By: Lacy Hilliard
Though the weather forgot to put the sun in the 10th Annual Mountain City Sunflower Festival, festivalgoers from all around didnt seem to mind. Soggy spirits were easily lifted by the bursts of bright yellow against the din of grey created by thunderclouds rolling high over Main Street in Downtown Mountain City.
The Mountain City Sunflower Festival has grown steadily each year and this year was no exception. Though some vendors that were unable to operate in the rain were forced to cancel, the festival still had plenty in the way of food, fun and entertainment. For children, there were several inflatables, as well as a train ride. For adults there were various vendors who showcased a variety of wares. Native American and African art, quilts, natural soap, handcrafted home décor items and fresh bread, jams and jellies were just a few of the items available for sale at the 10th Annual Sunflower Festival. Food vendors could also be found in Downtown Mountain City serving standard festival favorites.
Several bands braved the falling skies to bring the Sunflower Festival crowd some truly spectacular entertainment. First to brave the elements was the MIB Soul-Man Band who delighted the crowd with various classics from Motown to rock. Following the Soul-Man Band was Creek Junctions Bluegrass Band. Having shared a stage with the likes of Allison Krauss, Doc Watson, Wayne Henderson and the Krueger Brothers to name a few; Creek Junctions Bluegrass Band was an impressive addition to this years Sunflower Festival. Closing the musical acts was Crossroads Old-Time String Band who played a splendid set of local favorites.
Each year at the Mountain City Sunflower Festival, a beauty pageant is held. The proceeds from entry in the contest go to help support the festival. This year, seven young ladies were chosen to hold coveted Sunflower titles. The following winners were crowned at the 2014 Sunflower Festival: Baby Sunflower Princess- Peyton Woodard, Doll Sunflower Princess- Nevaeh Watson, Wee Sunflower Princess- Rayley Matheson, Tiny Sunflower Princess- Briley Hope Gentry, Little Miss Sunflower Princess- Zoe Eldreth Greene, Jr. Miss Sunflower Princess- DeAnna Greer and finally Sunflower Queen- Samantha Hannah. A sunflower growing contest was also held at the 2014 Sunflower Festival with Johnson County United States Department of Agriculture Representative Jason Hughes (pictured above) taking the title. Hughes also graciously donates his time to the Bethany Baptist Church Garden Ministry.
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