KINGSPORT — Exchange Place, Kingsport’s living history farm, ushered in the spring season for more than 30 years with its annual Spring Garden Fair.
The nonprofit’s leaders canceled this year’s festival for the second year in a row because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We were very hopeful that it would be resumed in 2021,” a press release from the group reads. “However, after consulting personnel from the health department and the Department of Agriculture, who strongly discouraged the scheduling of even outdoor events in April, it is with heavy hearts that the Exchange Place Steering Committee has voted not to hold the 2021 Spring Garden Fair. We want to do our part to keep our community, and our volunteers, safe and healthy.”
Group officials are sad not to be able to welcome everyone back this year.
“We were anticipating watching people happily roaming about the farm, interacting with our animals (and seeing the sheep get shorn!), watching our many demonstrations of 19th century skills, visiting the Burow Museum, listening to a full slate of popular local and regional musicians, dancing around the Maypole, and taking part in so many of the other activities that make the Spring Garden Fair at Exchange Place one of the year’s most anticipated events. We hope we will be able to gather again in 2022; please mark your calendars for the Spring Garden Fair on April 30 and May 1, 2022.”
A final decision on other 2021 festivals at Exchange Place will be made closer to the dates, when steering committee members will be better able to assess the health of the region.
The Fall Folk Arts Festival is tentatively scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 25-26, while Christmas in the Country is slated for Saturday, Dec. 4.
Meanwhile, Exchange Place remains a nonprofit, self-sufficient, volunteer-run living history farm, educational facility and regional attraction that seeks to preserve, protect, interpret and manage the history, heritage and artifacts pertaining to mid-19th century farm life in Northeast Tennessee.
“We receive no money from the state, county or city, and are reliant upon our public events to feed our resident animals and maintain the grounds and property,” the press release notes. “If you would like to help us get through these difficult times, you may send a check to Exchange Place at 4812 Orebank Road, Kingsport, TN 37664; we are extremely grateful for any donations.”
For more information on how to can become a volunteer, or other ways you may be able to help support Exchange Place and its overall efforts, call (423) 288-6071, or visit www.exchangeplace.info.