In the Loop



City of Franklin Arbor Day

The City of Franklin Parks Department hosted their annual Arbor/Earth Day Celebration at Pinkerton Park and received their Tree City USA designation from the State of Tennessee. It was a beautiful day to enjoy tree climbing, birding, the zipline, tours of Fort Granger, community booths and free sapling giveaways as well as hotdogs provided by Middle Tennessee Electric. (photos by Brandy Blanton).

Eastern Flank Park Dedication

Nearly a decade after Civil War preservationists rallied to acquire a former golf course on the Eastern Flank of the Battle of Franklin, the community dedicated its first fully interpreted battlefield park. State and local officials including Franklin Mayor Ken Moore, author and historian Robert Hicks, Columbia State Professor Thomas Flagel, attorney and philanthropist Julian Bibb, Tennessee Commissioner of Transportation John Schroer, and State Historian Dr. Carroll Van Westwill offered remarks on the project and its significance at the dedication ceremony. (photos by Brandy Blanton)  

A Night at the VFW

It was a great evening at Post 4893 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) on Eddy Lane. A delicious chicken dinner with all the fixins and great live music from the Williamson County Bluegrass Band. A very nostalgic evening of a simpler time in our community with a lot of familiar faces and old friends. Thanks to all of their members for their service to our country. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

Williamson County Animal Hospital Open House

One of Williamson County’s oldest veterinary practices,Williamson County Animal Hospital, unveiled their newly remodeled facility with an Open House. The place was teeming with their human clients who enjoyed seeing the remodeled home for the care of their pets as well as multiple giveaways, tours and an ice cream bar! (photos by Brandy Blanton) 

7th Annual Sizzle Awards

The polls have closed and the winners have been announced! A huge thank you to all of our winners who attended our Sizzle Awards Ceremony at the Factory as well as Catering & Events by Suzette, Cool Cafe, Daily Dish, Puffy Muffin and Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant, Moon Wine & Spirits and Arrington Vineyards our sponsors. (photos by Brandy Blanton, Cassie Jones and Carole Robinson) 

Taste of Williamson 2014

Taste of Williamson presented by Vanderbilt University was another huge success this year! Guests enjoyed “tastes” from 40 different local restaurants and caterers and music by the Ron Shuff Revue and others. The event was hosted by CoolSprings Galleria to benefit United Way of Williamson County. Don’t forget to “taste again” and receive 10% for this week only from participating restaurants and caterers. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

CNN Hero of the Year Chad Pregracke

The 2014 Great American Cleanup for Tennessee kicked off at the Franklin Theatre. Governor Bill and First Lady Crissy Haslam were on hand to designate March as Keep Tennessee Beautiful Month and to honor CNN Hero of the Year and keynote speaker, Chad Pregracke, as an Honorary Tennesseean. TDOT Commissioner John Schroer served as master of ceremonies. (photos by Brandy Blanton).

New Advocates for Williamson County CASA

Eight new advocates were sworn in by Judge Sharon Guffee at a ceremony held at Juvenile Court. These new advocates will help further the mission of our Williamson County CASA and have spent more than 30 hours in training to prepare for this very special calling. A reception was held at the CASA office immediately after the ceremony.  (photos by Brandy Blanton)

Hard Bargain Association Celebration Dinner

The Hard Bargain Association (formerly known as Hard Bargain Mt. Hope Redevelopment) hosted their 6th Annual Celebration Dinner at the Factory at Franklin. The evening boasted an incredible silent auction, soul food by Catering & Events by Suzette and an abbreviated program due to the tumultuous weather – resulting in a power outage. The great news is that there was still the opportunity to recognize Ann Bright as “Volunteer of the Year”, Katherine Black and Fannie Leech as outstanding computer class students and thank the supporters of the Hard Bargain Association and the sponsors for the evening. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

