The Upper Cumberland Pickle Festival, Pickle-Powered by Slice Pizza and Games, Promises to be a BIG DILL

On April 29, 2023, from 10:00 AM-4:00 PM, with the help of the Big Dill Sponsor, Slice Pizza and Games, the ATMS Pickle Club is proudly hosting the region’s first ever Upper Cumberland Pickle Festival and associated Select Designs 2023 Pickleball Tournament.

The Pickle Festival will take place on the Avery Trace Middle School Sports Fields, where you can expect pickle food trucks, pickle vendors, pickle snow cones, pickle music, pickle merchandise, pickle art, pickle games, pickle prizes, pickle brine drinking competition, pickle-eating competitions, pickle tasting, an exclusive meet and greet with Pickle the GOAT (the official mascot of the ATMS Pickle Club), helicopter rides, and much, much more. The Select Designs 2023 Pickleball Tournament will be held in conjunction with the festival, from 10:00 AM-4:00 PM, on the Community Center Courts, and doubles teams (in 6 Pickleball group levels of Men/Women 2.5, 3.0, & 3.5) stand a chance to win the Select Designs Cash Prizes of $100 for first place of each level.

All of the proceeds from the day will go towards the much-needed upgrades of the ATMS soccer and football fields. For this reason, ATMS and the ATMS Pickle Club cannot show enough gratitude to the Big Dill Sponsor: The Slice Pizza and Games, the Pickleball Tournament Sponsor: Select Designs, and other Bread and Butter Sponsors: The Welding Shop INC, HD Homes, Mt. Olive Pickles, Thrive Family Fun Center, Natasha Wheeler LMT, Crabtree and Patterson Law, Lite Rock 95.9, Gutters Grille at Bowling World, Moogies BBQ, McClouds Asphalt, and Mary Porter at The Real Estate Collective.

ATMS Pickle Club Background: A middle school PICKLE Club? Yep, you heard that right! In early February of 2022, the ATMS Pickle Club was (accidentally) founded by lead club teacher sponsor Ryan Dalton, club president Cayden Kulis, vice president Lysander Haley, assistant principal Dr. Mel Preseley, and former ATMS teacher Kassandra Hunley, and quickly became the largest and most popular club in the history of the school. It is a pretty big dill! It all started by the previously mentioned group eating The Dill, the amazing pickle pizza from The Slice Pizza and Games, and loving it so much that they joked, “We should start a pickle club and try other pickle things.” To take the joke further, Mr. Dalton printed “ATMS Pickle Club” shirts for the small group of pickle-lovers and they wore them to school on the following Friday. To their surprise, hundreds of students expressed interest in joining the nonexistent, “joke” pickle club.

With the continued outpouring of student requests to join the club, Mr. Dalton created a Google Form for interested students to sign up and within the first day, they had over 100 students sign up. This trend continued up until their first official meeting on February 18, 2022, when numbers reaching around 300 students showed up to the auditorium for the early morning meeting. The Slice Pizza and Games kindly sponsored club t-shirts so ALL 300-something of the members could get one free-of-charge, and they amazingly hosted the club’s launch party on March 3, 2022, offering free pickle pizza for the hundreds of students and their family members in attendance. That evening the ATMS Pickle Club presented The Slice Pizza and Games with the 2022 ATMS Pickle Club Pretty Big Dill Award of Pickle Excellence for their excellent work with their pickle pizza, The Dill.

The ATMS Pickle Club quickly became a silly, quirky outlet for students to have fun, be themselves, and be a part of something bigger. The Pickle Club is all about inclusion, acceptance, and fun. You don’t even have to like pickles to be in the club―everyone is invited.

This 2022-2023 school year, the ATMS Pickle Club continues to thrive. They have a weekly cooking show called Cooking with the ATMS Pickle Club, with episodes released every Monday. At Halloween, they hosted, what they believe to be the World’s first ever, Pickle Haunted House. Near Christmas, they released their own Pickle Ugly Sweaters. Over the course of this school year they went on the QUEST to find the BEST fried pickles in town, and recently gave the title to Midtown Social, awarding them with the 2023 ATMS Pickle Club Pretty Big Dill Award of Pickle Excellence for their excellent work with their fried pickles, their Pickle Fries. And, on top of that, they continue to spread fun, silliness, and positivity in the halls of Avery Trace and beyond. The club has set out three goals for this school year: find the best fried pickle in town and present the restaurant with an award, petition for a universal pickle emoji (Apple products have a little cucumber but not a pickle), and to host the Upper Cumberland Pickle Festival.

You can help the ATMS Pickle Club in their success of accomplishing their third goal of hosting an amazing pickle festival by showing love and coverage with your media outlet. Mr. Dalton, Pickle Club Members, and even Pickle the GOAT are open for interviews and appearances. For interviews, images, general information, or anything else, contact Ryan Dalton at (931) 881-4985 and/or


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