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Heritage Days festival returns to Rogersville

October 9th, 2011 11:47 pm by staff report

Heritage Days will celebrate its 32nd anniversary this weekend in Rogersville with arts and crafts, a quilt show, chili cook-off, cruise-in, parade, entertainment, re-enactments, and plenty of food and drinks.

The Great Chili Cook-off will be held in conjunction with the Cruise-In on Friday, Oct. 14. This tasty contest of local cooks and characters will be held on the Town Square. Cooking begins at 3 p.m., with judging at 5:30 p.m.

Registration for the annual children’s costume contest and parade will begin at 4:15 p.m., Friday in the parking lot in front of First Baptist Church. Judging will begin at 5 p.m., followed by the parade at 5:30 p.m. This year’s theme is “My Home; Historic People, Places and Characters.”

The final Cruise-In of the season will begin at 6 p.m., Friday, with a parade of more than 100 vintage automobiles. The cars will be parked until 9 p.m., and a “People’s Choice” award will be given.

The B-Team Blues Band will perform at 6:30 p.m. on the Main Stage on the Town Square. The group, self-described as a “basic, sport-utility band from East Tennessee,” likes to demonstrate what would happen if hillbillies played the blues.

The festival’s opening ceremony will begin at 10 a.m., Saturday, on the courthouse lawn. Uniformed representatives of the Sons of the American Revolution, accompanied by the Cherokee High School drum line, will conduct a flag ceremony followed by the singing of the National Anthem by Vicki Bennett and invocation by Sheldon Livesay of One Accord Ministries. The festival will open immediately after the ceremony when hosts of demonstrators highlighting heritage skills are joined by the Cooper Farms alpacas, a band of whittlers and an on-site apple butter stir in the demonstrators’ yards.

Davis Grist Mill and the Antique Farm Equipment exhibit will be on display on South Depot Street, and artisan craft booths will line three blocks of Main Street. The Young’uns Yard will offer old-fashioned games, toys, inflatables, balloon art and tattoos, as well as the Heritage Train and face painting by the Heritage Lites. Older young’uns can enjoy inflatables and the Euro Bungee next to the dance stage on Washington Street.

The dance stage, featuring the award-winning Tennessee Hoedowners, and the main stage on the square, with a variety of new groups and repeat favorites, will offer non-stop entertainment throughout the festival.

The Art and Photography Show will feature categories for children, youth and adults. Seven classes of art will be judged, including paintings, drawings, sculpture, needlework, photographs, enhanced photographs and other three-dimensional art. The Art Show will be on exhibit in the community room of US Bank on Main Street. Quilt Show entries will be exhibited in the Interim HealthCare of Tennessee office at 212 E. Main St.

Heritage Days’ new demonstrators, the B Company of the 12th Tennessee Cavalry Battalion, will set up an encampment and re-enact Civil War skirmishes, cavalry and artillery demonstrations, saber drills and practice maneuvers at Crockett Springs Park. Special demonstrations will be performed at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., Saturday, and at 3 p.m., Sunday. Guests are advised to bring their own folding chairs to this and all other outdoor exhibitions and shows.

The food court will offer a variety of festival food, and downtown restaurants, as well as the recently renovated Hale Springs Inn, will also be open.

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