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Author: Peter Beare

The Wilson County Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official destination management organization for Wilson County, Tennessee, including all of its incorporated cities Lebanon, Mt. Juliet and Watertown.

USO Show and Living History to Honor Veterans at Fiddlers Grove Village


The 101st Airborne Living History and Fiddlers Grove Historical Village have teamed to bring a day of activities in honor of veterans to the Fiddlers Grove Historical Village at the Wilson County Fairgrounds.

Folks of all ages will be able to see what it was like to be a soldier in WWII, sing along during an authentic USO Show, look at photographs from the Tennessee Maneuvers, listen to wartime radio broadcasts and much more.

Join us on Saturday June 27th from 10:a.m to 7:00 p.m..

The day will kick-off with a flag presentation and a parade through Fiddlers Grove. All veterans are encouraged to participate in the parade.

The Freedom Belles Troupe will perform four 30 minute USO Shows. The performers will be dressed in 1940s style clothing and sing a variety of war time hits. The performances will be at Noon, 2pm, 4pm and 6pm at the Opry Pavilion located in Fiddlers Grove.

Wilson County native Woody McMillin will sign copies of his book, In The Presence of Soldiers. The book is about the WWII maneuvers which took place all over middle Tennessee.

Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children. Anyone who dresses in 1940s clothing or in their military uniform will get a $2 discount on admission..

Fiddlers Grove Historical Village is located at 945 East Baddour Parkway at the Wilson County Fairgrounds.

Welcome To Watertown, Tennessee


Welcome to Watertown, Tennessee – a beautiful escape from the mundane adventures of the modern city to the charming comfort of a village from yesteryear.

Watertown is a steadily growing small enclave in Wilson County, just ten miles outside of Lebanon on Highway 70. Known for our agriculture, our southern charm, and our excursion trains and events, Watertown has made its name on the tourism map of Places to Be.

Several times throughout the year, Watertown plays host to numerous excursion trains from Nashville, carrying hundreds of passengers into the quaint town to visit our shops, dine at our restaurants, and attend our events. Watertown holds some of Wilson County’s most popular events, including the Music Festival, Charity Train Robberies, and the nationally popular Mile Long Yard Sale. We also host two parades during the year – an Independence Day Parade and a Christmas Parade, which was reincarnated in 2014 after a 20 year hiatus.

If you’re yearning for a bite to eat, consider stopping into Watertown for a taste of Italy at Nona Lisa Pizzeria, a recipient of the Best Pizza Place in Wilson County award, or stop in for a cowboy burger and a milkshake at Lulu’s Coffeehouse, where live music hits the stage every weekend. The Depot Junction is another restaurant highlight and has been in business for over 20 years, providing home-cooked food and charm at a great price. There are other great eateries to sample – from Mexican to fried chicken – but these are just some of the ideas to whet the appetite.

Watertown also has a great shopping district, with several antiques stores, specialty shops, and the nationally-renowned Walker Creek Confections candy shop. Recently visited by Tennessee Crossroads, the candy factory is known for making some of the best caramels and toffees in the world.

Also an artist hub, Watertown serves as home to dozens of artists and musicians from all walks of life and different parts of the globe. The artisan community has hosted several art crawls and functions over the years and is front and center during Watertown events.

If you’d like to experience Watertown via the excursion train, the Tennessee Central Railway Museum (TCRM) will be hosting the Valentine’s Day Murder Mystery Trip into Watertown on Saturday, Feb. 14. Be a part of a classic murder mystery aboard the train as you make way to beautiful Watertown for an afternoon of shopping, dining and fun. The full TCRM excursion train schedule can be found online at and the full listing of Watertown events can be found at

But remember, you don’t need an event or a train – or even an excuse – to come and visit Watertown. Stop in anytime, enjoy what all this charming small town has to offer, and discover for yourself the reasons that so many call it home and that so many more make it a destination during their travels year after year. To keep up on everything that Watertown has to offer, subscribe to the town’s newspaper, The Watertown Gazette. Simply call (615) 237-1776 for information.

Introducing Wander Wilson


Hi! My name is Wanda. However, my very country, very Southern grandma raised me. Good ole’ Granny. She changed the sound “uh” in any name to “er”. Therefore if you were Donna you became Donner. Not to be confused with Santa’s reindeer. Sonia morphed into Sonyer. Wanda…Wander, etc. You get the picture.

Well, Wander stuck. Since I’m a restless wanderer – this name seems to fit.



Wander Wilson is who I am and what I do in my free time and I’ve been asked to share my love of shopping, eating and wandering with you fine readers! I live and breathe Wilson County, TN. So, Dear Reader, I invite you to shop, explore, learn and dine with me as we discover exciting local hangouts together.

