This will be a big weekend for the little town which calls itself the "Cradle of the Tennessee Walking Horse," as the relocated Tennessee Walking Horse National Museum opens on Friday and the 106th annual Wartrace Horse Show takes place on Saturday.
The museum first opened in Shelbyville, inside Calsonic Arena, but that location made it difficult to find. It then moved to the tourist mecca of Lynchburg, but lost access to its rental space. Now, it's in Wartrace, on the railroad square.
The museum will be open Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and again on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. The museum will not be charging admission but will accept donations.
Volunteers have been busily working up to the last minute, and Phillip Gentry, chairman of the museum's board of directors, said that items wouldn't be loaded into display cases until Thursday.
The museum had been working with the goal of being ready in time for the big show, which brings numerous visitors to the railroad town. The horse show will begin at 6 p.m. at Jernigan Field in Wartrace, near the community center.
Civic Enterprises of Wartrace, a joint venture of the East Bedford Civic Club and the Cascade Parent Teachers Organization, operates the horse show.
A total of 27 classes are scheduled. Bobby Sands of Columbia, well-known to Celebration visitors, will be the announcer, with Bill Cantrell of Phenix City, Ala., as judge.
General admission is $5, with ages 12 and under admitted free; box seats are $60 (call 931-703-2819 for information about box seats).
Wartrace takes pride in its role in the walking horse breed. The foundation stallion of the Tennessee Walking Horse breed, Allan F-1, was eventually owned by Albert Dement of Wartrace, and Strolling Jim was trained by Floyd Carothers and is now buried behind the Walking Horse Hotel.