February Chamber Luncheon

Williamson Inc. hosted their annual Membership Meeting – a luncheon, at the Factory at Franklin – presented by Vanderbilt Health and Williamson Medical Center. The speakers for this ever popular event was our local legislative delegation: State Representatives Glen Casada, Jeremy Durham and Charles Sargent and State Senator Jack Johnson. The gentleman along with moderator Dave Crouch, produced their talk in the same fashion as their Public Affairs Roundtable. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

Deputy Chief Culberson Retires

After more than 50 years of service, the Culberson family tradition of firefighting comes to an end as Deputy Chief Mike Culberson announced his retirement.  A party was held in his honor at Station 6 (Cool Springs) which was heavily attended by fellow fire service employees, local officials and friends and family. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

11th Annual Groundhog’s Day Party

Stites & Harbison hosted their 11th Annual Groundhog’s Day Open House at their downtown Franklin Office. Guests milled under the tent enjoying fabulous food by Catering & Events by Suzette and inside by Ribbons of Chocolate. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

Clean Air Partnership Luncheon

The Clean Air Partnership of Williamson and Rutherford Counties hosted their Annual Partner Recognition Luncheon. Outstanding Partners this year were: Healthways, Waves, Inc. and Heibert & Associates. TDOT Commissioner John Schroer served as the keynote speaker and Mayor Rogers Anderson was given the very first Founders Award. (photos by Brandy Blanton) 

Y-CAP Open House

Y-CAP of Williamson County, a program offered by the YMCA, hosted an Open House at their new facility located at the Franklin Housing Authority. Guests were given guided tours by some of the Y-CAP students and able to see the opportunities that are offered. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

Breakfast with the Mayors

Franklin Tomorrow’s first installment for 2014 “Breakfast with the Mayors” brought a record turnout with almost 400 people attending. Retired CEO of Dollar General, Cal Turner Jr. served as keynote speaker alongside Mayor Rogers Anderson and Mayor Ken Moore. Puckett’s joined the roster for 2014 as breakfast sponsor, alongside Royal Cup Coffee and presenting sponsor First Farmers Bank. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

Helen Watkins Retires

Franklin Synergy Bank hosted a Retirement Reception for Helen Watkins at their Columbia Avenue branch. Helen has been in the banking business in Williamson County for more than 50 years, with her last two at Franklin Synergy. Past colleagues, friends and family attended to thank her for her years of service. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

Hard Bargain Association’s Patrons Party

The Hard Bargain Association hosted a Patron’s Party at the Red House to honor the sponsors of their upcoming 6th Annual Celebration Dinner on February 20. Catering & Events by Suzette provided the delicious appetizers and Arrington Vineyards supplied the wine. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

City of Franklin’s Third Annual Christmas Door Decorating Contest

Ten city departments got creative and competed in the third annual City of Franklin Door Decorating contest. Southern Exposure Magazine publisher (and Alderman at Large) Brandy Blanton served as a judge for the second year in a row along with Richel Albright of Franklin Homepage and 3rd Ward Alderman Mike Skinner. Winners will be announced at the City’s Christmas breakfast with awards given to the top three winners. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

Santa Visits Franklin Fire Station #5

Santa and Mrs. Claus were the guests of honor at Franklin Fire Station #5′s (on Noah Drive) Christmas Open House. In addition to photo opportunities, the event included tours of the station, fire truck demonstrations, refreshments and holiday fire safety information. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

Lion’s Pride Breakfast

The Lion’s Club of Franklin hosted its annual Lion’s Pride Breakfast and Silent Auction at the First United Methodists Church. Always a popular event, this year preceding Dicken’s,  guests enjoyed a wonderful breakfast – complete with country ham and all the fixins – to benefit the Lions Club’s initiative of sight conservation. (photos by Brandy Blanton)  

BrightStone presents “There’s No Christmas Like A Home Christmas”

BrightStone hosted their annual Christmas program and reception at Jamison Hall at the Factory. Those in attendance enjoyed a heart-felt and unique performance from the BrightStone students as well as an opportunity to pick up some Christmas gifts – many handmade. (photo by Brandy Blanton) 

