Taliaferro Named 'Greeneville's Greatest'; Demolition Derby Draws Large Crowd
BY LISA WARREN
Hot summer temperatures -- and even hotter demolition derby action -- greeted fairgoers Friday evening at the Greene County Fairgrounds.
A large crowd was on hand at the Jim Saulsbury Arena for a second night of Demolition Derby action at the 61st annual Greene County Fair.
Sixteen cars with drivers from around the region took part in the crashin' and bangin' spectacle, an event that is traditionally a crowd favorite at the annual county fair.
After nearly two hours of revving engines, flying dirt and crunching metal, one car was left running in the competition and its driver declared the winner -- the No. 28 car driven by Phil Crittenden, of Bulls Gap.
Second place winner in the competition was the No. 8 car driven by Gary Crittenden, of Bulls Gap. Third place went to Donnie Nelson, of Columbia, Ky., driver of the No. 11 car.
In Thursday night's derby main event, Nelson was the winner of the eight-cylinder vehicle action.
Among the drivers in the field Friday night was Bobby Waddell, of Greeneville, who won a derby car in a raffle, sponsored by the derby organizers, Symphony of Destruction, of Greeneville.
In other popular events Friday night at the fair, the finals of the "Greeneville's Greatest" vocal talent contest was held on the Main Stage with Laura Taliaferro crooning her way to top honors -- and a $2,000 cash prize.
Taliaferro, 23, of Greeneville, gave an impressive performance of "You're Going to Love Me," from the hit Broadway musical and film "Dreamgirls."
She is a graduate student at the University of Tennessee, where she is studying music education.
Second place and $300 went to Jerry Scott, who delivered an emotional rendition of The Manhattans' classic R&B song, "Kiss and Say Goodbye."
Third-place honors and $200 were awarded to Jodi Carter-Copeland, a music teacher at Doak and Chuckey elementary schools, who performed "Maybe This Time," from the 1972 musical film, "Cabaret," starring Liza Minnelli.
Preliminaries for the "Greeneville's Greatest" contest were held earlier in the week; 15 finalists took the stage Friday evening.
In addition to the winners listed above, other "Greeneville's Greatest" finalists who were selected to perform Friday evening were: Lindsay Carter, Megan Wall, Augusta Crawford, Ambria Collins, Jama Doty, Derrick Casteel, Sarah Foshie, Brittany Dingus, Robert Locklear, Billy Sentelle, Lana Page and Frank Garrett.
TODAY'S FAIR EVENTS
The fair's gates open at 1 p.m today.
Several events are planned for today, including a pet show at 1 p.m. in the GreenBank Pavilion; an antique tractor pull at 3 p.m. in the Jim Saulsbury Arena, and the fair's concluding baby show at 5 p.m. in the GreenBank Pavilion.
This evening's entertainment lineup will present Brothers Forever at 7 and 9 p.m. in the GreenBank Pavilion.
At 8 p.m., J4, winners of the CBS Early Show's "Singing Family Faceoff," will perform on the Main Stage.