By SERINA MARSHALL Staff Writer
Downtown Jonesborough was covered in red, white and blue as
people gathered to kick-off one of the town’s largest events, Jonesborough Days, which simultaneously celebrates the town and Fourth of July.
“We hosted the parade, Discovery Park & Patriot Park which includes kid’s activities, Doc’s Front Porch, MoonPie Eating Contest, live music from Zach McNabb & the Tennessee Esquires and the Beach Nite Band, and much more,” said Nora Davis, Jonesborough’s marketing and promotions coordinator.
The parade even had individual awards given for floats and groups.
Winners of the parade are:
• Veteran Award – Disabled American Veterans, Chapter 9, Washington County
• Schubert Award – Jones- borough Novelty Band
• Mayor’s Award – Jonesborough Repertory Theater
• Kiwanis Award – Jonesborough Shop with a Cop
• Civitan Award – Gray Youth Jr. Blazers Football Cheerleaders
• Eagles Award – Appalachian Fair
• Honorable mention was the Appalachian Irish Dance Company.
The popular MoonPie eating contest saw its share of winners as well.
Winners of the Moonpie Contest are:
• Aaron Ward (8 & under) • Ethan Malone (9-15)
• Brad Broyles (16 & up)
The annual event saw its share of locals, as well as tourists, who all came to celebrate the town and the Fourth of July, which has its own roots in the town.
“I remember when they covered Main Street in dirt to make dirt roads for a film Disney was doing called ‘Goodbye Miss Fourth of July,’ ” said Jonesborough native Stephen Ray Vallillo. “My cousins were in the movie, and it wasn’t a big movie, but it was a Disney movie. I come back every year from Florida to see the parade.”
Every year, the event draws crowds of all ages to its food trucks, storytelling and games.
“This is our first year, but we live in Greeneville and we’ve been to the downtown before. We love this area, so we just wanted to come back and check out the Fourth of July celebration,” said Lindsay Schleicher, who was at the event with her husband Leo IV and children Leo V, Levi and Liliana. “Our daughter is in the pageant.”
New to the area, the Schleichers are enjoying their time in their new home.
“This is the cutest down- town I’ve ever seen. We’ve lived in South Dakota and Florida and we’ve travelled all over, and this is one of my favorite downtowns,” said Lindsay.
Locals Alyssa Lamb and Angie Hurr said they love this event and how everyone is friendly and welcoming.
“I’ve lived here all my life and I come to Jonesborough often,” said Angie. “I’ve been a few times and I love it. I like the way the community gets behind it. They all come out and they are patriotic. And this is the oldest town in Tennessee and it’s great that everyone supports that.”
With a successful kick-off to the festival, Jonesborough Mayor Chuck Vest said he thinks it is wonderful to see so many people out supporting the town and the country.
“We followed up a great Jonesborough Days Kick-Off dinner on Thursday with an amazing parade on Saturday,” he said. “It was wonderful to witness so many people dressed in red, white and blue waving our American flag and so many full craft booths lining our streets.”