The Greene County Partnership’s 24th Annual Iris Festival will draw thousands of visitors to the streets of downtown Greeneville Saturday and Sunday, May 19-20, when it features two entertainment stages, a food court, a beauty pageant, “Sundown on Depot” Car Show, the Evergreen Woodcarvers, and artists, craftsmen, food vendors and merchants from numerous states selling their wares.
Hours of the festival will be Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
Arts and crafts booths with be positioned along College, Depot and Academy streets with a wide variety of items for purchase, including several types of jewelry, wood crafts, metal art, Christmas items, teak furniture, annual and perennial plants, goats milk products, pottery, exotic air plants, muscadine juice, hand-made clothing, iris rhizomes and other types of plants, spices, herbs, teas, hot sauces, jellies, soups and dips.
The Merchants’ Market will feature a varied selection of products from Thirty-One items, home improvement, boutique clothing, jewelry, etc.
Food vendors will be filling the festival food court with enticing aromas to tempt each and every visitor. Delicacies that will be available include grilled sandwiches, kettle corn, bloomin’ onions, fried green tomatoes, funnel cakes, hot fudge cakes, gyro wraps, fried candy bars, bratwurst, fried pickles, roasted corn on the cob, bake potatoes, bar-b-que, along with other traditional festival treats.
Two stages will provide singing and dancing entertainment non-stop during the festival. Entertainers on the singing stage will perform a variety of music, including country, bluegrass, rock, pop and gospel, while the dance stage, will feature all kinds of dance styles, from clogging to line dancing. Sponsors for entertainment include Rodefer Moss, ServPro, Consumer Credit Union, First Tennessee Bank, and McInturff, Milligan & Brooks.
The 3rd Annual “Sundown on Depot,” car show featuring cars, trucks and bikes, will take place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on West Depot. Organizers of the show have pledged all proceeds from the event to Holston United Methodist Home for Children. Registration for cars, trucks and bikes in the show is $10 and additional information is available by calling Bill Collins (423-552-8376) or Mike Boles (423-638-4558).
The Depot Street Farmers’ Market will also be offering locally-grown foods to visitors at the festival and will be located in the gravel lot across from the food bank on Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon.
Other venues to draw visitors will include the Evergreen Woodcarvers Competition and Sale which will take place in the First Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. and the Miss Iris Festival Pageant at the Capitol Theatre Saturday beginning at noon, featuring eight different age categories ranging from 0-11 months to 16 years old and older. Entry forms for the contest are available at the Partnership office. Admission to the pageant will be $5 per person. The Greeneville-Greene County Library Book Sale will be held Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 406 North Irish Street.
A special shuttle service will be provided both days of the festival. Visitors may park at Greeneville High School Main Lot, First Baptist Church off Irish Street or Towne Square Shopping Center and the tour bus will make rounds at 15-minute intervals during the festival hours. There will be no charge to use the service. Those using the shuttle will be dropped off and picked up at the Greeneville Light and Power System Building.
Major sponsors for the festival are Parker Hannifin, Eastman Credit Union, The Greeneville Sun, and Radio Greeneville.
To apply for a booth space or obtain more information on the various aspects of the festival, call the Partnership at 423-638-4111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.