One fine little city in Wilson County that’s growing at a mind boggling rate is Mt. Juliet. I’m so there.


My first stop is Home for the Holidays at the Mt. Juliet Community Center. Super Wow! So many local vendors, so much to look at, so much money to be spent…

Immediately inside the door was a lovely lady adorned in crimson and white. I didn’t comment on her attire but I was captured by a gift idea as she motioned toward a display in her perfect Vanna White style.

“Anyone play Cornhole?” she asked. “Of course I do!” I answered, as if she had asked if I breathe in and out on a daily basis. This Vanna wannabe had the perfect stocking stuffer and I’m not talking about her tiny little elfin feet. She showed me mini as in “table-top” versions of Cornhole and my eye was drawn to a University of Tennessee set. On any game day at my house there is great division. Very Hot Husband is a diehard UT fan and my baby boy going-on-17 son is a relentless LSU fan. Vanna said she could order an LSU set just in time for Christmas. SOLD!!

After browsing vendors’ stalls and acting like a bull (charging everything) I slipped out the door for a bite to eat. Big Al’s Barb-B-Que on Lebanon road was my choice. As I’d never eaten there before, I asked the friendly waitperson for her suggestion. She soon arrived with a huge smoked pork sandwich, baked beans and her 4th generation family recipe of potato salad. Y’all, I love Memphis barbeque and never thought I would cheat on it, but, y’all – this was a contender. Deelish!

Next stop, Tia’s Shabby Chic Boutique on N. Mt. Juliet Rd. This is the cutest little place filled with some unique hand crafted items. I found a fabulous ornament and at least three Christmas gifts that my gal friends will love. How could I resist buying the same things for myself? As in, Merry Christmas to me?

I couldn’t. So I did. I’ve wrapped them and put them under the tree with a “From Santa” tag on them. That’ll have my husband thinking I have a secret admirer.

Better yet, it might make him believe in Santa again.

Dear Reader, this is my first mini blog. Be kind and send me your thoughts!

Until next time, wander about and see the sights. One day, a crazy CVB director may want you to write a blog for her website!

Back In Time In Wilson County


It’s more than 50 years old and the majority of its most beloved episodes appear on our digital flat screens or mobile devices in black and white, but the classic sitcom  “Andy of Mayberry” still appeals to all age groups – even those hard-to-impress Generation X’ers.  There’s a good reason for this.  It’s uncomplicated. It’s authentic. It’s based on real life without being un-nerving like the so-called reality shows which are a far cry from being real. This simple show appeals to our instincts to get back to basics when we’re surrounded by cacophony.

Watching an episode of this show is a way of stepping back to a simpler time when the biggest problem of the week was whether Thelma Lou would accompany Barney to the church social and stress consisted of having Goober working on the patrol car for the big event. The best part – these characters had it all figured out in less than half an hour.

And then, there’s that sweet town where they all lived. There’s something about that Paramount set that makes us want to visit on our day off. Sitting in the shade in that imaginary place and watching the world go by would be relaxing. Taking in the county fair and sampling Clara Johnson’s prize-winning pickles would be fun on a lazy summer afternoon.  Browsing the shops looking for vintage furniture or luxurious crazy quilts for the farmhouse would be just the thing to get your mind off the boss for a long weekend.  If you’d rather whistle on down to the fishing hole – then, you’ll have to venture into Mt. Pilot for that.  There are lakes and streams just brimming with catfish you’ve heard. Just as you’re ready to bait the hook and throw in the line, the credits roll and your escape from reality is over. Right?

It doesn’t have to be.

I’ll share a little secret:  I know of a place where a relaxing weekend or extended vacation can get you in that same relaxed, uncomplicated, authentic, southern state-of- mind and the best part – you can get a cozy room and stay as long as you like. Wilson County, Tennessee is only a short drive from wherever you live and you won’t have to take off your shoes until you get on the boat dock.

This centrally located destination consists of three great cities with amazing history, beautiful vistas, and southern hospitality. And, we’re next door to Music City, only minutes from the airport.  Before you head to 2nd Avenue with a guitar and your dreams, stay with us for a spell to perfect your craft. Jam with a talented pro in one of our music and songwriting workshops. Perform your latest collaboration in a quaint café before an adoring crowd.

Want to spend some quality time with the kids?  Be sure to ask the boss for time off in August for what USA Today claims is the best county fair in the nation. (We agree!)  You don’t have to drive all the way to Mt. Pilot for great fishing and boating. The locals go to the place Charlie Daniels calls home – fabulous Mt. Juliet – when they want to enjoy the water.  Then, there are horseback rides at Cedars of Lebanon State Park, balloon rides, food festivals, hiking and biking. All this activity would boggle Aunt Bee’s mind.

