed “Lord, Lord.”

Wilson Central High School’s Chamber Choir performed “Muusika” and “Walk Together, Children,” followed by Lebanon High School’s Mixed Choir performing “Oculi Omnium” and “Grace Before Sleep.”

The final two performances before intermission were Mt. Juliet Christian Academy performing “My Old Kentucky Home” and “A Gaelic Blessing,” and Watertown High School’s Concert Choir performing “Wade in the Water” and “Dirait-on.”

Mt. Juliet Christian Academy’s Singular Sensations Show Choir kicked off the second half of the show performing “Footoose,” followed by Wilson Central High School Women’s Chorale performing “Bring Me Little Water, Silvy.”

Then, the Wilson Central High School Aca-Flockas performed “Will The Circle Be Unbroken,” and the Lebanon High School Concert Choir performed “Nda Wana,” and “Wake Me Up.”

The Mt. Juliet High School Vocal Ensemble performed “I Am Not Yours” right before all of the choirs came together to form the All-County Mass Choir and perform “Praise His Holy Name.”

By Jacob Smith

jsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Encore’s ‘Dearly Departed’ starts this weekend

The comedy, “Dearly Departed” by David Bottrell and Jessie Jones, will take the stage beginning this weekend at Encore Theatre Co.

Directed by Sara Dhom, the comedy takes place in current day and is set in the buckle of the Bible belt. It is about a Southern family and neighbors, handling the death and funeral of Bud – uncle, husband, father, neighbor and friend. The mayhem, confusion, silliness and slapstick ensues and brings together a hilarious cast of characters.

Performances will be March 2-3 and March 9-10 at 7:30 p.m. and March 4 and March 11 at 2:30 p.m. at Encore Theatre Co. at 6978 Lebanon Road, just west of Highway 109, in Holmes Crossing. The theatre opens 30 minutes before show time.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for seniors 60 and older and youth 12 and younger. Visit encore-theatre-company.org, ticketsnashville.com or call 615-598-8950 for reservations.

Now in its 12th year, Encore Theatre Co. is a nonprofit community theater that serves Wilson County and surrounding areas.

Staff Reports

‘Shrek, The Musical’ to take the Wilson Central stage

Fun-filled theatre performances start Thursday

Angie Mayes • Mt. Juliet News
Shrek, played by Logan Richardson, talks to Fiona, played by Cailyn Maguire, during a recent dress rehearsal of ‘Shrek, The Musical’ at Wilson Central High School. The mostly student-run performances kick off Thursday at 7 p.m. in the school’s Performing Arts Center.

Wilson Central High School’s Wildcat Theatre Co. will present “Shrek, The Musical,” which starts Thursday in the school’s Performing Arts Center.

The legendary tale involves a lovable ogre, who was sent into the world to make a living when he was just 7 years old, and his home in the swamp is disrupted when a number of story tale creatures invade his space. Creatures such a Pinocchio, the Big Bad Wolf, the Ugly Duckling and the Sugar Plum Fairy are banished to the area by Lord Farguuad, who threatened them with the penalty of death if they ever return.

Princess Fiona is stuck in a tower with a lava moat and a fire-breathing dragon guarding the exit. Faraquuad decides to marry Fiona so he can become king. All the while, he does not know what happens to her at night.

She dreams a white knight will whisk her away from her torment. The musical follows the life of the characters as they maneuver through events, hoping to see a happy outcome.

Musical director and Wilson Central High School theatre director Katharine Ray brings the show to life with a thrust stage and an actual orchestra pit. A thrust stage is one, which extends into the audience, and the audience wraps around the action. The orchestra pit is between the edge of the actual stage and the extension of the thrust stage.

With a cast of 35 members and 15 stage crewmembers who work will behind the stage during the show, Ray said the show is mainly student-run.

“This is our closing main-stage show, and we’re doing it with a live orchestra,” Ray said. “A lot of our players are our students, and we also have some professionals who come in from Nashville and fill out the rest of the orchestra.”

She said the crew is “responsible for everything. I guide them and teach them, but I let them get the lay of the land. I guide them on lighting. We do have a lighting director. She’s a junior, and she designed all of the lighting for the show. We have a cyclorama designer, who designs all of the lights on the back on our cyclorama. If I don’t like what they’ve done, I have them adjust it until it’s what I want and sets the right mood or whatever.”

There are two stage managers this year, who are responsible for making sure the show runs smoothly, with set pieces and props moving on and off stage without problems. They are also responsible for safety and making sure those responsible for costume changes have what they need. All of the set pieces are movable for the show, Ray said.

“That’s unusual, because we usually have standard set pieces that don’t run anywhere,” she said.