SEM’s December/Holiday Issue Release Party

SEM hosted our Dec/Holiday issue release party at GRAY’s on Main. It was an extra special evening with Art Four Sale, our cover feature, performing from their Christmas project “Four the Holidays” which added a festive ambiance and a Christmas vibe. A huge thank you to Joni and Michael Cole, our hosts. (photos by Brandy Blanton and Cassie Jones)

Alexander Christmas Party

Barry and Jackie Alexander hosted their annual Christmas Party, but this time it took place at the Alexander Classic Car Warehouse. Friends and family were enthralled with Barry’s car collection and enjoyed music by “Bad Moon”, food by Blue Diamond and each guest got their picture taken by Holly Hines! (photos by Brandy Blanton) 

Historical Franklin Battlefield Artifacts Uncovered in Lotz House Cellar

Lotz House Executive Director J.T. Thompson  announced historian John Marler’s discovery of over 900 Civil War relics unearthed in the cellar of the Lotz House at a press conference at the Franklin Theatre on Nov. 21.  The project which has been ongoing for the last two years was documented in a film produced by Thompson and written and narrated by WSMV’s Dennis Ferrier. Marler also released the book “Forgotten Treasures of a Forgotten Battle: The Lotz House Cellar and the Battle of Franklin” (foreword written by best-selling author Robert Hicks) documenting the project that continues. (photo by Brandy Blanton) 

Ribbon Cutting for Reddick Senior Residence

The mission of the Franklin Housing Authority (FHA) is to assist low-income families by providing safe, decent, affordable housing and self-sufficiency opportunities and a milestone was reached with the ribbon cutting of Reddick Senior Residence, a new 48 unit senior living center on the former site of Reddick Street public housing units. This is the first phase of the FHA’s multi-phased initiative to replace obsolete public housing with modern communities and the first public-private development partnership for the FHA. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

Harvest Beverage Company Tasting

Harvest Beverage Company hosted a private holiday wine tasting event at the Franklin City Club. This event was a way for HBC’s vendors and friends to taste all of their unique offerings paired with a charcuterie board (dried, aged meats) and cheeses from Caterings & Events by Suzette and make their orders for their Christmas gatherings and parties and more. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

Get Fit Franklin Celebrates One Year

Franklin Tomorrow along with its partners, BlueCross Blue Shield of Tennessee, the City of Franklin and Vanderbilt Health hosted the one-year anniversary for Get Fit Franklin on November 9th at Pinkerton Park in Franklin. The event offered a chance to visit vendor booths, participate in fitness demonstrations, learn hands-only CPR, register for door prizes and participate in a one-mile walk led be Mayor Ken Moore. (photos by Brandy Blanton) 

2013 Veteran’s Day Parade

The 2013 Williamson County Veterans’ Day Parade, sponsored by WAKM AM 950, was held on Friday, Nov. 8 starting at Five Points in Historic Downtown Franklin and ending at Bicentennial Park. The parade included numerous veterans from all branches of the military and wars, as well as several local area marching bands, ROTCs and school groups. A brunch reception was held at the Williamson County Archives & Museum prior to the parade in honor of local veterans, their families and the grand marshals, but also open to the public. Food was provided by Sonic Drive-In. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

35 year of Shuff’s Music in Franklin

It’s amazing to think of all the lives and families that Shuff’s Music has touched in the span of 35 years (1978-2013) – not only the instruments that have been purchased, but the musicians who have been trained – but, it is a reality. Ron Shuff, the founder and owner of Shuff’s Music, paused to celebrate this milestone with a celebration at the Piano Showroom on 2nd Avenue in downtown Franklin, and in true Shuff fashion, it was all about the folks who helped make this a reality -  his staff, many of whom are family. In his graciousness, he even managed to give six pianos away as a part of the celebration. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

