SHELBYVILLE, TN – The 2014 version of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, if they have it, isn’t going to be your “Father’s Celebration”. Celebration CEO Mike Inman announced some striking changes this week for the ten days before Labor Day event.
There will be earlier starting times (saving money on the light bill), discounted box seats (but you have to buy for all 10 days), bring your own food (throwing local civic clubs under the bus), hoping to draw folks with concerts after the horse show. Please note that after CEO Mike tells patrons to bring their own food, he urges them to patronize the concessionaires. He also says there won’t be any packages offered for Championship nights as there have been in the past.
And if you want to come drink “alkyhol” at the Celebration – just come on – drink it anywhere you like, in your seats, walking around, your choice. Inman doesn’t limit it just beer, so that “may” mean Jack Daniels and Coke will be a big hit.
Inman had nothing to say about the horses.
- Start the horse show early.
- Cut out presentations.
- Get the horse show over early.
- Hang on for the concert.
- Bring your own eats.
- Local concessions are on their own.
- Drink your “alkyhol” wherever you please
- Don’t get a group and plan to get a package and come on championship night.
Somehow, this doesn’t exactly sound like what Henry Davis had in mind when he got it all started.
“Celebration cuts prices, speeds pace
Friday, February 21, 2014
“The Celebration will be speeding up its ceremonies as well as discounting box seat prices this year.
“You will be able to get box prices as low as $200,” said Mike Inman, CEO of The Celebration. “That works out to $3.33 a seat per night, since boxes have six seats.”
For example, section M boxes on the east side normally cost $625, but will cost $500 this year. Section Q-T boxes on the east side normally cost $575, but will cost $200 this year. Discounts apply to boxes on the north end as well.
The discounts are only for a one-year trial basis, Inman said. The offer is good for current holders of box seats as well as boxes that are available to the public.
A total of 347 boxes are on the east side, while 336 boxes are on the north end. While in the past you could buy a separate package for the championship nights, that option will not be offered this year, he said. In other words, you must buy a box package for all 10 nights.
The Celebration’s board hopes not only to provide a great value for families and groups but also to draw more people, he said.
In another move, The Celebration realizes that some people want a faster pace, Inman said. So, they will move up start times to 6:30 p.m. from the traditional 7 p.m. time. An evening show normally runs three and a half hours. The board plans to increase the number of after-show events such as concerts.
“People can get home earlier or move right to after-show events on the grounds,” he said.
The Celebration also will reduce some presentations that are held between classes to make the evening show move at a brisker pace.
The changes were enacted during the board’s annual planning session in late January, Inman said.
In another change, customers may now bring in outside food, he said. Outside drinks still will not be allowed. The food change is based on customer feedback. Many people have made it a tradition to bring and share snacks, he said. However, Inman urges people to still buy concessions, since those support various civic clubs.
“It’s important for people to support the civic clubs,” Inman said. The clubs rely on their sales at the show to carry out their charitable work throughout the year.
Last year, when alcohol was first sold at The Celebration, there was confusion on where people could drink it. Inman said he hopes to clear that up this summer. Alcohol may be consumed anywhere in the stadium, including in your seats.
Also, Inman said The Celebration is open to working with community groups to hold other events.”