ROGERSVILLE — The 33rd annual Rogersville Heritage Days celebration kicks off the second weekend of October with its Friday afternoon children’s parade, which has a Civil War theme this year.
This year the three-day Heritage Days festival takes place Oct. 12-14 and will include food, music, exhibitions, arts and crafts, and many of the regular attractions that make it among the most popular festivals in East Tennessee.
The first event of the festival actually begins before the children’s parade.
Chefs entered in “The Great Chili Cook-Off” in the courtyard of the Hale Springs Inn will dust off their ladles at 3 p.m. that Friday, with judging to take place at 5:30 p.m.
At 4:15 p.m. Friday, registration for the children’s parade begins in the parking lot of the First Baptist Church. Parade costume judging begins at 4:30 p.m., and the parade begins at 5:30 p.m. with the theme “Civil War: People, Places and Characters.”
Following the parade, Otis Eldridge of Eldridge Auto Sales hosts his annual cruise-in with more than 100 classic cars expected to parade down Main Street before parking in the historic downtown section.
Friday’s entertainment includes the B-Team Blues Band performing beside the Hale Springs Inn.
The opening ceremony for Saturday, Oct. 13, begins at 10 a.m. with the Cherokee High School drum line and Tennessee Sons of the American Revolution color guard presiding over the national anthem and invocation.
Craft booths, the food court and other attractions will be open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday.
Among the attractions is the art and photography show in the lobby of U.S. Bank and the quilt show on the ground floor of the newly renovated 177-year-old Hawkins County Courthouse.
Entry forms for the art and photography show, quilt show, cruise-in, and chili cook-off are available at the RHA Depot Museum, Hale Springs Inn, H.B. Stamps Library, U-Save Pharmacy, Rogersville/Hawkins County Chamber of Commerce office, U.S. Bank, Mountain Star Mall, Rogersville Review, Sunny Side Yarns on Depot, and online at www.rogersvilleheritage.org.
Among the talents on display in booths along a four-block stretch of downtown Rogersville will be whittlers, toy makers, blacksmiths, needlework, basket weaving, an onsite apple butter stir, and Cooper Farms alpacas.
The Davis Grist Mill and antique farm equipment exhibit will be on display on South Depot Street.
The Young’uns Yard will offer old-fashioned games, inflatables, balloon art, the Heritage Train, and face painting by the Heritage Lites.
Older young’uns can enjoy inflatables, Euro Bungee and the world’s largest pinball machine next to the dance stage on Washington Street.
The dance stage will feature the award-winning Tennessee Hoedowners.
The Main Stage music stage on the Courthouse Square will have live music performances throughout the day.
Civil War re-enactors from the B Company of the 12th Tennessee Cavalry Battalion will set up an encampment on Friday evening. Saturday from 9:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. the group will perform skirmishes, cavalry and artillery demonstrations, saber drills, and practice maneuvers at Crockett Spring Park, located on South Rogers Street. Spectators are asked to bring folding chairs to this and all other outdoor exhibitions and shows.
The Heritage Days corn hole tournament is back this year with doubles on Saturday at 2 p.m.. Registration begins at noon. The singles corn hole tournament will be Sunday and begins at 2 p.m., with registration at 1 p.m.
The tournament will be held on West Broadway Street next to the Richardson Building. For additional information on the corn hole tournament call Jeff Ringley at (423) 923-4346.
All activities continue Sunday from noon until 6 p.m.
An antique tractor parade will begin Sunday at 2 p.m.
For additional information, contact the RHA office at (423) 272-1961 or visit www.rogersvilleheritage.org.