Improvements Made to Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration® Facility

Ahead of the 84th annual competition, the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration® made improvements to its 105-acre grounds and facility. In order to make these need mortifications, surveying services were needed to measure the relative elevation, physical characteristics, and legal boundaries and corners of the land. Once completed, the improvements provided additional space for guests to celebrate the legacy of the Tennessee Walking Horse for years to come.

Fans travel from across the country to witness this Tennessee tradition, with upwards of a quarter of a million tickets sold each year. The show takes place annually on the Saturday night before Labor Day and lasts for a total of 11 days. More than 2,000 horses compete, but only one is named the World Grand Champion Tennessee Walking Horse®.

The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration®, known as the Celebration®, is home to the largest event facility in the state of Tennessee. The 105-acre grounds are home to numerous event venues, barns, and RV sites. The premier arenas include the Celebration ® Outdoor Arena which seats over 30,000, the Cooper Steel Indoor Arena with 45,000 heated and ventilated square feet, and the Champions Arena which is a covered stadium. The Celebration also offers the Blue Ribbon Circle Club Venue, the Celebration® Campground which harbors 289 total spots with water and electric hookups, and 45 barns that house 1,272 total stalls.

Surveying services were provided by L.I. Smith & Associates (LIS) and included a boundary and topographic survey of the entire Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration facility. The surveys allowed for improvements to be made to the facility including the addition of new RV parking sites to accommodate the large crowds. Due to the large size of the grounds, the project spanned three months prior to the 2023 Celebration®.

LIS Vice President of Surveying Tommy Young stated, “We thoroughly enjoyed getting to survey such a prestigious location. We hope that our survey is the basis of many large improvements in the future.”

The Tennessee Walking Horse Festival, now known as the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration®, dates all the way back to 1939. The event began when Henry Davis was inspired by the nearby Crimson Clover Festival and decided that the city of Shelbyville should begin its own festival centered around its most important asset at the time, the Tennessee Walking Horse. The event has been held annually, without interruption, since then.