Back in 2017, the good folks at Montgomery Bell State Park, just outside Nashville, Tennessee, decided to hold an event to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Ernest Goes To Camp, a movie which had been filmed there.  They were so overwhelmed with the turnout and enthusiasm of the fans that they decided to make it an annual event.

Thus, Ernest Day was born.

Since then, it has drawn thousands of fans from across the country, donning their khaki caps and denim vests, returning to "Kamp Kikakee" each year to show their love for America's favorite know-it-all neighbor.

"Ernest P. Worrell" was born out of a Nashville ad agency to promote an amusement park that was undergoing renovations.  Since they couldn't actually show the park while it was under construction, they came up with a novel and cost-effective idea: a commercial shot from the viewpoint of a man receiving an unsolicited spiel from his overly enthusiastic neighbor.  John "Buster" Cherry called on actor Jim Varney to bring the character to life.  The commercial and character was such a huge success that they used him in other ads in other markets.  Soon Ernest was showing up on tv's across the nation pitching everything from milk to Mello Yello, from local car dealerships to the local news.

When Ernest came to the attention of Walt Disney executives, they saw big screen potential and quickly signed him to a multi-picture deal.  Production on Ernest Goes To Camp began in the summer of 1986 at Montgomery Bell State Park with Cherry directing.  He employed many local cast and crew, including local Boy Scout troops as background players.

In the movie we find Ernest working as a handyman at "Kamp Kikakee", a summer camp for boys.  But what he really wants is to be a camp counselor.  He finally gets his chance when a group of troubled boys arrive and injure their assigned counselor.  Rising to the occasion, Ernest inspires the boys and unites the rest of the campers to defeat a greedy mining company bent on running them off the campgrounds.

Ernest Day includes several summer camp activities like nature hikes, canoeing, and archery as well as many Ernest-themed games like turtle catapult, trivia, and an Ernest lookalike contest.  As the sun sets, the day is capped off with a screening of Ernest Goes To Camp outside under the stars. It's a family-friendly day with something for everyone!