Our 41st Rugby Spring Festival celebrates Rugby’s British and Appalachian cultural roots. The Historic Rugby British Festival is back, and admission is FREE! Showcasing the rich art, crafts, music, dance, and storytelling talent and traditions of our region, this event is fun for the whole family. For the first time, we’ll also have 2 Vintage Baseball games at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Eastern on May 14, featuring the Franklin Farriers, the Emmet Machinists, and the Knoxville Holstons. The Festival lasts all weekend long Saturday May 14 and Sunday May 15. You will have a chance to get acquainted, or reacquainted, with this unique historic village and to raise awareness and funds to support the year-round preservation and educational efforts of Historic Rugby. We’ll also have on Sunday May 15 only a hands-on instruction in the game of Cricket starting at noon Eastern, a game Rugby founder Thomas Hughes liked very much. An expert will let you or your family play it for a short time to get the hang of it, using vintage equipment! [More on this below**]
Artisans, Maypole dancing, the Queen’s Tea*, live music, food trucks, kid’s zone, and much more–the festival is a celebratory weekend for everyone! Music acts on the TWO stages include Cumberland Outlaws, Granville Automatic, Jesse Black Music, The Free Rangers, James Pack, Jackie Broeker, Lucas McCoy, Jodie Manross, Briana Boseman, Sophia Miriam & local Rugby musician Gerald Hanwright and Band.
Thank you to the Tennessee Arts Commission for its support of this event. [See Event Booth Application below. For an emailed copy, or for Artist & Crafter guidelines, please call us at 423-628-2441 Ext. 1]
* Queen’s Tea, Saturday May 14 only
It’s a jubilee! We’ll raise a cup this year in honor of the Queen Elizabeth’s 75 year reign. This festive tea will include sandwiches, scones, and desserts along with with the Rugby Blend tea. And in the delightful setting of Uffington House, home of Rugby’s matriarch, Madam Hughes. Tickets/reservations at just $25 are available HERE. Hours are 1-2:30 p.m. Eastern, May 14 only.
The Rugby Blend tea is from Elmwood Inn Fine Teas and is blended by Bruce Richardson who is a writer, historian and one of the leading voices in America’s tea renaissance.
The Queens’ Tea will be happening in conjunction with the 41st Spring British Festival so plan on making a day of it!
** CRICKET PLAY INSTRUCTION, SUNDAY MAY 15 ONLY, NOON EASTERN
With this activity visitors get an opportunity to actually play, among themselves, some short, informal, cricket
games just as they were played 100-200 years ago (as the national sport of Britain, cricket
was very much a part of the life of the early English settlers at Rugby. Thomas Hughes himself was a cricket
lover and a cricket
ground had actually been planned for the Rugby settlement [later given over to a tennis court]. (Sunday May 15 only, no reservation required)
“Keep in mind this is a 100% participant activity, not a demonstration or performance. The visitors (and this is something the entire family can enjoy, kids, adults from 7 to 70) make up the teams and get an opportunity to actually play, among themselves, some short [30-45 minutes, with signups starting at noon Eastern], informal games just as the British would have played them when Rugby was founded,” said Tom Melville, our expert and an American cricket player, author, and leading authority on the history of American cricket, who lives in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, area.
This will probably happen in the front lawn of Ivy Cottage, next door to the Harrow Road Canteen, but the site will be obvious at the Sunday-only event.
Music At Rugby