Many folks, when faced with references to the Volunteer State, can conjure up a few facts about Tennessee. Perhaps they know that Nashville is the Country Music Capital of the World, or that the Great Smoky Mountains dot the landscape, or that the state is known for their own style of (hot) chicken.
But read on for seven more facts about Tennessee that will give you a deeper appreciation for the southern state.
This annual musical festival takes place on nearly 700 acres of farmland every June and attracts over 90,000 concertgoers, bringing in an estimated $51 million since its inception in 2002. This economic impact and number of attendees over the four day event makes it one of the largest festivals in the world, earning Rolling Stone's title of Best Festival in 2008.
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2. Mountain Dew
The neon-yellow drink that has helped many folks get the sugar they need to power through studying or a long day at work got it starts in the 1940s in Tennessee. The Knoxville, Tennessee soda creators called it "Mountain Dew" as a homage to Tennessee's "Mountain Moonshine," according to the Knoxville News Sentinel.
3. Kooky Canuck Burgers
In Memphis, a 12 lb. burger beckons adventurous eaters from the Kooky Canuck restaurant. From their menu: "Our KOOKY version of the original, a 12-pound beef patty plus the fixins totaling 25 pounds of pure madness. If you and three friends can eat it ALL in 60 minutes, it's on us … $99.99."
4. World's Largest Freshwater Aquarium
Tennessee Aquarium, located in Chattanooga is home to over 7,000 animals and has an economic impact on its city of more than $77 million every year. Since opening their doors, they have welcomed over 20 million visitors, according to timesfreepress.com.
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5. First miniature golf course
Speaking of Chattanooga, the first patented miniature golf course started here and began handing out clubs in 1927. Its creators, Mr. and Mrs. Carter, built the mini golf course to help book more guests at their Lookout Mountain hotel, the Fairyland Inn.
6. Tow Trucks
Another Chattanooga claim to fame: tow trucks. The story goes that in 1916 mechanic Ernest Holmes received a phone call from a former professor. "He modified a 1913 Cadillac, adding a crane and pulley system. The idea was that this modified vehicle could rescue other distressed vehicles and tow them to a mechanics shop for repair," according to Why Didn't I Think of That?
7. America's Only Freshwater Pearls
The official gem of Tennessee is a freshwater pearl.
Why? Because it's the only freshwater pearl farm in all of America! It's "rarely found naturally from these living animals," but visitors to Camden, Tennessee can visit the farm and take a mini or full tour of the facility.
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