TRI-CITIES, Tenn. (WJHL) – Following a year of no fun and festivals across the region, festivals are officially back with two large-scale events happening this weekend.
The 18th Annual Wayne Scott Strawberry festival is being hosted by the Town of Unicoi in the field next to Unicoi Elementary School on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In Greeneville, the 26th Annual Iris Festival is making a return and will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the ‘Sundown on Depot’ car show taking place that same day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and festivities continuing Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
Both festivals will set the stage for operating large-scale events amid a pandemic. “We’re all looking for that outdoor adventure, that outdoor experience, and this is the way we begin,” said General Manager of the Greene County Partnership Joni Parker.
Parker said they are excited to once again host festivals and that now is the right time to start back up. She said with an outdoor venue and seven blocks of vendors, social distancing will be easy. However, officials are taking extra measures and will be spacing out vendor booths even further and offering sanitizing stations along the street and throughout the event.
Parker said she’s especially excited to bring back vendors who were unable to make any profits last year through the cancellation of festivals. Officials with the Town of Unicoi said that’s a goal the two festivals have in common.
“It was hard last year for a lot of the festival circuit people and even our local handmade crafters who went without income last year. So, we need to do this for them as well,” said Town of Unicoi Communications & Programs Director Ashley Shelton.
Steve Scott, the owner of Scott’s Strawberries, said they are a primary sponsor and vendor at the strawberry festival being put on by the town. He said Friday afternoon consisted of picking extra strawberries in preparation for the festival and that this event acts as one of their biggest one-day sales.