Raye, said the show was chosen because “it’s a fun musical and is big costume fun, that’s for sure. We had the right students to do it this year, and it’s just the perfect fit.  We had the students to fill out the roles. We had a lot of new talent come in. We actually invited a lot of middle schools to come in and audition. We have two middle schoolers who have come from West Wilson and Stoner Creek.”

For the show, she also has a “show runner,” who is someone who is in control of the show, calling all of the shots throughout the show. That allows Ray to stand up, watch and be there, if needed.

Logan Richardson, who plays Shrek, said he wanted to play the main character because, “I felt Shrek was a great character to test my abilities as an actor and to allow me the opportunity for me to expand my range of characters that I have played in the past.”

Aspyn Freeman, who plays Ogre Fiona, said she likes her role. “It has a really good character arc, and I enjoy both the physical and emotional challenges she faces, as well as the challenges I have faced with the prosthetics and makeup. I think it’s a great show and a fun role to take part in. I just love the cast.”

“I have loved this show since I saw it at TPAC when I was 10, and it’s been a dream role ever since,” said Cailyn Maguire, the actress who plays Fiona. “I relate to her so much because she is sweet, kind, spunky, sassy and strong.  She also learns to love herself for who she is in the end. I love playing Fiona, not only because of the character and the awesome songs, but also because of the amazing cast I get to share the stage with.”

Shrek, the Musical takes place Thursday through Sunday at 7 p.m. with 2:30 p.m. matinees. There will be two shows Saturday. Tickets are on sale for $15 for adults and $10 for students. They are good for any show and can be purchased at the door.

By Angie Mayes

Special to the Mt. Juliet News

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library license plate sales to benefit Wilson Books from Birth

The Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library license plate, currently available at the Wilson County clerk’s office, sales benefit Wilson Books from Birth, the replication of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in Wilson County.

Each Imagination Library license plate sold in Wilson County will supply one child in the local community with books for one year at no cost to the family. In partnership with the Dollywood Foundation and the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation, Wilson Books from Birth provides 5,800 Wilson County preschool children with books each month.

The Imagination Library license plate is available for purchase or license renewal.  Visit to the clerk’s office at the Wilson County Courthouse or call 615-444-0314 to get the license plate.

For more information regarding Wilson Books from Birth, call 615-444-5586 or find it on Facebook.

Staff Reports

‘Glory Road’ featured movie during Black History Month

In honor of Black History Month, the Wilson County Black History Committee will present two showings of the movie, “Glory Road.”   

The film will be shown Feb. 15 at 11:30 a.m. and Sunday, Feb. 25 at 2:30 p.m. at the Capitol Theater at 110 W. Main Street in Lebanon. Admission will be $5, and tickets are available at the Lebanon-Wilson Chamber of Commerce, from any member of the Wilson County Black History Committee or at the box office an hour before show time.

Released in 2006, the movie highlights the true-life story of the man who built a basketball team on talent rather than race. Starring Josh Lucas as coach Don Haskins, it’s the story of Texas Western College, currently the University of Texas in El Paso, in 1966. It is a story of student athletes in a time of racism and discrimination and a coach whose mission was to put the best players on the floor. Haskins led the first all-black starting lineup for a college basketball team to the NCAA national championship.

Staff Reports

World War II aviator movie upcoming at Wilson County Veterans Museum

In the fall 2016, Wilson County resident Tom Clemmons set out to record his father, Hubert D. Clemmons Jr., who recounted his memories as a B-24 pilot.

In the early days of capturing the moments for future generations, Hubert died.

Hubert Clemmons’ death left more questions than answers for his son who kept wondering what his father experienced during the war.

With the support of his brother, Rusty, and his sister, Carol, Tom Clemmons set out on a journey of discovery to uncover a story left unfinished.

Along the way, the siblings met a fascinating group of people dedicated to preserving the legacy of veterans.

Their efforts resulted in a documentary film, “Time Changes Everything,” produced by Semmes Media.

The public is invited to see the film on a big screen Saturday at 2 p.m. inside the Wilson County Veterans Museum. The museum will open at 1 p.m. for free tours and to meet filmmaker Trey Semmes and the Clemmons’ family.

The museum’s number of folding chairs is limited. Those who plan to attend should bring a folding or lawn chair.

Staff Reports

Mardi Gras returns to Capitol Theatre

Sinclaire Sparkman • Mt. Juliet News
Guests at Mardi Gras show their fun flare at the Capitol Theatre on Friday evening in Lebanon. The event raised money for Sherry’s Run.

New Orleans flavor invaded downtown Lebanon on Friday as the annual Mardi Gras at the Capitol event returned for its third year.

