Main Street is packed with visitors at the 18th Annual Sunflower Festival held last Saturday in Mountain City, TN. While visitors had to brave the weather parts of the day, the event was the largest in the celebration’s history and promises to become one of the state’s most attended and respected day-long festivities. Please see more photos on page A3. Photo by Tamas Mondovics
By Karla Prudhomme
The 18th Annual Sunflower Festival saw large crowds earlier in the day, as the rain held off until after the noon hour. This year’s Sunflower Festival saw the largest number of vendors in its eighteen-year history, and with more than 250 vendors, there was a staggering variety of merchandise and food for the thousands of festival-goers.
Vendors selling everything from handmade and handcrafted items to pottery, jewelry, soaps, antiques, yard art, and beyond were truly something for everyone. Tents lined Main Street, starting at the intersection of Hwy.421, and continuing to the corner of S. Church Street, with an overflow of vendor tents lining the middle of Main Street.
This year’s event boasted an excellent line-up of entertainment, including Jigsaw Jane’s headliner. The kids’ Fun Zone,’ sponsored by Parkdale, was overflowing with kids enjoying a wide variety of wet and dry inflatables, face painting, ring toss, bean bag toss, sling shooting, the dunk tank, and caricature drawings by Rick Bellamy. Other events included the Annual Sunflower Festival Beauty Pageant, the Allen Lipford Memorial Car & Bike Show, the Annual Quilt Show, and new this year, ‘Jail’ N Bail.’
The Student Council at Johnson County High School produced a creative way to raise funds to help them attend a leadership conference in Orlando, Florida, as they asked for members of the community to volunteer to be ‘arrested and put in jail’ until they raised enough money to bail them out.
Each year the Mountain City Sunflower Festival grows in size and popularity thanks to the organizers, the sponsors, and the community. “Without the support of our wonderful sponsors, area businesses and Churches, and the community, we wouldn’t see the continuance and growth of the Sunflower Festival that we have seen over the years,” stated event organizer Renee Profitt. Social media has played a significant role in the recent explosive growth and popularity of the Mountain City Sunflower Festival, and committee member Ashtin Rhymer
has done a fantastic job marketing the event on various social media platforms. Hats off to the event organizers, the many sponsors and volunteers, and the community for helping to make possible this year’s successful Mountain City Sunflower Festival.