Scruffy City Soiree delivers not-so-scruffy returns!

Although this isn't really a dancing event, Finbarr Saunders and Ellen Bebb made it one anyway!

Although this isn't really a dancing event, Finbarr Saunders and Ellen Bebb made it one anyway!

We were all a little worried when we heard the historic L&N Station at World’s Fair Park was going to be transformed into a school. Why? Because it had become the traditional venue for one of the most fun parties of the year: Knox Heritage‘s Cocktails at the Station. (Click here to see a report from last year’s fabulous party.)

But we needn’t have worried. We Knoxvillians have developed a knack for turning lemons into lemonade. And that’s what Knox Heritage did. They moved the party to The Foundry — also a historic building — and renamed it The Scruffy City Soiree. (You may recall that The Wall Street Journal ridiculed Knoxville with the insultĀ  “scruffy little city” more than 30 years ago while casting doubt on whether the town could pull off a World’s Fair.)

The change had no ill effect. In fact, the event was a sell-out. About 300 folks packed (literally) The Foundry and Knox Heritage, which had a goal of raising $35,000 from the event, raised $45,000. The Old City Buskers provided background music as party-goers swarmed the silent auction items. The best thing about this event is the unusual auction offerings ranging from a cocktail tour of Old Grey Cemetery to a pub crawl narrated by Knoxville’s unofficial historian Jack Neely to great original art of Knoxville scenes and the region.

Even with the changes, this continues to be one of the best parties. Sign up early for next year’s.

John Niceley and Martha Strong Kern arrived in the best ride! They had just used their horse and buggy to transport a bride and groom to a wedding reception.

John Niceley and Martha Strong Kern arrived in the best ride! They had just used their horse and buggy to transport a bride and groom to a wedding reception.

Nicest horse's rear I've ever seen! Look at that braided and bowed tail!

Nicest horse's rear I've ever seen! Look at that braided and bowed tail!

They took the flowers off the pews to decorate the buggy! Great idea!

They took the flowers off the pews to decorate the buggy! Great idea! John said his dad bought the buggy 50 years ago at an estate sale. He paid $25!

Inside the place was packed!

Inside the place was packed!

Enjoying cocktails during the silent auction, from left, Annette Brun, Kim Trent, Wes Goddard and Ellen Robinson.

Enjoying cocktails during the silent auction, from left, Annette Brun, Kim Trent, Wes Goddard and Ellen Robinson.

Tommie Rush and Ted Smith

Tommie Rush and Ted Smith

From left, Beth Hamil, Kerry Howland, Caesar Stair and Joan Ward

From left, Beth Hamil, Kerry Howland, Caesar Stair and Joan Ward

WBIR's Erin Donovan and two handsome guys! The one on the left is my husband, Alan Carmichael. Erin's friend is Curt Willis.

WBIR's Erin Donovan and two handsome guys! The one on the left is my husband, Alan Carmichael. Erin's friend is Curt Willis.

Then it was time for dinner and everyone took their seats. Here is Pace Robinson with his wife, Karen, and mother, Natalie.

Then it was time for dinner and everyone took their seats. Here is Pace Robinson with his wife, Karen, and mother, Natalie.

Dawn Ford, left, and Becky Duncan Massey, who is running for state Senate.

Dawn Ford, left, and Becky Duncan Massey, who is running for state Senate.

Bill Lyons with his wife, Gay, at left, and Shaun Fulco of Moxley Carmichael.

Bill Lyons with his wife, Gay, at left, and Shaun Fulco of Moxley Carmichael.

From left, Sue Whittle, Phyllis Kramer and Pat Jobe

From left, Sue Whittle, Phyllis Kramer and Pat Jobe

Rich Ray with his daughter Andie, left, and his wife, Jane.

Rich Ray with his daughter Andie, left, and his wife, Jane.

Sam Maynard, center, visits with Craig Shelton and Mary Ellen Brewington.

Sam Maynard, center, visits with Craig Shelton and Mary Ellen Brewington.

City Council candidate Marshall Stair, left, with Councilman Duane Grieve and his wife, Marsha

City Council candidate Marshall Stair, left, with Councilman Duane Grieve and his wife, Marsha

Bill and Michelle Shory

Bill and Michelle Shory

Allyn Purvis Schwartz, left, and Pamela Chips were spotters during the live auction.

Allyn Purvis Schwartz, left, and Pamela Chips were spotters during the live auction.

Mickey Mallonee, left, with Madeline Rogero, who is running for Knoxville mayor

Mickey Mallonee, left, with Madeline Rogero, who is running for Knoxville mayor

Clongrats to Mary Jane Borden and Jeff Whitt who said they plan to get married next year!

Clongrats to Mary Jane Borden and Jeff Whitt who said they plan to get married next year!

John Craig and Judith Foltz

John Craig and Judith Foltz

Shaun Fulco and Scott Bird, both of Moxley Carmichael

Shaun Fulco and Scott Bird, both of Moxley Carmichael

Wes Goddard, left, and Michael Foltz

Wes Goddard, left, and Michael Foltz

4 Responses to “Scruffy City Soiree delivers not-so-scruffy returns!”

  1. What a great event! The support of this community never ceases to amaze me. I love this place!

  2. The Scruffy City Soiree was a lot of fun. Thanks to the Blue Streak for reliving it and providing us with these outstanding description and images.

  3. The Scruffy City Soiree was a rocking good time. Schedule your experiences soon. Whether it’s a bloody mary cemetery tour, a postcard tour, a Jack Neely pub crawl, a neighborhood trolley tour, or the Union Avenue Ramble (new this year–and ending with brunch at our place), they are all good times for a good cause: Knox Heritage. Thanks, Blue Streak, for the great story & photos.

  4. SCRUFFY? Hardly! Well done!

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