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Your vote needed

Long Journey Home preparation kicks off with T-shirt design contest

By Tamas Mondovics

Summer has not yet arrived, but organizers of Johnson County’s annual arts and music celebration Long Journey Home, held each year over Labor Day Weekend is already in high gear.
To get the community involved and prepare all music and arts lovers to get a chance to have a hand in contributing to the late summer festivities, event organizers have reached out to the community to assist in designing the logo for the 2109 or fifth annual Long Journey Home T-Shirt and win $100 under the event theme, This year’s Legacies.
“We are excited to have the community choose this year’s design,’ said Johnson County Center for the Arts Director Cristy Dunn.
The contest yielded two finalists, so organizers created a survey and now asking residents to vote by email at for their favorite design, by midnight Friday, May 24.
While held every Labor Day weekend, in reality, Long Journey Home, celebrated year round.
Of course, during the event, there is no shortage of musical entertainment as a clawhammer banjo is played on the front porch of the Clarence “Tom” Ashley homeplace. Visitor can pay their respects at G.B. Grayson’s grave, the site where the infamous Tom Dooley was captured or reflect on the regions musical heritage at the location of the historic 1925 Fiddler’s Convention. A new mural is unveiled each year as the hills come alive with the sounds of Old Time and Bluegrass.
Dunn mentioned that while organizers are looking forward to this year’s festival and Musical Heritage Homecoming Tour, they are especially excited about a partnership with Appalachian Memory Keepers.
“They are producing a film called “Short Life of Trouble” about local music legend, GB Grayson, who first recorded Tom Dooley back in 1929. The film will be shown outdoors on busking night downtown.”
Dunn said that plans are already underway for the best year yet, mentioning that the region’s traditions “live on because they are passed on.”
This year’s murals will be a series of paintings of records by 20th century Johnson County musicians.
GB Grayson’s The Ballad of Tom Dooley will be included along with Train 45, as well as Tom Ashley’s Amazing Grace, Greenback Dollar, and House of the Rising Sun.
The legendary Old Time Music at Clarence Ashley’s and the Ballad of Finley Preston will round out the set.
For more information about the event and this year’s mural workshop for a chance to help paint one of the murals, please visit the Johnson County Center for the Arts or the website
Johnson County’s
Heritage Arts and Music Celebration is proudly sponsored by:

East Tennessee Foundation,
Johnson County Community Foundation,
Danny Herman
Johnson County Bank
Farmers State Bank
Mike and Temple Reece
The town of Mountain City
The Sunflower Festival
Positive Thinkers
Mountain Electric