Angel Kane - Kane & Crowell Family Law Center

River City Ball 2019

On a night like no other in Smith County, River City Ball hosted their second annual event on Saturday, May 11.

This second fundraiser raised money for worthy causes with the extra bonus of a great night out with friends in the beautiful venue of Main Street in Carthage, under the stars on the lawn of one of the most historic courthouses in Tennessee.

River City Ball planning committee member Erika Ebel said the non-profit organization was inspired by the famous Phoenix Ball in Lebanon.

“We wanted something similar for Smith County,” she said. “We wanted to raise money for causes and have it be fun and classy. Our original idea was to have the ball on the bridge, but our courthouse is a gorgeous backdrop and one of the originals in Tennessee.”

This year’s event was black-tie and for ages 21 and up.
“Attendees were encouraged to wear a masquerade-ball-type mask,” said Ebel. She explained the River City Ball began last year with proceeds benefiting a special cause and local scholarships to seniors at each of the county’s high schools.

“Last year a portion of the proceeds benefited the Carthage Junction Depot restoration project,” said Ebel.

This year a portion of the proceeds will benefit Smith County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children) and county high schools.

“There are a lot of needs in Smith County,” said Ebel. “There are a lot of worthy causes, different causes.”

The board chose CASA because of the great need in the county and how much good the organization does for local children, explained Ebel. “We like to find organizations that do good and this recognition and donation will be a good vehicle for CASA, as well as raise awareness for what they do,” she noted.

On the night of the Ball, the historic court-house lawn and Main Street were transformed with a Phantom of the Opera type vibe. The big beautiful trees on the lawn were the backdrop for tents, a dance floor, lighting.

Guests walked a carpet and the band Naughahydes provided a mix of rock and bluesy music. There were silent as well as live auctions to keep the entertainment going all night.

The event was designed for guests to explore and move around the venue with a photographer on site for candids and vignettes where people posed throughout the evening.

Two Fat Men catered the linen table cloth dinner with dessert showcased with delicious strawberries donated by Catesa Farms. Think cheesecake and strawberry brus-chetta. Many sponsors including Citizens Bank supported the event and their cause.

The night was a marvelous success in the hopes of helping CASA in Smith County continue with their good works. And we can’t wait until next year!

Town Square Social

Whether you’re looking for date night ambiance, award-worthy wings, or just a local place to have a brew – Town Square Social welcomes you.

Lebanon’s latest and coolest restaurant and bar, nested downtown next to The Arcade, is the brain-child of longtime friends-turned-business partners, Kyle Shaffer and Cody McCray.

Both men have a lengthy resume in the restaurant business. Shaffer, a graduate of Lebanon High School, spent 13 years with Corner Pub, while McCray, a graduate of Friendship Christian School, worked at Nashville’s historic Broadway honkytonk, Tootsies.

On their Sundays off, the guys would talk about someday opening their own place. Then they noticed the spot on the Lebanon Public Square.

In recent years, the Square has been more visible and vibrant than ever – thanks to the many businesses, including multiuse facilities like The Arcade and Capi-tol Theatre for example, who call it “home.” Lined with law offices, boutiques, antiques, hair salons and a coffee shop – the Square still lacked a sit-down restaurant.

“We saw the building and knew it was what we wanted. We wanted to keep the original design and not take away from the history of it. When it came together and the menu came together, we finally found our stride,” explained McCray.

Renovating the space took more than a year. The guys were careful to keep it true to its roots with exposed brick and hardwood floors which created a vibe that is both classic and cool.

They restored the front façade of the building to the original storefront and took part in the Main Street Façade Grant from the state of Tennessee.

Town Square Social officially opened for business on September 28, 2018. They said things are going very well in their first four months.

“We are selling a lot of food and a lot of drinks. The community has supported us. We couldn’t be happier, honestly,” said Shaffer.

Three of their most popular menu items are the burger, wings and fish and chips.

“Our wings are a best seller. People love them,” Shaffer added. “They are smoked, low and slow for six hours.

Most places fry their wings and are done in 15 minutes. Ours takes a long time to taste the way they do.”

Prior to smoking, the wings marinate for about 12 hours. Shaffer manages the restaurant during the day and McCray takes over at night.

“I hear a lot of comments about the food. ‘Those are the best wings I’ve ever had,’ is something I hear multiple times,” Shaffer said. “Shawn Smith (owner of The Jewelers in Lebanon) heard someone say their only complaint was it was so much food they needed a to-go box!”


McCray said one of the best reviews he’s gotten came from a producer out of Nashville.

“He was passing through town and someone told him to check out (our restaurant) on the Square. He liked it so much that he brought his girlfriend back on their fourth date here instead of someplace in Nashville,” McCray recalled. “I thought it was really cool.”

