Ocoee

  The Rio games aren't the only reason East Tennessee residents are talking about the Olympics. Some are remembering the 20th anniversary of the 1996 summer games that featured whitewater events in Ocoee, Tennessee. Though those events turned out to be a success, some were skeptical when the idea was first proposed, and grassroots organizations worked hard to make it happen.

By Ken Lund [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Remember the scene in the original National Lampoon’s Vacation when the Griswolds finally finish their long journey to Walley World and find the theme park is closed?

If you’re headed for a whitewater rafting trip on the Ocoee River and you don’t plan ahead, you might be similarly frustrated.

The first-ever Ocowassee Festival starts March 28th and offers a wide selection of free, family-friendly outdoor activities such as mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking, bird watching, orienteering and more.  In this interview, WUTC’s Michael Edward Miller discusses festival highlights with Tennessee State Park Ranger Angelo Giansante from the Hiwassee/Ocoee Scenic River State Park.