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Soda crush: Jonesborough Merchants and Service Association to host a new festival


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Downtown Jonesborough is planning to go a little “soda” crazy in June.

Following the recent success of Chocolate Fest in February, the Jonesborough Merchants and Service Association are currently working to launch a new festival, christened “Soda Fest,” to be held June 4 from 4-8 p.m.

According to Jeff Gurley, owner of The Lollipop Shop and organizer of Chocolate Fest, the idea came to him in a flash, but its perfect fit for Jonesborough’s oldest town brought JAMSA members scurrying to plan the event as quickly as they could.

“I got the idea two weeks ago,” Gurley admitted to merchants and town residents at the town’s Thursday night Main Street Mingle last week. “This has all just kind of come together quickly.”

The concept, he said, is centered around creating a new, family friendly summer event to follow in the successful footsteps of Chocolate Fest.

“The idea is to have an organized effort for merchants to stay open until 7 on Saturdays from Memorial Day to Labor Day,” Gurley explained. This new event, set for June 4, would help kick off the new hours.

“Soda Fest will kind of follow the Chocolate Fest formula, where we would have 100 different sodas, from classic sodas to crazy sodas, inside the businesses all over downtown and (guests) would come in to sample sodas.”

Tickets would be available online, with a limited number available the day of the event.

Plans are currently underway for decor and activities, including a possible sock hop with live music, and a Root Beer Garden, available through a separate ticket, featuring up to 35 different types of root beer.

The cost of general admission will be $11.50 for 15 tickets, or tastings.

Of course sodas, and classic  “soda jerks” to serve them, will be the true stars of the event.

Those who enjoy nostalgic candies from the past will savor the Astro Pop Pineapple, Cherry and Passion Fruit flavors.  Mexican Pepsi and Coke will also be available with classics like Cheerwine, Nehi Peach, Orange Crush and NuGrape.  Green River Snappy Lime has the sweet taste of a lollipop and its bright green color has been around since 1919.

“While many people have enjoyed Orange Crush, did you know there is a Strawberry Crush and Grape Crush too?  We’ll have those classic sodas, as others might be tempted to try our bizarre flavors too,” Gurley said.

And if sampling rare sodas is your goal, the Peanut Butter and Jelly, Chocolate Chip, Bacon, Pumpkin Pie, Sweet Corn, Buffalo Wing and Ranch Dressing flavors will also be on site for tasting.

For more information on Soda Fest, call 913-2663.