October in Oakland Festival to Bring Attention to Rebirth of Downtown

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Oakland Chamber announces "Oakland in October Festival" event schedule.

For the first time in its six years, the annual "Oakland in October Festival" will be held in historic downtown Oakland. The public event with free entertainment and a variety of activities benefitting local groups will be held on Saturday, October 5 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

"Downtown is experiencing a rebirth," said Pattie Krepela, executive director of the Oakland Chamber. "Downtown Oakland has lain dormant for over 10 years until the chamber relocated offices there over two years ago."

"This year the festival location will help focus the community on an area that is becoming a center of civic pride. The October in Oakland Festival is a popular event that brings out many of our local people and people from surrounding communities to enjoy local entertainment and participate in fun activities."

Leading downtown revitalization efforts is Revolution Church. In March, the church purchased two properties on Main Street, the former Oakland Deposit Bank and the former Village Hardware store. While many churches follow members to new growth areas, Revolution Church wanted to feel the heartbeat of the community and move to the historic center of Oakland.

"We've found that people want a quieter life and that is exactly what Oakland offers. We hope that our efforts will encourage other businesses to move downtown," said Aaron Armstrong, lead pastor at Revolution Church.

The church restored the property using bricks from the former Wells Grocery store and lumber from barns in Fayette County. Revolution Church also will open a coffee shop in November in downtown Oakland.

"People are excited about the activity downtown and on Main Street," said Brandon Seavers, creative and worship pastor at Revolution Church. "Oakland is growing fast and we've noticed that people want a central place to gather. That's what drove us to open a coffee shop. We want to help people find a way to connect."

Creative Aspects is another business in downtown Oakland. The store sells antiques and refurbished furniture. The October in Oakland Festival will be an opportunity to showcase the new businesses in downtown.

Oakland is located in west Fayette County, just minutes from the Wolfchase shopping corridor in eastern Shelby County. The suburb boasts the lowest-in-the-state combined city-county property taxes and is the fastest growing suburb in the Memphis area.

Between 2000 and 2010 Oakland saw explosive growth of 418%. The current population is around 7,000 and it is projected to grow another 19% by 2017. Combined city and county taxes in Oakland are 75% lower than in Memphis-Shelby County, making it attractive to families and businesses alike.

The Oakland Regional Chamber is a nonprofit action agency designed to support and enhance the economic environment and quality of life in our community. The Oakland Regional Chamber located at 51 Main Street in Oakland, Tenn., call 901.466.0286 or visit OaklandTNChamber.com for more information.

Schedule of Events for October in Oakland

8 a.m.                  Short Stack 5K Run/Walk
                         • Benefits Oakland Parks and Recreation
                             • $30 registration fee
                             • Includes a ticket to the pancake breakfast

8:30 a.m.          Pancake Breakfast
                             • Benefits the Oakland Police Department

9 a.m.-5 p.m.     Craft Fair

11 a.m.                  Pet Parade
                             • Benefits the Friends of Fayette County Animal Control
                             • $5 registration fee

3:30 p.m.         Oakland’s Got Talent Karaoke Contest    

7 p.m.                  Prizes awarded for BBQ Cooking Contest

All day-                  Faith Riders Motorcycle Show
                     BBQ Cooking Contest

All day-                 Kids Area
                            • Inflatables, games and rock climbing wall
                            • Wristbands will be sold for $10
                            • Proceeds benefit Oakland Parks and Recreation

All day-              Live Entertainment
                         • Various artists including Emma Webb, Kris Acklen, Bennie Cole Bluegrass    
                             Band, Heethanz and Patty Harper & Faultline
                         • People are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets
                         • Food vendors will be present

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