The Registry Celebrates 10 years

A decade ago, two best friends, Carla Myers and Barbara Harlin opened a business together in downtown Franklin: The Registry. While partnerships amongst friends is hard enough, these two ladies have walked through a lot together over the last ten years: an unexpected move (complete with waterworks), children getting married, parents passing and the most unexpected news when Barbara was diagnosed with cancer. However, theirs is a story of survival, endurance and success. The public was invited to share in their anniversary at their annual Open House and folks came out to celebrate with them and thank them for what they have contributed to our town. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

Harpeth True Value Holiday Open House

Mike and Shelley Moeller hosted their annual Open House at Harpeth True Value in Franklin. This is a very popular pre-Christmas event which allows guests to stock up on all their holiday decorations at a discount while enjoying fabulous refreshments and catching up with friends. Food was provided by Catering & Events by Suzette. (photos by Brandy Blanton) 

State and Local Officials Dedicate New Access Road for Eastern Flank

TDOT Commissioner John Schroer, Tourism Commissioner Susan Whitaker and Franklin Mayor Ken Moore were on hand for the official dedication of the new access road to Carnton Plantation and Eastern Flank Battlefield. The project began in 2011 when Governor Bill Haslam and Commissioner Schroer joined state and local leaders to award a $500,000 transportation enhancement grant to the City of Franklin for the Eastern Flank Battlefield Access Improvement Project. The project also includes Carnton Plantation visitor center parking, interpretive trail network, landscaping, bike racks, signage, bio-retention area and other pedestrian amenities. (photos by Brandy Blanton).  

Ladders to Hope Launch Celebration

It was a very inspirational evening at the Franklin Theatre as the Williamson County high school students who had the idea to help others in a unique way as their “senior gift” shared their vision for “Ladders to Hope”. This initiative is to help students increase their ACT scores so they can qualify for the Tennessee HOPE scholarships through community partnerships and paying it forward themselves. With the help of Director of Schools Dr. Mike Looney, the idea snowballed and also birthed the Williamson County Education Foundation. At the event Julian Bibb was named the new chair to take the helm in January of 2014. (photos by Brandy Blanton)


Williamson Animal Services  host Open House

More than 65 people attended an Open House hosted by Williamson Animal Services Inc., a 501C3 that supports our shelter. The event took place at the Williamson County Animal Control and Adoption Center on Claude Yates Drive. On the guest list were local veterinary clinics, rescue groups, pet boarding kennels, area mayors, county commissioners and media to see shelter improvements and meet the new director, Laura Chavarria and the new in -house vet, Debra Burch. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

CASA Open House

The Williamson County Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) hosted an Open House at their new home on Columbia Avenue in Franklin. The event not only celebrated their new location, but 20 years of community service and “training members to work with guardian ad litems as advocates for children within the court system”. More than 150 people attended and enjoyed food by Catering & Events by Suzette, libations donated by Harvest Beverage Company and meeting members of the WCCASA staff (including CASA’s new executive director Marianne Schroer), some of its 70-plus volunteer force, and individuals who were instrumental in the organization’s foundation including Judge Jane Franks. Also in attendance was Department of Children’s Services Commissioner Jim Henry and Titan Jake Locker. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

Franklin Tomorrow Breakfast with the Mayors

A panel of Middle Tennessee’s most successful entrepreneurs joined Franklin Mayor Dr. Ken Moore and Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson for the final installment in 2013 of Franklin Tomorrow’s Breakfast With the Mayors series, presented by First Farmers Bank.  Joining the mayors will be Mark Cleveland of Swiftwick Socks, Gina Butler of GiGi’s Cupcakes, and Andy Marshall or his daughter Claire Marshall Crowell of Puckett’s Gro. & Restaurant and Puckett’s Boathouse. Breakfast was provided by Chik-fil-A and coffee by Royal Coffee. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