Antiquing and shopping for vintage souvenirs of your amazing trip are just a train ride away to Watertown, a location famous in its own right for movies, music videos and getaways for the stars. Did you know that Sir Paul McCartney wrote a song about his famous getaway to Wilson County?  Yep, the man could have gone anywhere in the world and he chose to relax down on Junior’s Farm.

We’re not Mayberry – we’re the best kept vacation secret in the South. We’re for real and we’re ready for you to come and see us.

Get back to basics and make plans for a “Made in Tennessee” getaway to Wilson County.  We promise you’ll go home feeling refreshed, relaxed, and ready for your Monday through Friday reality – whatever that might be.

Go Back In Time with Historian Martin Frost


If you were bored in history class and didn’t understand how you would use any of that knowledge in your future life – take a magical history tour of Wilson County with Martin Frost and suddenly, you’ll “get it.” Frost, a Civil War Re-enactment enthusiast and Wilson County history tour guide, weaves the story of the area’s confederate counter-attack as if he had been watching from a safe distance, decked out in his confederate uniform.

Details of the every day lives of the Generals Morgan, Dumont and Hatton – the personalities of Captain Dartt and General Buell, the bravery of Sergeant Samuel Milmore and Company L – when this knowledgeable guide finishes your walk back in time, you’ll know more about these soldiers than you know about yourself.

In coming months, Frost will be our guide on this page with “Back In Time” – a video mini-tour and discussion of some of the events, people and places that shaped Wilson County before and after the War Between the States.

Join us here for a personal Wilson County tour sampler as Martin Frost makes history come alive with these topics:

  • The establishment of Wilson County in 1799.
  • The site chosen for the County Seat, and why.
  • Why the names of Lebanon, Mt. Juliet and Watertown were chosen.
  • The history of Cumberland College
  • The beginning of the War Between the States in Wilson County
  • General Robert Hatton, the 7th Tennessee Infantry, and many other units.
  • General John Hunt Morgan and the Battle of Lebanon.
  • The Confederate Monument on the public square in Lebanon
  • Cedar Grove Cemetery
  • Residents who made history
  • Antebellum homes and the families who lived there
  • When the railroads came to Wilson County
  • Castle Heights Military Academy.
  • The World War II maneuvers in Middle Tennessee, headquartered in Lebanon
  • The beginning of the Cracker Barrel Restaurant chain.
  • Wilson County’s Civil War and other historic tours are available to tour groups by appointment only. Contact us here for more information.

CVB Services

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About CVBs

What is a Convention & Visitor Bureau?

Convention & Visitor Bureaus (CVB) are not-for-profit organizations charged with representing a specific destination and helping the long-term development of communities through a travel and tourism strategy. CVBs bring together businesses that rely on travel for revenue and economic development.

For visitors, CVBs are like a key to the city. As an unbiased resource, CVBs serve as a broker or an official point of contact for meeting planners and visitors. They assist planners with preparation and encourage business travelers and visitors alike to visit local historic, cultural and recreational sites.

Why is a Convention & Visitor Bureau valuable to a visitor, a business traveler or a meeting planner?

CVBs offer unbiased information about a destination’s services and facilities. CVBs save visitors time and energy, as they are a one-stop shop for local points of interest. CVBs can provide the full range of information about a destination. Most services provided by CVBs are complimentary

For most services CVBs do not charge their clients — the visitor, the business traveler and the meeting planner. Instead, most CVBs are funded through a combination of revenues but most notably, hotel occupancy taxes.

Why are meetings and events important?

They enhance the quality of life for a local community by providing jobs, bringing in tax dollars for improvement of services and infrastructure.   They also attract facilities like restaurants, shops, festivals, and cultural and sporting venues that benefit both visitors and locals.

Travel and tourism is one of the world’s largest service exports and largest employers. In the United States, for example, travel and tourism is the third biggest retail sales sector. In Wilson County, it is the fifth largest industry employing 10% of the workforce. The industry contributes $99 million annually to the local economy in travel related expenditures, generates $9 million in local & state tax revenues (2009 figures).

How do CVBs help meeting planners?

CVBs make planning and implementing a meeting less time-consuming and more streamlined. They give planners access to a range of services, packages and value-added extras. Before a meeting begins, a CVB can help locate meeting space, check hotel availability, and arrange for site inspections. CVBs can also link planners with the suppliers, from motorcoach companies and caterers to off-site entertainment venues, that can help meet the prerequisites of any event.

