Paris, TN – It’s music. It’s theater. It’s art. It’s the annual Eye Full of Paris Weekend in Historic Downtown Paris, Tennessee. Celebrating visual and performing arts, the event takes place the last full weekend each September and is sponsored by the Downtown Paris Association (DPA). “These three days focus on an assortment of live music, children’s activities and an extraordinary variety of artwork with an emphasis on demonstrations,” said Kathy Ray, Executive Director of the DPA.
Friday, September 22nd
The weekend kicks off with two events scheduled for Friday. Noon on the Square sponsored by Commercial Bank from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm opens Eye Full of Paris weekend with music by The Tooth Throb Band (Dr. Jeff Fletcher and a few of his friends) on stage with a variety of classics including a special guest performance by Riley Jenkins who will entertain the crowd with the sounds of Elvis Presley. The Boss Hoss motorcycle show and parade will also be a part of the Noon on Square this Friday. Bring a lawn chair, come early and enjoy a great time. Lunch will be served by the Paris Quota Club and the DPA will serve drinks for a donation. This is a FREE event.
“Downtown’s 20+ merchants, including clothing boutiques, gift shops and eateries will have their doors wide open with Eye Full of Paris Sales on Friday and Saturday,” said DPA Executive Director Kathy Ray.
The excitement continues Friday evening at the First Christian Church in downtown Paris from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm with Wine to Share, Water for All, sponsored by the First Christian Church and all proceeds benefit the Showers of Blessing Trust, providing clean water wells in rural areas near Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. The evening includes dancing, hors d’oeuvres, wine, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages, live entertainment featuring John Austin McDaniel, locally brewed Perrylodgic beer, and a silent auction including local artists. Please help promote this very worthy cause for clean water in East Africa. Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased at the door and from any First Christian Church member. Call 731-642-3181 for more information.
Saturday, September 23rd
On Saturday, the courthouse lawn becomes the crossroads of art, music and food for grown-ups and children alike when Arts ‘Round the Square (ARTS), opens at 9:00 am. Sponsored by the Paris-Henry County Arts Council (PHCAC) and the DPA, this FREE event will fill the lawn with approximately 30-juried artists creating and selling their pottery, woodcarvings, jewelry, mixed media, fiber art, photographs, sculptures and canvas art including paintings from members of the Tennessee River Fine Arts League.
“The demonstrations have become one of the well-loved hallmarks of this event,” said PHCAC Executive Director Amy Jones. “Our visitors like to view the creative process, even if it’s just a brief glimpse into that individual’s method.”
Children can also get in touch with their inner artist at Arts ‘Round the Square at the KidsZone Live! a special area for interactive children’s projects. This year will also include a rock painting session. These projects are FREE and help children connect their work with the professional work that is taking place around them that day.
Music is a large part of ARTS with live performances throughout the day on stage from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The schedule includes:
9:00 – 10:00 “Jamaica Me Happy” Steel Drum Band, University of Tennessee Martin
10:00 – 10:30 Dancing Generation Studio performs
10:30 – 12:00 Scott Myatt & Steve Short
12:00 – 1:00 Josh McKee
1:00 – 2:00 The Old 23rd District
2:00 – 2:30 “RATS! The Story of the Pied Piper” by KPAC Young Artists
2:30 – 3:00 Vocal Selections from “Singin’ In the Rain” and “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do”
3:00 – 3:30 KPAC Young Artists Chorus sings music from “The Lion King”
3:30 – 4:00 KPAC Young Artists in Concert Solos present some of their favorite songs
ARTS wraps up at 4:00 pm just in time for visitors to grab a picnic basket and blanket or lawn chair and head to the Paris Winery at 2982 Harvey Bowden Road for Concert in the Vineyards. Live music runs from 6:00 until 10:00 pm with music by Myatt, Short & Friends. Friends include William Criss on drums and Rita McCaslin on vocals and percussion. Get comfortable as the day cools down and enjoy this FREE evening of music with complimentary wine tasting under the stars. Visit www.ParisWinery.com or call 731-644-9500.
Sunday, September 24th
The historic downtown churches welcome visitors for Sunday services. The Eye Full of Paris Weekend finale, Downtown Churches Rejoice! takes on a new sound this year as the gospel group “Unbroken Faith” from Russwood Baptist Church takes the stage Sunday afternoon on the courthouse lawn from 2:00 pm to 3:00 p.m.in downtown Paris. Bring your lawn chair and enjoy the sounds of “Unbroken Faith”. The rain location is the First United Methodist Church sanctuary.
“We are thrilled to bring this group to Paris to partner with the DPA and downtown churches during Eye Full of Paris” said Kathy Ray, DPA Executive Director.
The DPA invites visitors to stay overnight Friday and Saturday at downtown’s Home Sweet Home Bed and Breakfast or with other local innkeepers. Find out more at www.VisitDowntownParis.com, or www.TnVacation.com or call the Downtown Paris Association office at 731-653-PARIS (7274).
Eye Full of Paris began in June, 2006, with Paris-Henry County Art Council’s first Arts Round the Square (ARTS) held on the courthouse lawn. In 2007 the Council partnered with the Downtown Paris Association when sites and dates were expanded. That same year the event was renamed and received funding from the Tennessee River Resort Act.
The mission of the Downtown Paris Association is to promote prosperous business activity and community involvement while encouraging preservation of the downtown area. Visit online at www.visitdowntownparis.com or call DPA Executive Director Kathy Ray at 731-653-PARIS (7274).