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Community supports musical heritage with First Day hike

A large crowd gathers at the Johnson County Arts Center for the First Day Hike along the Mural Mile in Mountain City on New Year’s Day. Submitted photo by GoJoCo Committee.

By Beth Cox

Old traditions are often celebrated on New Year’s Day, and new ones are added each year. The First Day hike is widely popular and brings many outdoors instead of choosing to simply sleep all day or camp out on the couch to watch football. The second annual hiking event encourages a nice one-mile guided hike throughout state parks and various other community and county locations.

New Year’s Day not only brought in a new decade but provided plenty of sunshine and unusually warm weather for the great citizens of Johnson County who signed up at The Johnson County Art Center for the First Day Hike throughout the Music Heritage Mural Mile. Participants gathered on the steps of the Johnson County Center for the Arts to begin a guided tour along the Mural Mile in Mountain City. The guided hike ended back at the Art Center, where everyone was treated to snacks and live music provided by “Just Chuck.”

This year’s walk took a stroll down memory lane as many stories were told about the history and musical legacy of Johnson County. The sentiments of the GoJoCo committee chairperson, Angie Stout were only positive about the New Year event, “we had a great time, learned a lot of interesting stories about our beautiful county. We enjoyed a great walk with old friends and new ones as well. The music from local artist, Just Chuck (Chuck Skarsaune) was a great way to end a wonderful day.”

The Johnson County Arts Center and Long Journey Home did a great job planning and hosting the annual event. Cristy Dunn and Temple Reece were excellent guides for the First Day Hike by sharing interesting facts and provided detailed
information about the excellent artwork along the mural mile. Tennessee’s 56 parks and 85 natural areas offer a diverse and cultural experience for many individuals and families who got out and participated in the First Day Hike. Tennessee State Parks offer other special hiking events throughout the year, including the First Day hike.