Among the advantages of going through a CVB to plan a meeting:

  • CVBs assist in all areas of meeting preparation and provide planners with detailed reference material
  • CVBs can assist with establishing room blocks at local hotels
  • CVBs will market the destination to attendees via promotional material, thereby encouraging attendance
  • CVBs can act as a liaison between the planner and community officials, thus clearing the way for special permits, street closures, et cetera
  • CVBs can obtain special letters of welcome from high-ranking government officials and in some cases, can bring officials to speak at a meeting
  • CVBs can offer suggestions about ways meeting attendees can maximize free time, along with helping to develop spouse programs and pre- and post-convention tours

What are some of the specific services CVBs can offer the meeting planner?

  • They can assist in the creation of collateral material
  • They can assist with on-site logistics and registration
  • They can provide housing bureau services
  • They can develop pre-and post-conference activities, spouse tours, and special events
  • They can assist with site inspections and familiarization tours, as well as site selection
  • They can provide speakers and local educational opportunities
  • They can help secure special venues
  • They can assist in the coordination of local transportation

What information do CVBs have on hotels?

CVBs keep track of room counts, as well as other meetings coming to the area. In this way, they can help planners avoid conflicts with other events. Moreover, as CVBs have first-hand familiarity with the hotels and with meeting space in the area, they can help planners match properties to specific meeting requirements and budgets.

Privacy Policy


This document describes the Wilson County Convention and Visitors Bureau policy regarding personal information, ongoing communication, site security and overall site usage of These provisions apply solely to online activities and are not necessarily applicable to practices Wilson County Convention and Visitors Bureau may engage in outside of Use of the website signifies your agreement to the terms and conditions of use set forth in this document. If you do not agree to these terms, you may not access or otherwise use this website.

Collection of Personal Information

On occasion we ask for personal data on this website. The information is used to fulfill requests you’ve made of us, such as e-mail updates, brochures by mail, and contest registration, or to use special features of the site. By voluntarily providing personal information, you are consenting to the collection and use of your personal information in accordance with the terms of this Privacy Policy.

You may choose not to use any service that requires the use of your personal information in a manner not described in this Privacy Policy. Your use of will be considered as your consent to the use of your personal information in the way described.

The request for e-mail communication or contact from the Wilson County Convention and Visitors Bureau may result in the collection of (but is not limited to) the following information:

E-mail address

If you have questions about our privacy policy, write to:

Wilson County Convention and Visitors Bureau
233 East Gay Street
Court House Annex
Lebanon, TN 37087

Meeting and Event Venues

Meeting Venues


Conveniently located on U.S. Interstate 40 in the heart of Tennessee, the communities of Lebanon and Mt. Juliet are considered the eastern gateway to Nashville.  Surrounded by pristine lakes and scenic landscapes, Wilson County offers a rare blend of small-town southern hospitality and big-city amenities.

Forget the big-city traffic, congested roadways and expensive parking; Wilson County is an ideal meeting location that offers affordability, easy access and top-notch facilities.  With 18 hotels ranging from middle of the road to upper mid-scale properties, there is something for all budgets.

Attendees can tour picturesque town squares, dine on home-cooked southern cuisine, relax in the great outdoors and explore two premiere shopping centers all in one destination.   You are invited to come see for yourself why the heart of Tennessee is the perfect location for your next meeting.

Contact Us to today to discuss your meeting plans!


Avans Farm   Five Oaks Country Club
   Five Oaks Country Club
Five Oaks Country Club   Five Oaks Country Club
Five Oaks Country Club   Five Oaks Country Club
Five Oaks Country Club   Five Oaks Country Club
For a complete list of WilCo Meeting and Event Venues, click here.

Area Links


Three Great Cities, One Destination

Surrounded by pristine lakes and scenic landscapes, Wilson County offers a rare blend of small-town southern hospitality and big-city amenities.  Home to several country music artists, the acclaimed Wilson County Fair and much more.  You are invited to come see for yourself why we are proud to be in the heart of Tennessee.

Lebanon, TN is referred to as the Antique City of the South, and is the proud home of Cumberland University which is one of the oldest schools in Tennessee, headquarters to Cracker Barrel, and various cultural museums and historical sites.

Lebanon, TN

Mt. Juliet, TN is a beautiful community nestled between two lakes: Old Hickory and Percy Priest. The city is host to two annual Pow-Wow events. The newest addition is Providence Marketplace, one of Middle Tennessee’s largest open-air malls.

Mt. Juliet, TN
Watertown, TN: The historic city is famous for its mile-long yard sale, and annual Jazz Festival. Tennessee Central Railway offers several excursions each year. Stardust Drive-In movie theatre combines the nostalgic era of entertainment from the past with the latest technology of sound and projection.