Cameron Hicks of Blountville rides high at the Farm Expo on Saturday at MeadowView Conference Resort and Convention Center. Photo by Rick Wagner.
KINGSPORT — The 17th annual Farm Expo wraps up this afternoon, but 3-year-old Bronson Taylor of Pennington Gap got his early birthday present there Saturday.
Bronson, who turns 4 on Wednesday, finished first in the ages 2-5 division of the tiger roar contest Saturday afternoon.
The win in the event, sponsored by Boones Creek Outdoor Power, meant he got to take home a stuffed tiger large enough for him to ride.
“I didn’t think I’d win,” said Bronson, who had John Deere face painting and said his favorite thing besides winning the contest was the tractors.
Asked where the tiger would live, Bronson said in his bedroom, where Bronson would feed the beast “my carpet.”
Farm Expo, at the MeadowView Conference Resort and Convention Center just off Interstate 26 in Kingsport, began Friday afternoon, continued Saturday and wraps up Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets to the event, sponsored by the Kingsport Times-News and Johnson City Press, are $6 at the door, but kids 12 and younger are free.
So is registration for many of the prizes.
Times-News subscribers can register for giveaways, including a 42-inch television, and all can register for door prizes from the various booths and vendors, including a free generator from Northern Tools.
Subscribers who check in at the front door will be automatically entered to win the TV, and they also may get a chance to spin the Farm Wheel of Fortune, where subscriber prizes will be given away.
Also, treats and games for the kids and Happy Snaps photos for the whole family will be available at the Times-News booth.
Other displays include Sullivan County 4-H Club animals, including Kingsporters Trigger the miniature horse and Taco the donkey, as well as lambs and chickens.
New Chevrolet, Dodge Ford and GMC trucks also are on display, as well as tractors and other farm, lawn and garden equipment.
One item on display was a “monster” riding lawn mower, which with its large tires was about 6 feet tall. Another was a ready-made chicken coop, ready to be delivered and set up like a yard barn.
The tractors were a magnetic draw for children, including Jessie Harr of Church Hill and Cameron Hicks of Blountville. Both took some time to steer John Deere tractors, among displays in which Kubota, Massey Ferguson, Scag and other farm equipment makers were represented.
For those interested in older equipment, the Tri-State Antique Power Association had antique tractors and equipment on display.
Although geared toward farming and agriculture, children and adults need not be farmers to attend.
Tomboy Tools offered tools designed for women, and Scott County, Va., offered information on tourism and other things from Scott County.
Vendors booths also included one offering Goat’s Milk Soap and at least two beekeeping operations — Ellis Farm of Greene, Hawkins and Sullivan counties and Poor Valley Bee Farm.
U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, R-1st, came from Johnson City to the event, talking with exhibitors and booth vendors Saturday afternoon.
Sunday’s events include the Country Fair and Ladies Market; the 4-H Playland and Petting Zoo; the 1850s Farmstead; and the First Frontier Quilters Quilt Show. All those are from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
In addition, a free Ice Cream Social by Marble Slab Creamery is from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Hollow Ground will perform from 3 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.; and the Appalachian Whitetail Association will continue to score bucks free through 2 p.m. AWA will award prizes for the best buck of last season at 4 p.m.
For more information and a complete schedule of events, go to www.TriCitiesEventMarketing.com.