Kurt and Leigh Pfitzner purchased Pennington Park from the Pennington estate in 2018 with the intention of turning it into a park and event venue.
“Johnnie Fae Pennington, who used to teach at Dadeville High School, owned the property before we purchased it,” Pfitzner said. “After she passed away, we decided to buy the property, turn it in to a park, and name it Pennington Park in her memory. Today we use the park for events of all kinds.”
Since the creation of Pennington Park, the Pfitzners have partnered with Everything’s Art, a non-profit organization that was created to enliven and bring fine arts in the Dadeville community and surrounding areas through a variety of events.
Together, they will host the 2nd Annual Everything’s Art in the Park on May 15, 2021, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
“Last year’s Art in the Park was planned for May as well, but due to COVID-19, it was rescheduled for August. We still had a good turn out and we are looking forward to having a bigger event this year,” Pfitzner said.
“We have lined up so many talented artists of all types, using numerous mediums for the event.”
“We will have artists there who paint with watercolors, oils and some who paint with acrylics. We even have a local artist coming who creates his works using only colored pencils,” Leigh said. “There will be paper art, crushed glass and metal works. Rounding out our vendors will be someone who creates forged knives and we will even have homemade soaps available."
One intriguing artist who will be showcased at the event carves wood and on a special occasion last year, he decided to donate art to the park by carving faces into the trees at the back of Pennington Park.
“Two trees died behind the pavilion and Ken Rhodes, a local artist, came and carved faces into the sides of the trees," Pfitzner said. "The faces are remarkable. They are two to three feet long, in a tree that is about nine feet tall and it is just beautiful work. We like to think of the characters as the Watchmen of the Park. Its such a cool thing and an honor to have them watching over the park and protecting the land.”
The Pfitzners expect to have between 30 to 50 vendor booths, in addition to food trucks and free live music at the event.
“When performers are not on the stage, we will have music playing. We really want to create a festival-like atmosphere,” Pfitzner said.
Then at 3 p.m. the atmosphere will become a little more electric when David Jones, critically acclaimed jazz musician takes the stage. Jones is known for playing to the crowd and turning up the fun.
“I play everything from old jazz standards like Steely Dan, Frank Sinatra and Carol King to Chaka Khan,” Jones said. “I just want to see people having a great time and it’s always cool to hear people say, ‘Man, I haven’t heard that in years.’”
And speaking of not hearing that in years, Tina Marie’s Oldies Show begins at 5:30 p.m., just in time for the sun to set and the town to come together. Patrons are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and relax for the evening while enjoying a one-of-a-kind show featuring Tina Marie Hosey as Patsy Cline, Forrest Forbis as Elvis Presley and Terrell White as Aretha Franklin.
“I have been singing my whole life,” Hosey said. “I don’t remember not singing and I thank God for the energy he gave me because I truly enjoy making people smile.”
Patsy Cline is Hosey’s favorite artist and what started as fun, quickly turned into a real gig. The same goes for White.
“When I was young, I would be at my grandma’s house and every Saturday was Blues Saturday on the radio all day long," White said. "So that’s all I heard and I grew up loving the blues. Then one Saturday I heard Say a Little Prayer for You and I started singing and couldn’t stop. I’ve been singing Aretha ever since. I loved RESPECT and Rock Steady, too.”
“My story is a little different than Terrell’s or Tina’s,” Forbis said. “I’m kind of walking in my daddy’s footsteps. He did Elvis impersonations for birthdays and private gatherings my whole life. So, I just kind of stepped into his boots and continued the tradition.”
According to the group, which originated several years back, the night will be electrifying and jam-packed with stories about the original artists, too.
“During the performance, we will share stories about the artists lives. Things like how Patsy didn’t like some of the songs that she recorded, or that RESPECT was born from a very dark time in Aretha’s life. We thoroughly look forward to putting on a dynamic show for the community,” Hosey said.
Pfitzner said that the show will be over around 7:30 or 8 p.m., but that the entertainers and community can stay as long as they like.
“We look at these events as a time to bring the community together. It’s a time to meet new friends and connect with old ones, and it’s an incredible way to make memories,” Pfitzner said.