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Surgoinsville Riverfront Festival to feature music, food, and hotly contested horseshoes

Jeff Bobo • Aug 29, 2019 at 10:32 AM

SURGOINSVILLE — The Surgoinsville Riverfront Festival this Friday and Saturday at Riverfront Park will feature the regular live music, food and fun activities, although the horseshoe competition is expected to be quite a bit hotter than usual.

The annual horseshoe tournament, which begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, traditionally attracts some of the region’s best pitchers.

Mayor Merrell Graham told the Times News Wednesday that a group of about 20-30 pitchers from Bean Station is expected to try to take home the trophies from the locals.

“They’ve been calling all week to get details about our horseshoe tournament, and they say they’re bringing 20-30 people to compete,” Graham said. “That event already attracts a big crowd, and from what I’m hearing it could be two or three times bigger this year.”

Competitors are advised to arrive at the park early so they can register in time for the 9 a.m. start.

But there’s a lot more to the Riverfront Festival than horseshoes.

The event begins Friday at 4 p.m. at Riverfront Park. The parade through downtown is at 6, with the lineup at 5:30 in the Surgoinsville First United Methodist Church parking lot.

Live music and free food highlight the Block Party. Dairy Mart will give away more than 1,000 free hot dogs, as well as chips and cold soft drinks. There will also be food vendors at the park during the Block Party.

Friday’s musical lineup includes Fran Howard at 4 p.m.; Brian Burchfield at 6:30; Danny Whited at 7:30; and John Brown and the Wild Beans at 8:30.

Friday’s Block Party ends at 10 p.m., and action at Riverfront Park resumes at 9 a.m. Saturday with the beginning of the horseshoe tournament.

The actual Riverfront Festival begins at noon Saturday at the park and features the traditional antique car and tractor show, food and crafts booths, and children’s games.

There will be inflatable bouncy attractions for the kids, and Surgoinsville First Baptist Church will once again provide free food including hot dogs, popcorn, snow cones and cold water throughout the day.

Surgoinsville FBC will also giving away a minimum of 12 children’s bicycles Saturday, and the Riverfront Festival Committee will also be doing drawings for the bicycles, country hams, and other prizes.

The festival program begins at 3 p.m. at the main stage with car and tractor show trophies being awarded and the introduction of the event’s grand marshal, Marc Borghetti.

Borghetti is manager of the local branch of First Community Bank, a former alderman and a volunteer firefighter.

Around 3:30, local Boy Scouts will honor veterans, who will be asked to participate in the traditional flag retirement ceremony.

Live music begins afterward. Fran Howard performs at 4, followed by Friendly View Trio at 6; Marissa Rogers and the Diamonds at 7; and Hi-test Grass at 8:30.

The Sierra Club will have three electric cars on display, and the Surgoinsville Public Library will have a booth selling books, DVDs and audio books at low prices.

The festival concludes at 10 with a fireworks show.

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