Marble Festival set for Standing Stone

Eliza Clark/OCN file photo

The National Rolley Hole Marbles Championship will return to Standing Stone State Park on Saturday.

Building on a cultural tradition, Standing Stone State Park will host the National Rolley Hole Marbles Championship and Festival on Saturday, Sept. 18, drawing some of the country’s best players to Tennessee. Players will match skills in what is known as the “Super Bowl of Marbles”.

This will be the 38th annual event, all played at Standing Stone State Park. It is an all-day festival for everyone, with food, music, and marble games for all ages. The day will feature a Kids Marble Festival, marble making demonstrations, and a swap meet.

“This is the only event of its kind in the world,” Park Manager Christopher Cole said. “It is not only great for the park but for the community. We invite everyone to be here. This really is a special one-of a kind event.”

Standing Stone is the only state park in the nation with a marble yard, mainly because some of the best players hail from Clay County.

Co-hosted by the Friends of Standing Stone State Park, the free festival will kick off at 8 a.m.

The musical lineup includes bluegrass and old-time groups The Kody Norris Show, Kentucky Just Us, the Cody Hull Band, Clearview, New River Rising, the Bandy Creek Boys, and Uncle Shuffelo & His Haint Hollow Hootenanny. Event sponsors for 2021 include Tennessee Arts Commission, Southern Landscape Supply LLC, Diamond 9 Sports, Honest Abe Log Homes, J & S Construction, King Bros Lumber, and Tennessee State Parks.

Rolley Hole is a folk game similar to croquet. It will be played by the rules of the National Rolley Hole Marbles Championship on a dirt yard which measures 40x25 feet. The strategy comes by determining the best way to keep opponents from making the hole, which often requires skillful hard shots against their marbles, sending them ricocheting across the yard.

“The setting is spectacular, and the talent line-up is top notch with a combination of great music artists, great marble making artists, and the world’s greatest marble players,” Cole said.

This event is widely regarded as one of the most effective public sector folklife projects on record in Tennessee. It has promoted a greater understanding and sustainability of cultural heritage, community heritage, and folklife across the region, state, and beyond.

Standing Stone State Park covers nearly 1,000 acres. For more information about the festival and Standing Stone State Park, call (931) 823-6347 or visit Standing Stone State Park online.

East 52 and Timothy volunteer fire departments will be selling concessions to raise funds for the departments.