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  •            People attended the 2017 Collierville Independence Day Celebration.
  •  The finale featured a          shell firework display lasting      minutes.
  •  Christmas in Collierville featured      free events over    weeks.
  •  Over              lights illuminated Collierville Town Square.
  •         poinsettias built the gazebo poinsettia tree.
  •  The Town Square Christmas tree featured          LED lights.
  •           LED lights make up the new animated tree featuring      lighting effects.
  •         gallons of hot chocolate was served at the 2017 Collierville Tree Lighting.
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Special events

2017 HIGHLIGHTS

History and the Herald

at the Morton Museum

Morton Museum Wins

Highest Honors

Five Times Over

at State Conference

Collierville Caboose

Receives Restoration

Paint Job

Children Prove to

Be Reel Experts at

Youth Fishing Rodeo

Town Builds

New  Square

Restrooms

Collierville Takes 32nd

Independence Day

Celebration to New Heights

Mater Local Historian

Program Grabs Morton

Director for Pilot

Christmas in Collierville

Bigger and Brighter than

Ever

2/24/17 - The Morton Museum’s Lunch ‘n’ Learn series continues to educate and entertain those who attend the talks on every second and fourth Thursday. The fun begins at 11:00 am and lasts until noon, or until the last asked question is answered.

On February 8, The Collierville Herald’s publisher and sales director Lyn Whitson spoke about the newspaper’s history and its role in the community. Whitson is originally from Flint, Michigan, and started her career in the newspaper business there 30 years ago. When she was approached about working at The Herald, Whitson took on the job with the knowledge that the print news business was changing. Some things about The Herald remain as they were when the publication started 147 years ago – the staff wants to serve the community in sharing news that is necessary and news that is uplifting. But The Herald is also expanding its base of services to include digital services such as creating and managing websites, and managing social media.

Those present at Whitson’s talk included senior citizens who remembered the print newspaper as being a big part of daily life and a group of homeschoolers learning about how news was communicated “back in the day”. Whitson welcomed both groups. She asked for their feedback on what they liked and disliked in the paper, and what they would like to see in future editions. Attendees told Whitson that they very much liked the focus on positive subjects and on the history of the Collierville community. Whitson also invited Collierville residents to send in photos and information about local events. “If we have room in the paper, we’ll get them in,” she said.

Whitson showed the audience hardbound editions of the paper’s back issues, but also directed them to the digital archives on the Morton Museum’s website. “You have a gem here,” she said, referring to the Morton and its resources.

3/21/17 - This March, the Tennessee Association of Museums held its annual conference in Pigeon Forge, where the Morton Museum of Collierville History received five Awards of Excellence, the most prestigious award presented. The 2017 Awards of Excellence were given to the Morton Museum for Educational Programming (Kids Dairy Making Workshop), Temporary Exhibition (A Portrait of Collierville: 1940-1945), Special Event (Train Heritage Day), Special Recognition (Frisco 1351 Project) and Volunteerism (Bettina Ong-Halleron).

The Tennessee Association of Museums (TAM) is a distinguished museum organization dedicated to preserving Tennessee’s cultural, historical and scientific heritage. The award submissions are evaluated by a voluntary committee and chosen based upon “opportunities to recognize, encourage, and promote the programmatic excellence occurring within Tennessee’s museum community.” Morton Museum Director Brooke Mundy has served as the Secretary TAM since 2015 and was recently re-elected to continue the role for the next three years.

At the 2017 TAM Conference, Brooke led a session titled "Career Development for New and Emerging Museum Professionals" which focused on ways young professionals can tailor their museum career and utilize professional resources relevant to the museum field. Approximately twenty-five conference attendees sat in on the session (roughly a quarter of total conference attendance) from undergraduate students to professionals who have been in the field for a decade or longer. In addition to Brooke’s representation of Collierville and involvement with TAM at the conference, the award ceremony showcased the Morton Museum as an outstanding representation of Collierville’s rich history combined with progressive education.



2/20/17 - Painters began work on “The Caboose,” the Frisco 1351 steam engine’s close neighbor, on Friday, February 17. Priming and painting The Caboose is the first step in restoring the trio of rail cars that have become icons for visitors to the Historic Town Square.

The sunny weather was the perfect backdrop for the project, allowing visitors to stop, watch and take pictures of the process.

The Caboose is not the original end car for the Frisco 1351, but has long been part of the Historic Town Square experience. The process of restoring it and the Frisco 1351 will take place over the next few years, after which they will be used at various Town events and as an information center for tourists.

“The restoration of the Caboose and the Frisco 1351 are part of ongoing improvements to all of the visual elements on the Square,” said Mark Heuberger, Collierville’s Public Information Officer.

