Tennessee State Parks 75th Anniversary

By Gail Forrester

This past October 6, 2012 was the 75th Anniversary of Tennessee State Parks. The Cedars of Lebanon State Park held a day-long celebration, highlighting the Park’s beginning and its growth through the years.

One of the most popular attractions of the day was the park’s 75th anniversary cake. Debra Bittle was contacted by the Park Ranger at Cedars of Lebanon State Park who asked her if we could create an anniversary cake for their celebration on Saturday. As this was our weekend for the fall Day of Sharing, Elaine Miller our State Representative sent out an email to all members inviting them to come spend the night at the lodge and help create the anniversary cake for the Cedars of Lebanon State Park.

It all came together on the Friday night of our Day of Sharing weekend. Sheet cakes had been baked at home by some of our members and brought to the lodge; Leah brought a large and sturdy cake board. Claudette suggested we draw some sketches of what we thought the cake should look like, then we all helped choose the design, and it was time to get to work. Some of us were making pine trees from ice cream cones and butter cream, and Elaine, Cindy, and Mary Jo built a log cabin from pretzel sticks, royal icing, and shredded wheat. While Debra, Claudette, and Leah arranged the cakes on the cake board, it was decided that the cake should not be flat to show the contour of the land. I then did some contouring and carved out some slopes and a fire pit area. Claudette and Debra took over, with spatulas in hand they went to work icing the cake. The trees were placed on the cake. The cabin was set in its location and fondant stones were placed at the bottom of the cabin and in front as a path. Mary Jo built the fire in the fire pit. Grass, flowers and rocks were added. The finishing touch was the writing on the cake which was beautifully done by Leah. The cake was now finished and ready to be delivered in the morning.

Part of the celebration on Saturday was the opening of a time capsule from 1937. Then cake was served. It was a big hit with everyone. The ranger said most of the parks had store bought cakes, but he thought ours was over the top.

%d bloggers like this: