Secret City Festival – An Oak Ridge Original
The Secret City Festival is a showcase of Oak Ridge History, Art, Science and FUN!
The original concept for the festival began in 1982 as the Azalea Festival, a small one-day arts and crafts show featuring food and entertainment. The celebration grew and evolved over the years, and Mayfest became its official title in 1990. Until 1992, most of the activity took place at the Civic Center Plaza and was known as the Plaza Party. When the Performing Arts Pavilion was completed, all of the entertainment was moved out into the park and the weekend was renamed Party in the Park. In 2003, Mayfest was changed to the Secret City Festival to showcase Oak Ridge’s rich heritage. In 2004, in a continuing effort to improve the festival, the dates were changed to the first Friday and Saturday of June to avoid unpredictable May weather.
The mission of the Secret City Festival is to become a premier event in East Tennessee while fostering pride and involvement in the Oak Ridge community by showcasing its diversity through cultural events and activities for people of all ages. The festival promotes the history of the city and brings into alignment its World War II heritage with the technological advancements that are happening within the City of Oak Ridge today.
Many special events for kids are included in the festival such as: A Dino Dig, Eurobungy, Playful City, Petting Zoo, Inflatables, Crafts & Games, ORNL Traveling Science Fair, and much more, all free of charge.
Arts and crafts vendors, antiques dealers, food vendors and exhibitors can be found throughout the festival grounds. There are pottery firing demonstrations as well as other craft demonstrations for the public to watch and participate in and enjoy.
Historical displays bring the fascinating history of the area to life. The largest multi-battle WWII reenactment in the South takes place on Saturday, and living history demonstrations pop up all weekend long. Visitors can tour original Manhattan Project sites, including the Graphite Reactor, Y-12 National Security Complex, and the Manhattan Project National Park Facilities.
Entertainment from local, regional, and nationally-acclaimed artists goes on all day with special headliners taking the stage around 9 pm.
Secret City Festival is brought to you by:
Explore Oak Ridge, Arts, and the City of Oak Ridge.