Scopes Trial Festival receives $10k boost

Darrow and Bryan
Photo taken of Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan during the scopes trial in 1925. (Fairold)

Scopes Trial Festival gets boost from county

June 2, 2014

Dayton, TN — Last Wednesday the Rhea Finance Committee gave a much needed boosted to the Scopes Festival committee to the tune of $10k. After being denied his initial request of $20k, Chairman of the Scopes Festival Committee, Tom Davis, was thrilled to hear news.


A lot of people think history is dull, but history is our story. Who we are, and why we are who we are.

Tom Davis – Chairman Scopes Festival


“I am particularly excited about the Scopes Festival and the Scopes Trial,” says Davis.

“It’s events like the Scopes Festival that helps remind people that it’s not just names in a book. These were people who were concerned about things, who got excited and thought about things, and who believed in things. It was our grandfathers and great-grandfathers were involved in this, and it’s part of our story.”

County Executive George Thacker was also glad to see the Scopes Festival get off to a good start. “It’s great for Rhea County. It’s great for the history of Rhea County. We have one of the most historic courthouses in the nation,” said Thacker.


I think we’re in for a good Scopes Festival this year. I feel like we need to be all-in on this. Not only is this our history, it’s the foundation Rhea County is built on.

George Thacker – County Executive


Thacker is credited with making the motion to support the Scopes Festival through funds provided by the county’s hotel/motel tax.  The motion was carried and received full consent by the Finance Committee.

“The Scopes Trial was one of the most historic trials in the world,” said Thacker. “I think it’s a good move for the county to get involved with the hotel/motel tax. Along with the historic value it’s gonna bring in tax revenue and it’s gonna bring in people who want to move here.”

Another $10k is anticipated to come from the City of Dayton.  Although the Dayton City Council didn’t approve the move at tonight’s council meeting, it appears matching funds are on their way soon.

Thacker has worked hard to build a good relationship with municipalities in the county.

“I think you’re gonna see a change with the city and county whether it be Spring City, Graysville or Dayton. We are all uniting and doing projects together which will enhance our whole county,” says Thacker.

Chairman of the Scopes Festival Committee, Tom Davis, has worked closely with Anna Tromahauser of Main Street Dayton to make this year’s festival something special. The group has partnered with Cumberland County Playhouse for the production of “Front Page News,” a play with music and full theatrical treatment.

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