Story by Jinifer Rae
Photos by Tamas Mondovics
Downtown took on a whole new look this weekend as the streets of Church, and Main, in Mountain City TN was inundated with visitors from all over the state. Many came to enjoy crafts, music, food, and, of course, sunflowers.
Event organizers, Renee Proffitt and Misste Phillippi expected more than three thousand people to attend Mountain City’s 14th annual Sunflower Festival and, they were by no means disappointed.
“I am very pleased with the attendance at this year’s event,” Phillipi said. “We have received a much bigger turnout than in the past, which is a great thing as it boosts tourism and puts our city and community on the map.”
Some attended the event looking forward to the annual beauty pageant, the car show, the quilt show, or the beautiful yearly sunflower contest. Visitors also enjoyed browsing the huge assortment of wares offered by more than 74
From organic soap, wood-worked furniture, artwork, and crafts, there was something for everyone. Local businesses were also open encouraging visitors to shop local with special deals just for the Sunflower Festival.
The food presented this year was sure to tempt any palette. People lined around the block to get a taste of BBQ, kettle corn, homemade ice cream, and a large enough assortment of baked goods available to satisfy any sweet tooth.
Delicious treats could also be enjoyed while listening to daylong music offered in the nearby grassy area.
People attending were invited to continue enjoying events scheduled for later in the evening.
Following the festival, Heritage Hall presented “Phantom,” an old-time rock and roll music free concert at Ralph Stout Park.
Younger visitors to this year’s event were in for a special treat, as a wet slide gave ample opportunity to have some fun and get out of the heat.
Proffitt emphasized that the annual Sunflower Festival “is not possible without support from our amazing sponsors, Johnson County Chamber of Commerce, Walkers Title, Johnson County Bank, Farmer State Bank, Hux-Lipford Funeral Home, Bob Stout Construction, Mike Trivette, and Mountain Heritage Reality.”
Proffitt also wanted to thank McDonald’s, Hardees, Poblanos, Mike’s BBQ, Little Caesars, and Honeybees for their wonderful contributions to this year’s festival along with the Town of Mountain City and the city workers who were there all day helping with everything from set-up, and to clean up at the end of the day.
“You guys were amazing, and we can never thank you enough,” Proffitt said. “We would also like to thank the downtown businesses that allowed us to use electrical and water outlets. Thank you to Dan Lipford for organizing an amazing car show and our wonderful judges who came out to help us with the hard decision of picking winners. We would also like to thank Heritage Hall for coming to us last year with a wonderful opportunity that helped create a full day of entertainment for the whole family. Phantom did an amazing job.
Last, but definitely not least Proffitt thanked all the volunteers and vendors.
“You made the festival happen,” she said. “All of you working with us made the 14th Annual Sunflower Festival an overwhelming success.”