The 30th Annual Pumpkinfest & 11th Annual Franklin Tomorrow Chili Cook-Off

Darrell Waltrip Automotive Group presented Franklin Tomorrow’s 11th Annual Chili-Cook Off at the 30th Annual Pumpkinfest in Historic Downtown Franklin. Tens of thousands came out to enjoy the chilly fall day full of costumes, candy, music, CHILI and fun! Out of the 14 teams competing for top chili awards,  Culver’s of Franklin walked away with 1st Place in both the Peoples’ Choice Judges Choice. Bob Parks Realty won 1st place for best booth decor with their Duckie Dynasty theme. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

Williamson County Employee Fun Day

Employees of Williamson County, elected officials and guests were assembled today at the Administrative Complex for “Williamson County Employee Fun day” to benefit the United Way. Everyone enjoyed a barbecue lunch provided by Whitt’s, vie for the Corn-hole Champion title and bid on a variety of silent auction items. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

Franklin Synergy Bank Opens Berry Farms Branch

Franklin Synergy Bank celebrated the opening of their fifth branch at Berry Farms located at the corner of Lewisburg Pike and Goosecreek Bypass. More than 100 people gathered for the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting with the Williamson County Chamber. Delish provided breakfast for the guests and WAKM did a live radio promotion. (photos by Brandy Blanton and Derby Jones)

21st Drug Court Community Breakfast

The 21st Drug Court held their 3rd Annual Community Breakfast at Puckett’s Grocery in downtown Franklin. Attendees enjoyed breakfast and the opportunity to learn more about this unique organization and what it does for the community. Drug Court graduate, Casey Gray, told her moving story about her Drug Court experience and State Rep. Charles Sargent was recognized for his work with the organization. Also, Vince Wilcox was welcomed as the new Drug Court Coordinator and Marianne Schroer was recognized for her impact on the program. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

Invasion of the Scarecrows at the Franklin Farmer’s Market

It was the perfect fall day for scarecrows to invade the Franklin Farmer’s Market! Presenting sponsor, Williamson Medical Center, pulled out all the stops and even offered fall photograph keepsakes courtesy of David Braud’s Flashtastic Photo Booth. The day was complete with a Scarecrow (live and posed) competition and pumpkin was the flavor of the day. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

First State Bank Customer Appreciation Lunch

First State Bank hosted a Customer Appreciation lunch at their Corporate Center Drive location. The event also served as the one year anniversary of this particular branch. Customers, friends and staff of First State Bank enjoyed a beautiful fall afternoon filled with great food, fellowship, prizes and WAKM was on hand to do a live remote! (photos by Brandy Blanton)

Harpeth True Value Grand Re-Opening

Mike and Shelley Moeller and Darrell Reifschneider purchased Harpeth True Value more than 14 years ago, but decided that the place needed a face-lift. After six months of work, Harpeth True Value Home & Garden Center hosted a Grand Re-Opening on October 18. Also a part of the festivities, a ribbon cutting in conjunction with the Williamson County Chamber of Commerce. Guests enjoyed the renovated space, the specials and food by Puckett’s with a portion of the proceeds donated to Graceworks. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

MTEMC Customer Appreciation Luncheon

Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation hosted their 11th Annual Customer Appreciation luncheon at their Franklin district office on Curd Lane. Hundreds turned out to enjoy lunch provided by Whitt’s BBQ and door prizes. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

SEM’s October/November Issue Release party

SEM hosted our October/November issue release party at Bubba Gandy Seafood Market & Steamery. The new addition to Cool Springs was packed to the gills (sorry – I couldn’t resist) with friends, supporters, advertisers, staff and feature subjects! Everyone enjoyed sampling Bubba Gandy’s offers – fresh from the Gulf – and were introduced to a one-of-a-kind offering for the area. (photos by Brandy Blanton) 

Family Day at Harlinsdale

City of Franklin’s Family Day kicked off at the Park at Harlinsdale Farm with a 5K Cross Country Fun Run to benefit the United Way. Families came out in droves to enjoy the beautiful day and festivities complete with train rides, games, inflatables, a petting zoo, music and more. (photos by Brandy Blanton) 