The event featured plenty of music and fun, along with a cash bar, live and silent auctions and more. The Mardi Gras at the Capitol is formerly known as the Low Country Boil, which was started years ago by the Shamrock Society. All proceeds from the Mardi Gras at the Capitol will be used locally to help Sherry’s Run meet the needs of neighbors who are battling cancer.

The event featured a catered meal by Ed Riley with Mo’Cara and Two Fat Men Catering and music from local favorite Four on the Floor.

Auction items included featured an autographed P.K. Subban Nashville Predators jersey, handcrafted wine and wine class holder, Southern Sunday Coffee Java-lover package, one-week stay in Los Cabos, Mexico, unlimited one-hour massages for a year from Body Kneads, exMark Quest S-Series mower and more.

Al Ashworth, owner of Custom Color, was the event’s honored speaker. Ashworth spoke about his cancer recovery and his next book, “No Snow Days: Commitment, Honor, Purpose.”

The Shamrock Society consists of a group of Wilson County friends who had seen the effects cancer had on their loved ones and wanted to make a difference. Since they started, the group has raised more than $600,000 for cancer support with more than half of that going to Sherry’s Run.

Sherry’s Run assists cancer patients 52 weeks a year with gas, groceries, utility bills, housing payments, prescription assistance, health insurance premiums, medical bills and colonoscopy assistance.

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Wilson County Fair taps new carnival company

Mt. Juliet News File Photo
Tennessee’s largest fair will debut a new carnival company in 2018 after the Wilson County Fair selected Reithoffer Shows to provide the rides, games and some food for the 2018-2020 fairs, according to Reithoffer president Richard Reithoffer and Randall Clemons, president of Wilson County Promotions, parent company of the Wilson County Fair.

Tennessee’s largest fair will debut a new carnival company in 2018 after the Wilson County Fair selected Reithoffer Shows to provide the rides, games and some food for the 2018-2020 fairs, according to Reithoffer president Richard Reithoffer and Randall Clemons, president of Wilson County Promotions, parent company of the Wilson County Fair.

The fair’s contract with Amusements of America expired and the group did not renew for another year with the company, which had served the Wilson County Fair since 2008.

“We’re very pleased the fair selected our show,” Reithoffer said. “It was a perfect fit – location and the fair wanting the best quality available. We were impressed with the fair’s leadership – the directors are very committed, active and really involved in the fair. This is the largest and best fair in Tennessee and one of the top 50 fairs in North America. We spent a lot of time reviewing operations, lot layout and discussing future plans. We want to be a part of their master plan to make the fair even better”.

Reithoffer said Lebanon is mid-way on the Reithoffer travel route from the New Jersey State Fair to the New Mexico State Fair in Albuquerque.

“It is not quite half way, but pretty close. The stars were aligned relative to travel and availability,” Reithoffer said.

Clemons, who served as fair treasurer for 38 years, became president of the fair following the death of longtime president Hale Moss. Clemons said the fair wanted to seek the best carnival available –more spectacular rides, electronic ticketing and creative thinking for the future.

“Our executive board did a thorough job of reviewing carnivals and in the end, Reithoffer Shows was our best fit for the Fair. We liked the rides, staffing, new ticketing system, quality and cleanliness of the rides. We studied all areas of their business and Reithoffer had the entire package and they were available,” Clemons said.

The Wilson County Fair is located 20 miles east of the Nashville metro market, one of the fastest growing areas in America. The 2017 Wilson County Fair attendance was 488,299.

The 1000-plus fair volunteers gave more than 77,000 hours to produce the fair, which encompasses 270 acres, 150 events and more than 14,000 exhibits. A highlight of the facility includes more than 50 buildings of Tennessee history and lore called Fiddlers Grove.

The latest addition to Fiddlers Grove is the Moss Feed Store, constructed in 2017 by the Moss Family and the Fair Board in memory of the late Hale Moss. The Wilson County Fair is also the home of a new 78,000-square-foot expo center at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center, which was the dream of Moss and the volunteers for more than 20 years.

The Wilson County Expo Center took the fair to another level with competitive exhibits, fair pageants and Hometown USA located in the facility, according to Clemons. 

Reithoffer Shows is one of the largest mobile amusement companies in North America. Started 122 years ago by Germanborn Julius Reithoffer, with a steam-powered carousel in Pennsylvania, the company has grown to include 100 rides, as many as four units on the road and new technology including electronic ticketing.  Reithoffer Shows is regarded as one of the top carnivals to purchase spectacular rides, many of them from Europe.

Reithoffer said the Blue Unit would play the fair, providing approximately 50 rides including two roller coasters and the largest portable slide in North America-featuring seven lanes of fun.

Reithoffer Shows annually plays more than 50 events, including state and county fairs, festivals and corporate functions.

Staff Reports