SHELBYVILLE, TN – With four days to go, the atmosphere surrounding the 2014 Celebration is both tense and bizarre. While the Celebration entries are down 33% from two years ago, the security for the Celebration is up 2,000+%.
The Celebration gates, camper areas and parking lots all have 24 hour a day uniformed security. So far, there are no guard dog patrols. It’s more like “Checkpoint Charlie” in cold war Berlin than the United States of America. (For younger readers, “Checkpoint Charlie” was the cold war Berlin gateway to Communism in post WWII divided Germany]
Celebration Chairman David L. Howard and his community patron John T. Bobo have created a “lock down” tense atmosphere to defend the sore Big Lick where last year Shelbyville Times Gazette writer Sadie Fowler’s call for “Children Play Zones” seems even more whimsical than it was when she first wrote it.
Celebration Chairman David L. Howard and Board member John T. Bobo have brought “shame” to a decent Middle Tennessee community because of their insistence on keeping the “SORING ALBATROSS” around the neck of Henry Davis’s Tennessee National Walking Horse Celebration. Howard and Bobo hijacked the Celebration from the community of Shelbyville, and maintain power through a “stacked” 50 member Celebration Association, but that is a story for another day.
It appears that the impetuses for what Howard and Bobo team do are their:
- massive egos
- manic desire for control
- overwhelming greed
Under the Howard/Bobo leadership, the Celebration has lost approximately $2 Million over the last five years. Shelbyville, Tennessee is looked upon as the “Horse Abuse” Capitol of the World. Meanwhile, America overwhelmingly wants the PAST ACT passed which will eliminate the pads and chains which are used to create the sore Big Lick. Yet, David L. Howard and John T. Bobo attempt to continue “business as usual”.
The bizarre part is this year the Celebration has created a “strange” color scheme of floral pink and aqua flags on the Celebration grounds which seems more in keeping with a Caribbean port town festival than an American Horse Show in the “Heartland” – one which U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) likes to describe as a “Tennessee Tradition”.
The once prospering Celebration Trade Fair, which flourished on the Calsonic Arena concourse is now a shadow of its former self. The Trade Fair now consists of a rag tag assortment of left over Flea Market vendors. In 2014, it will be stuck under a few tents in a “Back Alley” location while the Calsonic Arena will be open for the Trainer BOYZ to work Big Lick horses in the morning before the public.
All of which leads us to the 2014 Celebration Theme Song Contest.
In addition to Buffalo Springfield, “STOP CHILDREN WHAT’S THAT SOUND”?
A new nominee is:
- HAS ANYBODY SEEN MY GAL?
Some say that a dark horse entry “Ode To Honors” may be soon forthcoming.
‘HONORS” – THE ‘SAVIOUR HORSE’ – 2014 STAKE WINNER AT PULASKI
Please stay tuned.