The gentleman is now in talks with Town Square Social to shoot a music video in their location.

Both men take pride in their work – and are very hands-on in managing the restaurant, working the floor and checking on guests.

“If there is an issue, (our guests) can reach out to us and we will do our best to make it right,” McCray said. Their latest addition is a drink menu.

“We have 10 cocktails that we have come up with. Those menus are getting printed right now. When you don’t have a menu, people are more apt to order a drink like Jack Daniels – because they recognize the name. Having a drink menu is a way to get those other great liquors and wines out there,” McCray explained. “We are looking to do off-site catering eventually.”

There is also some mystery surrounding the top loft space in the building. McCray and Shaffer teased that it could be used for live music and event space; however, remained mum for the mo-ment.

As Shaffer put it: “We are still working out some kinks.”

Midway + mAGic = Memories. The Wilson County Fair is coming to town!


It’s getting so close. That time of year where kids relish getting to stay out late on school nights and testing their bravery by stepping inside steel contraptions with names like “crazy mouse” and “zero gravity.” While adults like to test the true effectiveness of Spanx by indulging in fried foods during those eight glorious days in August when the Wilson County Fair opens for business.
The fair is about more than rides and fried foods. In fact, the Wilson County Fair, like state and county fairs around the country, began as a way to provide a meeting place for farmers to promote local crops to the general public. Wilson County Fair Executive Director Helen McPeak says the hard work farmers and exhibitors put into what they do is evident. “There is nothing better than the feeling of working hard getting your cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, horses ready all year just to show your animal or reap the rewards of growing and exhibiting your own fruits or vegetables, or spend hours piecing and quilting and all the many other exhibits people can enter in the fair just for the satisfaction of competing and winning that blue ribbon.” McPeak continues, “It’s not all about winning, just participating, getting to know others in the competition and making friendships to last a life time.”
The Wilson County fair is bringing the AG front and center with this year’s theme; mAGic Memories. According to McPeak the theme is an essential part of the planning process. “We use a different ag commodity to help promote the fair each year. That’s why AG is capitalized in mAGic. We are celebrating the Year of Milk in 2018. Dairy farming isn’t easy. What better year to promote milk and the three dairy farms operating in Wilson County.”
There’s plenty of mAGic Memories to be had during the fair too. “It’s magic when people make going to the Fair family time. There have been wedding proposals made during the Fair, even weddings. People travel for miles and visit family and friends just to make their annual trip to the Fair.” McPeak adds.
Reithoffer Shows has been secured as the carnival ride provider this year. Reithoffer is the oldest traveling carnival company and only five generational family owned and operated show, which has the largest, most modern inventory and unique one of a kind rides in America. In business since 1896, this will be their first time in Tennessee. With more than 50 state of the art rides-including the 65-foot-tall Euro Slide, thrill seeking kids and adults shouldn’t be at a loss for entertainment on the midway.
More than 1,000 volunteers contribute nearly 80,000 hours making sure that each of the 150 events and exhibits is successful and fun. “These volunteers are committed, passionate, dependable and the best volunteers in the world. They are talented and creative and always thinking of ways to make their areas better and coming up with new ideas to make it different and better.”
2013 holds the record for highest attendance at 589,229. “If the weather cooperates, I’m sure we will have more than 500,000 and who knows, we might even break the 2013 record,” McPeak says with confidence.
 

Valuable info about the 2018 Wilson County Fair

Fair dates August 17-25 Admission: $12 Adults; $6 Children 6-12 years of age; FREE Children 5 and under
You can purchase adult tickets online before the Fair for $10 if you purchase before August 16. After this, admission is regular price. You can also purchase MEGA TICKETS online for $25 which includes admission to the Fair and ride armband. These are offered for a limited time before August 16 and will not be available after this date. You can visit the Fairs website at www.wilsoncountyfair.net to see the different discounts, pricing and check out what days different events are held so you can plan your visits. Season Tickets are $45 good for admission all 9 days of the Fair, which is a $108 value. The Great Give Away is a popular event during the Fair. $1,000 will be given away on the nights of Friday, August 17, Sunday, August 19, Monday, August 20, Wednesday, August 23, and Thursday, August 24 at the fair, but the car, truck or tractor giveaway will be held on Tuesday, August 21 at 8:30 pm. But get there early to get a seat in the grandstand. You must present the winning ticket at the drawing within the allotted time. 2018 Wilson County Fair is presented by Middle Tennessee Ford Dealers as the title sponsor. Other premiere sponsors include Bates Ford, John Deere, TN Lottery, Middle Tennessee Electric Corp, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Tennova, Coca-Cola, Lochinvar, Farm Bureau, Demos.