October Sky Festival features return of “Aunt Clara”

(Submitted/staff reports)  Mrs. Clara Hall Hughes, former resident, and native of Oliver Springs will be the guest speaker for Heritage at the Depot during the annual October Sky Festival on Saturday, October 16, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. 

Known to many as “Aunt Clara”, she recently celebrated her 101st birthday on September 28! Mrs. Hughes will reflect on her many memories of living in Oliver Springs and will share stories of her late husband, Freeman Hall, who worked in the “pit pony” coal mines.  

Mrs. Hughes upholds a long list of accomplishments and recognitions. She has been honored and recognized by the Tennessee General Assembly on several occasions, and both the Town of Oliver Springs and the City of Oak Ridge. Mrs. Hughes received the honorary title of “Mrs. Tennessee” by Cheryl Brehm, Mrs. Tennessee 2015. 

Still very active today, Mrs. Hughes currently resides in Knoxville where she enjoys attending church-related activities, baking, gardening, and competing in checker games.  

Come out and hear from Aunt Clara, one of Oliver Springs’ most precious jewels! 

Event flyer

The Depot is located at 610 Walker Avenue in Oliver Springs 

Hosted by the Oliver Springs Historical Society, the October Sky Festival is held annually in the heart of downtown. In 1998, the movie “October Sky” was filmed in Oliver Springs, hence the name of the festival. 

There will be a kids’ area with pony rides, a petting zoo, a bounce house, a dunking booth, an obstacle course, and an 8-foot robotic dragon!  The Kids Activity Zone is sponsored by the Oliver Springs Police Department.  There will also be dozens of vendors of all types set up in the downtown area of Oliver Springs, plus food and live music.  Events will be taking place throughout the day in Arrowhead Park, the Depot, and at the Oliver Springs Museum. 

Events begin at 10 am. To learn more, visit https://octoberskyfestivaltn.org.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:30 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, and cats Oliver, Bow and Libby.

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