United Way Pancake Breakfast

The elected officials of Williamson County hosted their 3rd annual Pancake Breakfast at the W.C. Administrative Complex. This event kicks off the County employee fundraising drive culminating with the United Way Employee Fun Day Lunch and Festivities on Oct. 25. It was a banner year with the elected officials raising more than $1150. (photos by Brandy Blanton)


Cool Springs Eyecare introduces its Sports Vision Center

Williamson county residents were invited to the Grand Opening of Cool Springs EyeCare’s Sports Vision Center, the Competitive Edge, complete with a ribbon cutting with the Williamson County Chamber. The event boasted hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine, tours of the facility and the extensive Oakley sunglass and ophthalmic frame collection as well as live music. The Competitive Edge at Cool Springs EyeCare was created to train athletes of all ages how to improve their game through enhanced depth perception, peripheral awareness, eye-hand and foot speed, and faster reaction time. (photos by Brandy Blanton) 

Waves 40th Anniversary

Waves celebrated 40 years of serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities with a casual evening of cake, coffee and conversation at CJ’s Off the Square (photos by Brandy Blanton)

Grace Healthcare Fall Fest

Grace Healthcare of Franklin hosted its inaugural Fall Fest to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. The festival included an arts and crafts sale, bank sale, vendors and booths, food, live music, children’s games, pet adoptions and more. All the residents assembled to hear music from the Golden Heirs and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

40th Annual Heritage Ball

Williamson Counties longest running black-tie event, the Heritage Ball, celebrated its 40th year at the Eastern Flank Battlefield. More than 700 attended this fabulous event presented by FirstBank where Dr. Joe and Betty Willoughby were crowned king and queen and the Jimmy Gentry family received the Patron’s award. (photos by Liz Ross Cruse)

WAKM Senior Expo

WAKM 950 hosted its 12th annual Senior Health Expo at the Commons Area at the Factory at Franklin. Seniors and non-seniors poured into the room from 10 – 2 p.m. to visit more than 30 booths with everything from assisted living and senior healthcare to  food and other popular giveaways. Of course the live music and Bingo was a huge hit as always! (photos by Brandy Blanton)

TMA Celebrates 25

The Transportation Management Association (TMA) Group of Middle Tennessee celebrated 25 years of excellence in providing alternatives to transportation for Williamson County and surrounding counties. The private event was filled with past and present board members, community politicos and partners in the business community. Julian Bibb, board chairman spoke to the crowd and shared the history and the vision of the TMA’s future. Constant Craving Caterers by Suzette provided delectable treats for the guests. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

Franktown Open Hearts’ Block Party

Franktown Open Hearts hosted their 5th Annual Block Party at the Factory at Franklin. Franktown was created more than 11 years ago by Grassland Plumbing owner, Wayne Howell, as a way to help underprivileged youth. With a staff of only three, this evening was a way to raise much needed funds in order to continue to serve the at-risk, inner city youth by providing tutoring, learning life skills, Bible study and recreational activities for ages 8-18. Carrabba’s Italian Grill provided dinner and the Katinas served as the entertainment.  (photos by Brandy Blanton)


I AM SECOND Nashville hosted a “live” event at Grays on Main in historic downtown Franklin. It was an evening of “real stories, changed lives and world impact”. The star-studded guest list included Carrie Underwood and her husband Predator Mike Fisher, Michael W. and Debbie Smith, Scott Hamilton, Darrell and Stevie Waltrip – many of whom have IAS films – and many more.  Josh Turner headlined the event, but there were also performances by Matthew West and a testimony from Brian “Head” Welch – the highest viewed film in the IAS library. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

Chamber Golf Classic

The Williamson County Chamber of Commerce held their annual Golf Classic at Vanderbilt Legend’s Club. It was a beautiful day to be on the course – so much so that the event had a morning and afternoon round with the mixer immediately afterwards. Southern Exposure and Williamson Herald stopped in between the two flights just in time for lunch! (photos by Brandy Blanton)