5/5/17 - It was a beautiful spring morning as 204 children, along with accompanying adults, surrounded the lake at WC Johnson Park for the annual Collierville Youth Fishing Rodeo on Saturday, May 13, 2017. The participants, ages 12 and under, had 2 hours to reel in as many fish as they could catch. Children 6 and under were able to receive casting assistance, but the remainder of the young anglers had to complete the entire process on their own – and the fish were biting for everyone!

Winners for each age division are as follows: Ages 6 and Under First Place: Keegan Taylor 20lbs 8oz male/1st place Second Place: Coy Colclasure 18lbs 3oz Third Place: Avery Wiseman 15lbs 5oz female/1st place Ages 7 and 8 First Place: Kailee Almeria 21lbs 0oz female/1st place Second Place: Anthony Malone 11lbs 8oz male/1st place Third Place: Parker Roll 11lbs 2oz Ages 9 and 10 First Place: Gage Hix 10lbs 2oz male/1st place Second Place: Oecka Keough 8lbs 12oz Third Place: Alec Gnapp 7lbs 0oz Ryan Sterling 5lbs 13oz female 1st place Ages 11 and 12 First Place: Joshua Taylor 25lbs 2oz male/1st place Second Place: Jackson Self 10lbs 2oz Third Place: Caleb Moatz 9lbs 7oz Ella Straus 4lbs 4oz female 1st place

The Collierville Youth Fishing Rodeo is an annual Town event through the Collierville Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Arts Department with prizes sponsored by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Strike King, the Fayette County Bass Club, Epiphany Lutheran Church Men’s Group, and Academy Sports.



3/9/17 - According to the 2000 US Census, the Town of Collierville was home to around 31,872 residents – much different than the estimated 50,000 residents today. Facilities built in the late nineties, like the Town Square public restrooms, simply cannot efficiently accommodate the Town’s growing population.

Starting on March 10, 2017, the twenty-year-old Town Square restrooms will be out of service until the new facilities are built. During the demolition process, parts of the existing restrooms, including exterior lighting, ceiling fans, etc., will be repurposed in other park facilities. While the construction project will be an inconvenience to Square visitors, the end result will provide improved functionality for restroom services and better utilization of the overall space.

“We will construct two larger footprint, energy efficient, ADA compliant restroom buildings connected together by a covered breezeway,” said Derek Honeycutt, Director of General Services. The building’s exterior will complement the look of the nearby Train Depot with board and batten siding, brick wainscoting, metal roofing, solid wood roof supports and faux chimney stacks to hide ventilation pipes. Inside, the restrooms will be gaining almost 500 square feet of covered space, including the breezeway. Men’s and women’s restrooms will be doubling the amount of toilets and sinks along with the addition of air conditioning; the current restrooms only have a heating system.

The location of the restrooms will also be changed to add more greenspace and seating areas closer to the park on the Square. In the fall of 2016, the Town received approval from Norfolk Southern to build the restroom facility on the southern side of the current location - maintaining a safe distance of 50 feet from the railroad tracks. The flag plaza will be relocated to the northern portion of the space along with the addition of benches and landscaping reflecting the park’s atmosphere.

5/16/17 - The Town of Collierville will be holding the annual Independence Day Celebration on July 3, 2017. This year, we are focusing the event on our veterans and active service members. The Town is seeking pictures of local military service men and women to feature through a special media presentation during the event that will showcase years of service, rank, branch, and decorations for valor. There will also be an “In Memoriam” portion of the presentation to remember passed veterans and those who gave their life during their service.

6/2/17 - Mark your calendars – The Town will be holding its annual Independence Day Celebration on July 3, 2017, and this year it’s going to be better than ever. “This year we're pulling out all the stops to give everyone the opportunity to honor America and our veterans in an exciting and memorable way. We've got a few surprises to start the show and you won't be disappointed,” said Tourism Director Ashley Carver. With the theme of “Freedom, Family and Fun” the Town will be featuring a special salute to our veteran and active military service members along with exciting entertainment and a spectacular fireworks show. Another new feature is this year’s MC. Mid-South TV Personality and WMCTV5 Chief Meteorologist Ron Childers along with Joyce Peterson Childers will be hosting the entertainment.

6/21/17 - If you’ve ever watched the fireworks show at the end of the Town of Collierville’s annual Independence Day Celebration, you know that it’s a spectacular site. This year, the Town is raising the bar to make the entire Independence Day event, from start to finish, as spectacular as the grand finale. Kicking off the celebration on July 3 in Cox Park at 6:30pm, will be a Presentation of Colors by the Memphis Belle Color Guard under the direction of Staff Sergeant Blake Marr of the Tennessee Air National Guard while gospel vocalist Ephie Johnson sings the National Anthem. Members of the Tennessee Air National Guard will be flying a C-17 Globemaster III over the crowd to culminate the official start of the event, with what the flight crew calls “the sound of freedom.” Headlining the entertainment includes the “Original Memphis Band” Young Petty Thieves, and the summer fun, beach band Conch Republic.

