Iris Festival

The Iris Festival will be held May 21-22 in downtown Greeneville. The event, which celebrates the beautiful state flower of Tennessee, will features loads of activities for the entire family to enjoy.

The Greene County Partnership’s annual Iris Festival is back for its 27th year.

The community event is expected to draw thousands of visitors to the streets of downtown Greeneville on Saturday and Sunday, May 21-22, event organizers say in a news release.

This family-friendly event, hosted by the Greene County Partnership, will feature a weekend filled with arts and crafts, live entertainment, and activities for all ages to enjoy.

“Arts and crafts booths will be positioned along College and Academy streets with a wide variety of items for purchase including several types of jewelry, quilts, metal art, hand spun pottery, fused glass, paintings, wreathes, hand-made clothing, wood signs, hot sauces, dips, spices and, of course, perennial irises,” the release says. “The Merchants’ Market will feature a varied selection of products from boutique clothing, promotional items, face painting and much more.

“Food vendors will be filling the festival food court with enticing aromas to tempt every visitor,” the release continues. “Delicacies that will be available include fresh homemade doughnuts, Egyptian cuisine, bloomin’ onions and spiral spuds. Booths will also feature vendors specializing in down-home favorites like cotton candy, ice cream, fruit kabobs, fresh-squeezed lemonade, and snow cones.”

This year’s Iris Festival will feature plenty of live entertainment on two stages.

“Entertainers on the singing stage will perform a variety of music including country, bluegrass, rock, pop, and gospel, while the dance stage will feature many kinds of dance styles from clogging to line dancing,” the release says.

Members of The Appalachian Renaissance Faire of Tennessee and local musicians are also scheduled to perform in various locations throughout the festival grounds.

Here is a list of other activities on tap for this year’s festival:

• The 2nd Annual Keep Greene Beautiful Iris Festival Walk will be held at 8 a.m. on May 21. The walk will begin at First Baptist Church and wind through historic downtown Greeneville. The entry fee for individual walkers is $30. A special group rate of $20 per person is available for groups of 5 or more.

• The 7th Annual “Sundown on Depot,” car show, which will feature hundreds of cars, trucks, and bikes, will take place May 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Main Street. Organizers of the show have pledged all their proceeds from the event to Holston United Methodist Home for Children. Registration for any vehicle in the show is $10. Additional information is available by visiting www.sundownondepot.com.

• The 18th Annual Iris Festival Pageant will be returning to this year’s festival. The pageant will start at 12 p.m. on May 21 at Greeneville High School.

The pageant will feature eight different age categories ranging from 0-11 months to 16 years and older. Deadline for pageant entries is Friday, May 13. Entry forms are available at the Greene County Partnership. For more information about the Iris Festival Pageant, contact Rhonda Humbert at 423-639-3819.

• The BRAGco. – Bicycle Ride Across Greene County – will kick off its inaugural ride on May 22 at 7:30 a.m. The 67.3 mile ride was designed to display all of Greene County’s glory – from historic downtown Greeneville to the rolling hills of Greene County, and climbing and weaving along the Nolichucky River. The entry fee for the BRAGco. is $45 and is limited to 40 riders.

Major sponsors for the 27th Annual Iris Festival are Cornerstone Home Lending, Eastman Credit Union, The Greeneville Sun, Radio Greeneville, Donaldson, Rodefer Moss, Brolin & Bailey, Durham & Hensley, First Horizon and McInturff, Milligan & Brooks.

For more details, contact the Greene County Partnership by calling 423-638-4111 or going online to www.greenevilleirisfestival.com.

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