At the end of July, the Great Smoky Mountains Conservation Association is sponsoring the Knoxville History Project-led celebration of the 100th anniversary of when Knoxville created a remarkable grassroots movement to establish a new national park in the Great Smoky Mountains.

The three-day event will featuring an educational symposium and film screenings to tell the stories of the Knoxville civic leaders and outdoors enthusiasts who led pioneering efforts, against all odds, to make the national park a reality. This three-day event will include:

Stark Love Film Screening on Thursday, July 25 at 7:00 p.m. at Central Cinema. This 1927 silent film stars Knoxville actress Helen Mundy, with a new live score performed by organist Freddy Brabson. In partnership with Bradley Reeves and Smoky Mountain Radio. Limited seating – arrive early to ensure a seat.

Birth of a National Park in the Smokies Symposium on Friday, July 26 and Saturday, July 27 at the East Tennessee History Center. Featuring programs by Jack Neely, Paul James, Laura Still, Janine Winfree, and renowned Smokies authors, David Brill, Prof. Daniel Pierce, and Prof. Emeritus Ken Wise.

Symposium Registration required. This event includes a walking tour on each day, which is limited to 30 people for each tour. Register now to avoid disappointment. You can also order lunches each day in advance for $14 each. Learn more and register HERE.

Portraits of the Smokies: Celebrating the enduring photographers, filmmakers, and other visual artists of the Smokies park movement on Friday, July 26 at 7:00 p.m. at the Bijou Theatre. This special multi-media evening, in partnership with the Knox County Public Library‘s McClung Historical Collection and Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound, will feature new high-quality film transfers, including some rare color footage, and stunning images of mountain views and outdoor enthusiasts, including Jim Thompson, Jack Huff, Carlos Campbell, and others.

Learn more about these events at