Greeneville getting ready for annual Iris Festival

2:43 pm | May 3, 2013

The Greene County Partnership’s 19th annual Iris Festival will return to the streets of downtown Greeneville Saturday and Sunday, May 18-19, featuring two entertainment stages, a food court, a beauty pageant, the Evergreen Woodcarvers, and artists, craftsmen, food vendors and merchants from numerous states selling their wares.
Hours of the festival will be Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

Arts and crafts booths will be positioned along College, Depot and Academy streets with all kinds of items for purchase, ranging from several types of jewelry, bird houses, barn wood and wood crafts, Iris rhizomes and historical prints to pottery, carnivorous plants, handmade quilts, metal-work items, wind chimes, hand-made clothing, spices, herbs, teas, hot sauces, jellies, sorghum, soups and dips.

In the Merchants’ Market, there will be a variety of items, including Longaberger purses, hand tools, rakes, pruners, plant stands, personalized and monogrammed accessories, cosmetics, T-shirts, jewelry, Origami owl items, annual and perennial plants, wickless candles and fragrances and collectable dolls.

Food vendors will fill the festival food court with items to tempt each and every visitor. Three new food vendors will be serving Italian food, grilled chicken and fried veggies with mushrooms. Visitors may also choose from delicacies ranging from gourmet beverages, funnel cakes and fried green tomatoes, fried pickles, strawberries and marshmallows to Greek salads, gyros, chicken/steak/lamb dinner plates, bloomin’ onions, barbecue, Philly sandwiches and other traditional fare.

Two stages will feature singing and dancing entertainment non-stop during the festival. The singing stage will provide a variety of music, from country and bluegrass to gospel and ’50s and ’60s music. The dance stage will feature a variety of dance styles, from clogging to line dancing.

Takoma Regional Hospital will be providing a voucher for a free lipid panel to each person who visits their booth.

The Miss Iris Festival Pageant is scheduled to be held at the Greeneville High School Lecture Hall Saturday beginning at noon, featuring eight different age categories ranging from birth to 11 months to 16 years old and older. Entry forms for the contest are available at the Partnership offices. Admission to the pageant will be $5 per person.

Always a hit and crowd pleaser at the festival is the Evergreene Woodcarvers Competition and Show. This year’s show and competition will be held in the First Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. each day.
A special shuttle service will be provided both days of the festival by Greene Coach Company. Visitors may park at Greeneville High School, First Baptist Church or Towne Square Shopping Center and the tour bus will make rounds at 15-minute intervals during the festival hours. There will be no charge to use the service. Those using the shuttle will be dropped off and picked up at the Greeneville Light and Power System Building.

To be held in conjunction with the festival will be Main Street: Greeneville’s first annual Greeneville Garden Tour on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine. The tour will feature five of downtown Greeneville’s beautiful private gardens, as well as several public gardens along the tour route. A limited number of non-refundable tickets are available for $12 in advance at the Main Street: Greeneville office, Carolyn’s Hallmark, Evans Jewelers & Gallery, Greeneville Antique Market and Three Blind Mice. The cost will be $15 on May 18.

To apply for a booth space or obtain more information on the various aspects of the festival, call the Partnership at 638-4111 or email gcp@greenecop.com.

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