With the theme of “Freedom, Family and Fun” the Town will be featuring a special salute to our veterans and active military service members with a special media presentation. Accompanying a military spotlight will be Collierville native, singer-songwriter Lydia Waldrop performing America the Beautiful. In addition to the Town’s hospitality tent for attending military veterans, the US Department of Veteran Affairs will have the local Mobile Vet Center on-site along with the “Highway for Heroes” Department of Motor Vehicles bus as an extra show of support for military service members. A children’s area will include face painting and balloon artists. There will be numerous food vendors offering savory and sweet treats from wood-fired pizzas and gourmet burgers to specialty popsicles – with all the fair-food favorites in between.

6/28/17 - What is the “Sound of Freedom”? Ask the Tennessee Air National Guard, and they’ll tell you it’s the C17 Globemaster III. This impressive aircraft, measuring 174 feet long with a wingspan of 169 feet 10 inches, will be kicking off the 32nd Annual Collierville Independence Day Celebration on Monday, July 3rd at 6:30pm in Cox Park, 440 W. Powell Road. The flyover will be operated by members of the 155th Airlift Squadron of the Tennessee Air National Guard who all have a special connection to Collierville either as a resident or Collierville High School graduate. The flight crew includes Lieutenant Colonel Nathan Pate, Major Will Abernathy, Major Shane O’Neil, Captain Phil Persechini, and Chief Master Sergeant Kenny MacFeggan.
4/21/17 - The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) has taken notice of the work being done at The Morton Museum. So much so that they’ve asked Morton Director Brooke Mundy to serve as an advisor in a new program that teaches those of us who don’t work in a museum how to collect and curate the history that’s all around us. “The goal of the Master Local Historian program is to educate the community on how to uncover history – basically, to turn them into historians,” said Mundy. She said that participants in the program will learn how to uncover and use primary historical sources and how to share what they learn with others.

The 10-12 week program hopes to attract those individuals with a love of history and build a network of “citizen historians” across the United States who can research, present and preserve stories for themselves and for coming generations. “They’ve asked me to be an advisor for developing the program, but they’re also selecting institutions to be pilots for the program. The Morton Museum will be one of the pilot institutions,” said Mundy.

Mundy says she doesn’t have a firm timeline for when the program will start, but she believes it will be sometime this summer. Mundy began working at the Morton Museum in 2014 and was named Director in 2016. Aside from working at the Chucalissa Museum in Southwest Memphis as a graduate student, The Morton Museum has been Mundy’s first “real job” in what promises to be a bright career. Mundy is a native of Florida, but came to Memphis for college and stayed when doors of opportunity starting opening for her. The AASLH is a non-profit organization based in Nashville.



11/16/17 - Collierville’s Town Square during Christmas in Collierville is always memorable, but this year’s display will literally outshine all those in years past. “There will be a quarter million lights throughout Town Square,” said Tourism Director Ashley Carver.

There will be a total of three Christmas trees in the Square, bearing a collective 5,225 lights. The traditional Christmas tree in Town Square is a 30 foot cedar tree and will be covered in 4,100 red, blue, green and yellow LED lights. Not only are the LED lights substantially brighter than the incandescent lights used in the past, but they are also more energy efficient. Another tree will sit at the corner of N. Rowlett Street and Main Street. This new tree will be covered in 1,125 RGB lights. RGB lights use technology to combine the colors red, blue and green to produce different hues of light. The tree will transition through 22 different light features as it’s on display in the Collierville’s Town Square, and its light displays can be programmed for animated shows coordinated with music.

The third tree will stand 10.5 feet tall and be covered with 185 artificial poinsettias (see example below). It will serve as the new backdrop for Santa’s perch in the Gazebo, with the red flowers complementing the deep green fabric on Santa’s new chair. “We felt it was time to enhance one of the most important areas of Town Square at Christmas – Santa’s chair and backdrop,” said Carver. “The new poinsettia tree and chair will provide the perfect photo opportunity from any side of the Gazebo.”

Some of the Square’s Christmas lights will be introduced during Thanksgiving weekend. The Gazebo lights will be on to set the mood for merchants and shoppers, and Santa will be available for pictures starting on Saturday, November 25. The enchantment doesn’t stop with the trees and the Gazebo. Carver said there will also be LED lights across N. Rowlett Street in front of the Depot, as well as outlining the north facing side of the Caboose and the Frisco 1351 steam engine.

  • 25,000 people attended the 2017 Collierville Independence Day Celebration.
  • The finale featured a 7,315 shell firework display lasting 17 minutes.
  • Christmas in Collierville featured 24 free events over 4 weeks.
  • Over 250,000 lights illuminated Collierville Town Square.
  • 185 poinsettias built the gazebo poinsettia tree.
  • The Town Square Christmas tree featured 4,100 LED lights.
  • 1,125 LED lights make up the new animated tree featuring 22 lighting effects.
  • 210 gallons of hot chocolate was served at the 2017 Collierville Tree Lighting.

 

 

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