ADAMS – New events have been incorporated into The Bell Witch Fall Festival, but a few standards and old favorites remain the staples. This year marks the 13th, year for SPIRIT: the Authentic Story of the Bell Witch. SMOKE: A Ballad of the Night Riders, a musical about the tobacco wars that took place in Robertson County and Kentucky, is also in the line-up this year. In addition to two stellar plays, which include professional equity actors, Red River Tales, The Washingtons of Wessyington, and Spirit Tales will be a part of the five-week celebration of arts, culture, and music. The Bell Witch Fall Festival begins Sept. 27th and ends Oct. 31st and will be held at the Bell School Community Complex, Brooksher Outdoor Pavilion, off Hwy 41N in Adams.
The 4th Annual Bell Witch Fall Festival, sponsored by F&M Bank, the Tennessee Arts Commission and The Memorial Foundation, is presented by the City of Adams and Community Spirit, Inc.”We simply could not do this festival, the plays, and all of the presentations without the support of our sponsors,” says Jim Lindsey, president of Community Spirit, Inc.
Red River Tales, Sept. 27 at 3 p.m.
This year’s event kicks-off Sept. 27th at 3 p.m. with Red River Tales, a two-hour, informal show featuring conversations, stories and music derived from the area known as the Red River Watershed. Topics will include: The Black Patch War and the Night Riders by Judge Bill Cunningham, author and KY Supreme Court Justice; Bell Witch Stories by William Turner, retired professor and historian; topics presented by students from Montgomery Central High School and Jo Byrns; and musical performances. This event is free.
SMOKE: A Ballad of the Night Riders – Oct. 2-4 and 9-11 at 7 p.m.
The longest and most violent conflict between the end of the Civil War and the civil rights struggles of the mid 1960s happened right here in Northern Tennessee and Southwestern Kentucky in the early 1900s. Back by popular demand, this superior production will return to our stage with its lyrical, inspiring music and top-notch professional acting. Smoke provides the audience an educational opportunity to grasp and experience the history and emotion of the Tobacco Wars. This event will be presented in the Bell School Outdoor Theatre. Tickets are $25 for adults, $10 students. Thursday night is $8 student night.
The Washingtons of Wessyngton with Special Guest John F. Baker – Oct. 4 at 3 p.m.
The fruit of more than 30 years of archival, field research and DNA testing which spans 250 year, the Springfield native has not only written his own family’s story but he includes the history of hundreds of slaves and their descendants now numbering in the thousands. He shares more than 100 rare photographs and portraits of African Americans who were enslaved on Wessyngton bringing this fascinating American history to life. This event is free.
Spirit Tales – Oct. 18 at 3 p.m.
This rarely-viewed video features the only existing record of Mr. Bims Eden, former owner of the Bell Witch Cave property, sharing his personal stories of the mysterious Bell Witch of Tennessee happenings, along with former State Representative Gene Davidson’s lecture on his research. John Mantooth, Community Spirit member and retired Jo Byrns High School Principal and history teacher, will host the event. Following the video, audience members will be asked to share Bell Witch stories. This video cannot be seen anywhere else! This event is free.
SPIRIT: The Authentic Story of the Bell Witch – Oct. 22-24, Oct.29-31 at 7 p.m.
The Community Spirit mainstay, Spirit, is in its 12th year. This historically accurate play centers on an Adams, TN phenomenon that has world-wide notoriety. Spirit is the only telling of the Bell Witch legend in recent years sanctioned by the Bell Family as based on M V. Ingram’s book. Come see what the legend of Kate is all about! This event will be presented in the Adams Complex Outdoor Pavilion. Tickets are $20 adults, $10 students. Thursday night is $8 student night.