Tennessee Tiny House Festival rolls into Audubon Acres this weekend.
Forty tiny homes will roll into Audubon Acres in East Brainerd this weekend for the 2017 Tennessee Tiny House Festival, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 9-10.
Organized by John and Fin Kernohan, United Tiny House Association founders, this will be the state’s first Tiny House Festival, but others have been held in Georgia, New Jersey and Florida — the latter setting a record with 60,000 visitors. Kernohan attributes the boom in popularity of tiny houses to the popularity of television shows about the movement.
Kyle Simpson, Audubon Acres executive director, says the wildlife sanctuary will not be open to the general public during the festival, only to those attending the event. The wildlife sanctuary will host special events — such as living-history demonstrations in Spring Frog Cabin — to welcome visitors who might not ordinarily visit.
Simpson said the festival will be located in the meadow on the left as visitors enter the property, and some homes will be in the orchard behind Spring Frog Cabin.
Every Tiny House festival promotes awareness of the tiny house movement while raising funds for local nonprofits. The manner in which the Kernohans distribute proceeds is a model for event organizers that makes volunteers more invested in the success of the event. Every volunteer designates their favorite charity and a $10 donation per hour worked is made to that nonprofit following each
festival, explains Kernohan.
Fundraising will also take place at this event for the building of a tiny house that will be donated to a Texas family displaced by Hurricane Harvey.
The Tennessee Tiny House Festival will feature tiny homes, micro houses, schoolies and vintage campers. Friday is an educational day for schoolchildren; Saturday and Sunday offer speakers, how-to tips, panels of experts for the public as well as food trucks, music and children’s activities. There will also be free screenings of the documentary “Living Tiny Legally.
The weekend fun kicks off Fri day with a Free School Day for students from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. As part of that, Susan Schaefer Bernardo, author of “The Big Adventures of Tiny House,” will hold an interactive session with students at 11 a.m.
School Day offers free admis sion only to public, private and home-schooled students and their teachers/chaperones, who must have registered in advance. Stu dents must be K-12 to attend this free day.
Friday night’s session from 5
to 8 p.m. is free to all ages and the public is invited to enjoy music from Array of Light at 7:30 p.m., meet vendors and builders and check out the tiny houses.
Tiny House Chattanooga will have up to four Tiny Houses on-site. The local company won Best in Show at the New Jersey Tiny House Festival and at the national jamboree, says Kernohan. Owner Mike Bedsole will be Sunday’s keynote speaker.
Throughout Saturday and Sunday, there will be children’s activities, concession sales and all tiny houses open for perusal. Austin Zackary will perform both afternoons as will Array of Light. Keegan Family Band plays Saturday at 10 a.m.; Corey Rose performs Sunday at 12:45 p.m.
Due to limited parking on-site, free shuttles will run from the Hamilton Place area to Audubon Acres. As of press time, pickup/ drop-off location was still being determined. However, signs will be posted at the designated location.
A log exterior gives this tiny house a rustic look.
This Tiny House of Chattanooga model features French doors to increase natural lighting