Theme Of Weekend Is
'Back To Our Roots';
NGHS Class Of 1963
Honored As Marshals
BY LISA WARREN
Bright, sunny skies and pleasant temperatures set the stage for this year's Baileyton Celebration that took many visitors on a trip down memory lane.
"The Baileyton Celebration was blessed once again with wonderful weather, big crowds, lots of food, and fun," said Virginia Cooter, one of the event organizers.
"Using the theme of 'Back to Our Roots.' we celebrated our 20th anniversary," Cooter added.
Among the activities at this year's celebration was a tribute to the 1963 graduates of North Greene High School, who served as grand marshals of the annual Baileyton Celebration parade on Saturday morning.
The 1963 class was the first to graduate from North Greene High School, which marked its 50th anniversary this year.
North Greene was established when the former Ottway High School and the former Baileyton High School were consolidated during the 1962-1963 school year, Cooter said.
Because of the rivalries between Ottway and Baileyton high schools, Cooter said it wasn't certain how things would gel among the new students at North Greene.
But, she explained, the students at the consolidated school soon took on North Greene Husky pride and become as one.
The winning float for following the theme was the FFA Club from North Greene High School, and the winning float for participation was the Baileyton Ruritan Club.
Also participating in the parade were antique tractors, which were judged.
Those winning included:
* Kyle and Judi Shell with a 1968 Oliver No. 1250, who won Best of Show and farthest traveled, and
* Woolsey Overlook Farm with a 1950 Oliver No. 1850, who won Most Original and tied for oldest tractor.
In addition to the parade, the four-day Baileyton Celebration included a beauty pageant on Thursday evening, and on Friday, a tour of historic Baileyton landmarks, led by Steven Broyles.
There were 48 young women who participated in the Baileyton Beauty Pageant, with Madeline Wood emerging as the newly-crowned Miss Baileyton.
Also on Friday evening, in line with the celebration's theme, many children and adults enjoyed a new event, entitled "Old Timey Games," Cooter said.
"A large crowd enjoyed karaoke, zumba, food, and craft booths," she added.
The official opening ceremony on Saturday following the parade featured the Greene County Junior ROTC presenting the colors and Linda Carter singing the National Anthem.
The main bulk of the celebration's activities took place over the weekend, however, with day-long events on Saturday and Sunday.
The events included craft and vendor booths, games, a 5K race, a car show, a youth street dance, and many other events.
Judy Hensley was crowned the craft show's overall winner with her counting cross stitch work, and Eric Sensabaugh was named the overall winner for the quilt show with an appliqué quilt.
Throughout Saturday afternoon, the crowd enjoyed country music bands, blue-grass picking, cloggers, and numerous singers, Cooter said.
Sixteen teams competed for the championship in two divisions in the second annual Baileyton Celebration Cornhole tournament.
The winning teams were:
* 17 and under division - Zack Clark and Emily Jones, of Johnson City, and
* the over-18 division - Jason Arnold and Shaona Williams, also from Johnson City.
In the 5K Road Race, there were 89 participants, with Noah White (with a 20:38 race time) and Jama Oliver (with a 22:55 race time) as the overall male and female winners.
Jessica Brown won the award for the Best Booth in following the theme with a family tree of family pictures and family crocheted plaque.
Also on Saturday evening there was a "Family Feud" competition - "Belton-style."
"We learned that redneck family dysfunction is 'alive and well' in 'Belton,'" Cooter said.
"We had our usual large crowd, many of whom left felling much better about their own family and looking forward to next year's hilarious skit as only Belton's finest can perform," Cooter added.
Big Time Entertainment DJ drew an active crowd of young dancers and want-to-be-dancers at the evening street dance, which Cooter said, "continues to be a highlight of the weekend for many youth" at the annual celebration.
Possibly the largest crowd of the event, however, was on hand Sunday morning to worship together, Cooter said.
The New Lebanon Baptist Church choir presented a several inspiring hymns, she said, and the Rev. Nathan Reynolds arrived in a horse-drawn buggy, in what Cooter described as an "emotional entrance."
"His message from the book of Ephesians featured an opportunity for the community to stand together and pray for the lost," she said.
"His message was very heartfelt, and he requested area ministers join him in the closing," she added.
A variety of inspirational singers performed at the Celebration on Sunday afternoon.
Also on Sunday, the Baileyton Celebration's Cruise-In featured about 25 classic automobiles.
The People's Choice Award for pre-1940 vehicles was presented to Franklin and Linda Weems' 1935 Ford Coupe, and the post-1940 award was given to Jerry Weems' 1955 Chevrolet BeAir.
The Mayor's Choice award was presented to Jimmy Cope, who entered a 1955 pickup Chevrolet Model 3100.
The Baileyton Celebration Committee selected Carroll Babb with his 1955 Chevrolet BeAir for their award.
At the Sunday-evening Youth Rally, North Greene High School coaches James Buchanan and Brandon Broyles "motivated our youth to think about their purpose in life," Cooter said.
"Over 250 were in attendance for this last event of the Baileyton Celebration," she added.
"The Lord blessed us with a beautiful weekend," Cooter summed up.
"The most frequent comment was how impressive it is to see the community coming together to celebrate in worship and fellowship as one," she added.
"The Baileyton Celebration Committee is appreciative of all who helped to make this event such a huge success," she continued.
The community is invited to join in planning for next year's celebration on Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. at Baileyton Town Hall.