Voices for the Fatherless

Southern Exposure was honored to be one of more than 300 people attending  “Voices for the Fatherless”, an intimate evening of dinner and music to benefit orphan care around the world through Show Hope. The evening was hosted by Dr. Paul and Janis Thompson at their beautiful property in the bucolic Williamson County hills and Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman, founder of Show Hope. A multi-course dinner was provided by Kristen Wintson Catering and music by the Nashville Hayriders, Steven Curtis Chapman and headliner, Tim McGraw. (photos by Brandy Blanton) 

Watermelon Festival at the Franklin Farmers Market

Williamson Herald and Southern Exposure Magazine were honored to sponsor the 2nd Annual Watermelon Festival at the Franklin Farmers Market. It was a beautiful day for all things watermelon – from seed spitting contests to who could eat watermelon the fastest! And of course all the fabulous vendors were on hand selling their wares for all to enjoy. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

American Icon Ed Bearss visits the Lotz House Civil War Museum

Franklin Civil War Round Table presented the Country Supper and Twilight Tour of the Battle of Franklin featuring American icon, Ed Bearss at the Lotz House Civil War House Museum. More than 150 guests were treated to this once in a lifetime evening where Ed Bearss, Chief Historian Emeritus of the National Park Service served as not only the guest speaker, but led a twilight tour of the Battle of Franklin. J.T. Thompson, Executive Director of the Lotz House Foundation hosted the event and shared exciting news of the discovery of a mini ball that very morning – evidence of the significance of this heavily visited and beloved property. Constant Cravings by Suzette catered a delicious country supper and Michael Hollway provided entertainment. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

Chamber’s August Membership Breakfast

The Williamson County Chamber of Commerce mixed things up this month and hosted a membership breakfast instead of a luncheon. Jamison Hall at the Factory at Franklin was filled with  people enjoying breakfast by Stoveworks and guest speaker, Dr. Arthur B. Laffer, founder and chairman of Laffer Associates. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

Heritage Ball Sponsor Party

The Heritage Foundation hosted the Heritage Ball Sponsor & Table Host Party at the home of Cordia and Tom Harrington. This year marks the 40th anniversary of Williamson County’s longest-running black tie event which takes place on Saturday, Sept. 21. (photos by Vicki Stout)

“Paint the Harpeth” & River Swing Tasting

Local artist, Dennas Davis spent an entire week stationed at Gallery 202 doing a live painting of the 8 x 24 mural, “Paint the Harpeth”. The finished piece will be used as the central decor at the Harpeth River Watershed Association’s (HRWA) annual fundraiser, the Harpeth River Water Swing on October 5.  HRWA patrons, corporate sponsors, committee and table hosts gathered at Gallery 202 for the River Swing Tasting Party where Whole Foods was on hand to showcase local fare – similar to what will be served at the event – and the unveiling of Davis’ finished piece.

SEM’s Aug/Sept Issue Release Party at Wild Wing Cafe

SEM hosted our August/September Issue Release Party at Wild Wing Cafe. The patio was packed with friends, supporters, advertisers, staff and feature subjects! While our cover feature, Tennessee Titans Head Coach Mike Munchak wasn’t able to attend, our Titans friends amped up the door prize offerings and provided a magnetic schedule for all our attendees. A special thanks to everyone who came out and especially Jason and Rudi Hedge of Wild Wing Cafe  for hosting a great event! (photos by Brandy Blanton)

Puffy Muffin Cuts the Ribbon on their Cool Springs store

For more than two decades Puffy Muffin has been anchored in the heart of Brentwood – nourishing it’s guests with not only food, but fellowship. This family business has flourished and recently spread the love down the road to Cool Springs for another segment of Williamson County to enjoy. The new 9,000 square foot building (located on Carother Parkway) features breakfast and lunch, but also a full-service bakery, to-go offerings and catering. The Williamson County Chamber of Commerce was on hand to make things official with a ribbon cutting and guests enjoyed some delicious samples. WARNING: These images might cause you to get in your car and head that way. Puffy Muffin is open until 6 p.m. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

