By SERINA MARSHALL
Business was booming at Jonesborough Days this year.
“We set up a tent outside with sandwiches, cookies and cakes,” Marcello Gisbert of Boone Street Market said. “We have been here since 2014 and the event helps with revenue.”
Boone Street is the downtown’s local market, with a tent added during Jonesborough Days for extra fare. “We sell a good bit during Jonesborough Days,” Hannah Donahue said.
The Corner Cup also sees an increase in those that come through the doors. “We get more business on Sunday evening with the fireworks,” Anna Floyd, manager of Corner Cup, said. Like many of her fellow retailers, Floyd enjoys the new faces that show up.
“It’s a nice variety of people that are here for the festival. It’s not always the same amount, and not as many locals,” Floyd said. “Most are new and it is always a perk to check out the town.”
Corner Cup has been around for five and a half years, and this is their best Jonesborough Days yet. “People are excited to be out and enjoying the nice weather,” Floyd said.
Next door, the Mill Spring Makers Market sees more traffic as well.
“Jonesborough Days is mostly outside, but we are busier than our average Sunday,” Heather Applegate of the Mill Spring Makers Market said. “We have been here three years and we see a little more traffic during Jonesborough Days.”
Even new businesses were excited to be a part of their first Jonesborough Days.
“This is our first true Jonesborough Days,” Jennifer Walters, owner of Gigi’s Pantry said. “We are pleased with how the town handles it. The parade is my favorite thing. We haven’t gotten together in a year so it’s emotional and special. It’s beautiful and is ‘my town’.”
Walters was also is thankful to get to meet all the new people. “I have met so many out-of-town people. From Maryland to Illinois to Knoxville,” Walters said. “I am happy they spent their 4th with us. They had a
choice and could go anywhere and they chose Jonesborough.”
Walters is just grateful for everything surrounding this year’s event.
“Freedom stands out more prominent in my mind this year. I am thankful.”
It isn’t just the brick-and-mortar businesses that are seeing change. The vendors set up along Main Street did as well. Amber Crumley, Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center manager, said the vendors were very happy with the turnout this year.
“By 6 p.m. Saturday night, some were sold out and had to go home to make more for Sunday,” Crumley said. “You couldn’t bounce a ping pong ball on Main Street, it was so congested.”
Vendors like Jeri Jones, owner of Jeri’s Jewelry, has seen an increase in her revenue. And she finds that especially rewarding considering how she got her start in making jewelry.
“I had a friend that made jewelry and went out of town to law school,” Jones said. “I asked her to teach me how to make earrings before she moved. So, while our husbands were at wrestling matches, I learned. I then hit the ground running.”
This is Jones’ 15th Jonesborough Days and she isn’t planning on stopping. “I just love being here and selling my jewelry. There are various styles and something for everyone.”
Some artists at Jonesborough Days this past weekend actually got their start during COVID, like Laura Darsch, who makes gunpowder art.
“I spent four to five months during COVID learning how to do it,” Darsch said. “It is highly reactive and forms energy.”
Darsch then took her newfound art and brought it to Jonesborough Days where she said has sold quite a bit.