As in the previous era, Tennesseans had more leisure time to enjoy, and they had a lot of options from which to choose. This included getting on the internet, playing video games, doing outdoor activities, watching sports, and going on vacations.
The tourist industry continued to expand during this time. Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge developed into a major tourist destination. Theme parks, offering rides and entertainment, were popular. Dolly Parton opened Dollywood in Pigeon Forge. Memphis’s Libertyland and Nashville’s Opryland also drew visitors.
Unlike the 1945 to 1975 era, children probably had less leisure or play time in this era. Parents scheduled children for enrichment programs after school, including dance, music, gymnastics, and other sports. As one Tennessee mother said “One spring I had two children in three baseball practices, two soccer practices, and one softball practice every week, and that doesn’t count the actual weekly games--two baseball, two soccer, and one softball. That was 11 places to be each week!”
More children spent time in day care as their mothers worked. This included after school programs run by the YMCA, schools, and other groups. For the most part, children in this era did not have the freedom of movement and time that children had in the past.
Sports continued to be popular in the state. Soccer for both boys and girls was the fastest growing team sport because, experts said, almost anyone can play. Traditional team sports like football, basketball, and baseball were still very popular in the state with local high school, college, and professional games.
- Photograph showing players of a girls soccer game. This photo was taken in August 2009. It shows the player for Dickson Middle School in white and the player for Harpeth Middle School in red. Dickson won the match 2 – 0. Photo by Marty Allison, The Tennessean/The Herald
- Photograph showing practice at a youth football camp. This photo was taken in Nashville in 2009. It shows participants of the Lipscomb Youth Football Camp. Photo Bill Kingsley, The Tennessean
- Photograph of a dog park. This photo was taken in 2005 in Nashville by photographers Brent and MariLynn. It shows numerous people and dogs at Percy Warner Park. Flickr.com
- Photograph of a playground. This photo was taken at Warrior’s Path State Park in Kingsport, Tennessee. It shows numerous children playing. Tennessee State Parks
- Photograph of a Bluegrass Music Festival. This photo was taken in 2008 in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee by photographer “fishin widow.” It shows a band performing. Flickr.com
- Photograph of the Music City Hot Chicken Festival. This photo was taken in 2009 in Nashville by photographer “stephenyeargin.” It shows several people with plates of hot chicken in the foreground, while numerous other participants stand in line for food. Flickr.com
- Photograph of the Wilson County Fair. This photo was taken in Wilson County, Tennessee in August 2009 at the Fair’s 30th anniversary celebration. It shows numerous people riding the swing ride. Photo by Shelly Mays, The Tennessea.
- Photograph of showing the end of a Tennessee softball championship game. This photo was taken in 2005. It shows players from Gibbs High School, which lost, and Walker Valley High School congratulating each other for a good game. Photo by Amy Smotherman-Burgess, Knox News Sentinel
- Photograph of children at the YMCA Camp Widjiwagon. It shows red team campers celebrating their win during Spirit Day. This photo was taken in Nashville. Photo by George Walker IV, The Tennessean
- Photograph of Bruins fans. This photo was taken by photographer Paul Chenoweth in 2007 in Nashville during a Belmont University basketball game. It shows four men with their chest painted. Flickr.com
- Photograph showing people boating. This photo was taken by photographer Pat Jones in 2009 at the Watauga Lake Boat Parade near Butler, Tennessee. A large boat and several other smaller boats can also be seen in the background. Watuaugalakemagazine.com.
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