Franklin Special School District Starts School

The Franklin Special School District (FSSD) opened their doors on Wednesday, August 7th, for their first full day of school. Southern Exposure and Williamson Herald were on hand to capture all the smiling faces – students and teachers – at Freedom Intermediate and Johnson Elementary. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

The 2013 Williamson County Fair

The 9th Annual Williamson County Fair opened on August 2 and runs through August 10. We’ve had the opportunity to visit a couple of times so far – both for the ribbon cutting and a very busy Monday night – when admission was free with two cans of food for Graceworks Ministries. More than 7,000 pounds of food was collected! (photos by Brandy Blanton)

Carnton Sunset Concert Series

The July installment of Carnton’s Sunset Concert series featured 2Country4Nashville performing traditional country music hits made famous by the legends. Preceding the concert there was a Vintage baseball game with the Franklin Farriers facing the Nashville Maroons. Don’t miss the last concert on August 25 with Bad Dog featuring classic rock from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.(photos by Derby Jones) 

Boots & Jeans & BBQ & Beans

Senator Jack Johnson hosted his 7th annual Boots & Jeans & BBQ & Beans at Liberty Hall at the Factory at Franklin. The room was full of supporters and local and national politicos – including Congressman Marsha Blackburn and U.S. Senator Rand Paul. Martin’s Bar-B-Cue of Nolensville catered the event and live music by Jack Johnson’s band. (photos by Brandy Blanton)


Men of St. Paul’s Episcopal Cookout

It was the 53rd year for the Men of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Cookout. Also a part of the festivities were the silent auction, bake sale and activities for the children. Revelers showed up in droves to enjoy the infamous Boston butts, whole chickens and leg quarters both for dining in and taking home. There was even a remote location on the Franklin Square so attendees of the Bluegrass Along the Harpeth Festival could enjoy.  Proceeds from the event are used to aid numerous charitable organizations, including Spring Street Outreach, Saddle-Up, Mountain Top Youth Missions, Thistle Farms, Church in the Yard for the Homeless, Habitat for Humanity, Mid-Cumberland Mountain Ministry, Boy Scouts and more. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

Tomato Fest

The Franklin Farmers Market paid homage to the fruit known to many as a vegetable – the tomato – at their regular Saturday market. Tomato Fest, presented by Amerigo, an Italian Restaurant, featured cooking demonstrations, samples of heirloom and other popular tomato varieties, a seed saving class by Zadock, the natural farmer and a “Totally Terrific Tomato-Oh!” contest. (photos by Derby Jones and Brandy Blanton)

Bluegrass Along the Harpeth

It was the 22nd year for the Bluegrass Along the Harpeth Fiddlers Jamboree in historic downtown Franklin. The square was lined with vendors, lawn-chairs and groups of musicians playing everything from a stand-up bass to fiddles. The stage was all about competition, bluegrass and dancing – lots of dancing. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

Cal Ripken 9U Southeastern Regional Tournament Comes to Franklin

Nearly two dozen teams competed in the Cal Ripken Baseball Tournament at Jim Warren Park in Franklin. Teams came from Alabama, Florida, North and South Carolina and the Bahamas! The Franklin Baseball Club hosted a welcome breakfast at the Franklin Marriott, followed by the Opening Ceremonies event at Field 5 at Jim Warren. (photos by Brandy Blanton)

Vandalia Cottages Groundbreaking Ceremony

Bristol Development Group hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for their new unique residential development in Historic Downtown Franklin, Vandalia Cottages. “For Bristol, Vandalia Cottages underscores the importance of a strong sense of place,offered through a small, close-knit community, top-qualityfinishes and innovative design—and at a price that hasn’t existed within the Mack Hatcher loop.” A reception was held at the Bob Parks Realty Office on Main Street after the groundbreaking. (photos by Brandy Blanton)