As the calendar year comes to an end for 2012, plans for the 2013 calendar of events for the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center are in full swing. As presented in an earlier multimedia publication, The West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center: Impacting West Tennessee and the World, the goal to get visitors off the interstate and onto the back roads continues.
Sonia Outlaw-Clark, the center’s director, said, “We’re making plans now for next year. We have a big art exhibit planned for the first of the year. We’re also planning a birthday celebration for “Sleepy” John Estes in January.”
Restoration of Flagg Grove School has stopped because it’s winter, but not fundraising efforts. “Fundraising events for the school are being planned for early next year. We hope to have the school completely restored with displays and exhibits by the fall of next year,” said Outlaw-Clark.
The center also continues to improve exhibits already on display. The West Tennessee Music Museum has added a monitor showing performances by Tina Turner. Graceland has also changed the Elvis Presley exhibit to display the prototype of the black leather jacket worn during one of his most memorable performances.
The current temporary exhibit at the center is from the West Tennessee Solar Farm. The solar farm is more than 25 acres of land located on Interstate 40 west near Exit 42. According to information on display, it contains 21,000 ground-mounted photovoltaic solar panels. Its 5-megawatt rated capacity makes the solar farm one of the largest solar generating facilities in the southeast. It’s not open to the public, but there are plans to construct a Visitors Information and Welcome Center on the property.
Outlaw-Clark said, “It’s a real honor for us to have this temporary display that helps give our travelers a taste of what the new welcome center will have to offer. The educational opportunity will also serve as a big economic boost for our area as the new center will employ several people and attract more visitors.”
For more information about the solar farm, visit http://solarfarm.tennessee.edu. There’s also information about Spectrum on the site. Spectrum is the educational exhibit on solar energy that will be located at the new information and welcome center. It’s currently housed at the Knoxville Center Mall in Knoxville, Tenn.
Visit the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center’s website for updates to its calendar of events.