Crowds will hit the streets of downtown Jonesborough by the thousands this weekend, and it all kicked off Thursday in a flash of red, white and blue.
Independence Day started downtown Thursday morning with the town’s annual parade – floats from the Jonesborough Repertory Theatre, Jonesborough Senior Center and the Washington County Heritage Alliance were just a few of the organizations that trekked down Main Street, vehicles outfitted with flags and tinsel and decked with waving community members.
The heat and humidity didn’t keep the crowds at bay or smiles off of faces as the parade not only kicked off the town’s Independence Day celebration but the 49th annual Jonesborough Days Festival.
The Jonesborough Days Festival traces back to 1970 and has remained an annual weekend festival for the town throughout the decades. Events coordinator Melinda Copp said this year’s festival includes live music, more than 80 vendors and a medley of special activities throughout the weekend.
She added an addition to this year’s festivities – an ’80s dance party that will begin Saturday night at 5:30 p.m.
“We’re going to have an ’80s VJ party that starts at 5:30 to 7 p.m., and we’re actually going to have the ’80s videos on the screen there, and have a lot of fun,” she said.
Thirteen-year-old Sophia Donahue was almost out of lemonade by the time the parade began marching down the street Thursday morning.
She and her friend, Henry, gave out free cups of lemonade to passersby. Sophia said she and her family usually get out and about for Jonesborough Days, but t his year, she decided to run a free lemonade stand and meet lots of people.
“Just seeing people from all over come and just like enjoy Jonesborough . . . I think it really shows how special Jonesborough is,” she said.
More about Jonesborough Days:
The festival will conclude on Saturday with a fireworks show beginning at 10 p.m.
Other activities for the weekend include:
- Dog Days of Summer dog costume contest, Friday 10 a.m. in front of the courthouse, participants arrive at courthouse no later than 9:45 a.m.
- Low country shrimp boil, Friday 5:30-7 p.m. at the International Storytelling Center, $15 for tickets.
- MoonPie eating contest, Saturday 2 p.m., in front of the courthouse.
- Fireworks show, 10 p.m. downtown Jonesborough.
Music for the weekend will take place on the Jonesborough Days Main Stage next to the courthouse:
- Avery Deakins, Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
- The Wannabeatles, Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
- Ladybirds, Friday at 5:30 p.m.
- Beach Nite Band, Friday at 7:30 p.m.
- Mixed Tape ’80s party, Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
- The Breakfast Club, Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Additional parking is available at Jonesborough Middle School for $5 per car, and a free shuttle will drop attendants off at the Jonesborough Visitors Center downtown.
Visit jonesborough.com for more information.