(lee Talbert/ Johnson City Press)
The annual Jonesborough Days celebration will get under way Friday night with a kickoff dinner from 5 to 7 at International Storytelling Center and a full night of live music on the main stage at the Washington County Courthouse, locally brewed beverages on tap in the beer garden at the Storytelling Plaza and arts and crafts on display throughout the town.
Following this year’s festival theme, “Living and Loving Jonesborough: Small Town, USA,” the celebration will continue Saturday morning with the annual Independence Day parade starting at 10 at Jonesborough Middle School and continuing down Andrew Jackson Boulevard and along Boone and Main streets.
New interpretive story tours of historic sites in Tennessee’s oldest town will begin immediately following the parade and continue at the top of every hour through 4 p.m. Saturday and at noon and 1 p.m. Sunday. The tours will start at the Storytelling Center.
A rotating mix of live music and storytelling performances on Doc’s Front Porch in front of the Storytelling Center will begin at noon and continue hourly through Sunday evening. Named in honor of the late storyteller Doc McConnell, tellers on the front porch stage this year will include members of McConnell’s family recounting their favorite memories, stories and adventures with Doc.
Main stage music will resume at 5 p.m. and continue through 10 p.m. Saturday, with Mark Kroos opening for the festival’s headline performers, bluegrass legend Eddie Adcock and his wife, Martha.
The annual fireworks display will begin at 10 and will be followed by a Main Street showing of “Goodbye Miss Fourth of July.” a Disney production filmed in Jonesborough in 1988.
The festival beer garden will be open from 6-11 p.m. Saturday.
Sunday’s festivities will begin at noon and will include an old-fashioned ice cream-making competition to be judged by the public from noon to 2 on the west side of the courthouse. The sampling and judging fee is $1.
Winners of the festival’s inaugural People’s Choice Art Walk will be announced at 1 on Sunday at the Storytelling Center. The competition’s 28 featured works of art will be on display at 22 downtown shops and restaurants throughout the festival. Ballot forms and maps of Art Walk exhibit sites will be available at Storytelling Center and each of the participating businesses, including The Lollipop Shop, Jonesborough General Store and Mauk’s of Jonesborough to name just a few.
Tickets to Friday night’s kickoff dinner are $10 and will be available at the door on the second level of the Storytelling Center. The menu will include grilled chicken, corn on the cob, beans, slaw, desserts and drinks. The dinner will be held outdoors in the Storytelling Garden, but in case of rain it will be moved to the Storytelling Parlor.
Shuttle buses will run from the parking lot at Jonesborough Middle School to the downtown festival area throughout the celebration. Parking is free and shuttle tickets are $2.