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Wrestling returns to Hooray

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By Cindy Simpson

The return of wrestling to Hooray for Harriman’s Labor Day Festival was a big hit in the past, and bigger names will likely bring even bigger crowds to this year’s event on Sept. 5.

“That was the biggest draw,” said festival chairman Randy Ellis. “I bet you there was 800 to 1,000 people at the wrestling last year.”

Tennessee Mountain Wrestling will be providing this year’s free wrestling show, including names such as former wrestling superstar Cowboy Bob Orton, who was inducted into the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame in 2005.

His son, Randy Orton, and his persona The Viper are wildly popular with today’s wrestling fans.

The bell for Rumbling on Roane Street will begin at 4 p.m. and feature seven big matches.

Those matches include Orton; the Legend Jimmy Golden; former World Championship Wrestling superstar named Bunkhouse Buck; “K-Town Daddy” Terry Landell and a women’s match.

“(Harriman Police) Chief Randy Heidle is actually going to be a special guest referee for a match,” Ellis said.

Tennessee Mountain Wrestling, based out of Knoxville, has free shows each Saturday in the Knoxville area, including recently in Market Square.

Wrestle Talk is broadcast every Wednesday evening on local cable access channel 12 in Knoxville. Landell has a Friday evening show on the station.

In addition to the wrestling, the festival, which begins at 10 a.m. on Labor Day, will include a large number of vendors, a children’s inflatable area and concerts from various acts.

Ellis hopes that the Princess Theater will be open at that point for indoor performances.

Vendor fees have been waived, and Ellis said that most of the vendors he talked to last year had said they plan to come back.

This year the city turns 120 years old, and the festival will include birthday festivities.

Ellis said the festival is still in need of sponsors. Almost $2,000 needs to be raised, and those interested in sponsoring can go to www.hoorayforharriman.com for details.

Sponsorship levels are from $100 to $5,000.

Anyone interested in setting up a booth can also visit the website or call Ellis at 335-7981.