From left, Mae Gosnell and Patsy Greene, wearing their most patriotic attire, take a seat in the middle of all the Jonesborough Days action. (Tony Casey/Johnson City Press)
From old pros to first-timers, the Jonesborough Days celebration provided attendees with a wide array of sights, sounds, snacks and reasons to be happy.
The free event concluded Saturday night after its third day of activities. Hot ticket things to do in downtown Jonesborough, among other activities, included musical performances, storytelling, a parade, dancing, tractor displays and table after table of local artists and vendors. There were also pancake-, watermelon- and pepper-eating contests.
Mae Gosnell, of Jonesborough, and her good pal, Patsy Greene, of Limestone, were taking a seat outside the International Storytelling Center on Main Street, donned in their most patriotic red, white and blue clothes, including jewelry on the ears of Greene, who with Gosnell was extremely proud of their selection.
It’s not just another Independence Day holiday for the two ladies. Having both lost their husbands, who were both veterans, Gosnell and Greene can’t get enough of the honor and tribute given to those who’ve served in the armed forces.
“There’s so much going on this time of year, it’s hard to see it all,” Gosnell said.
She and Greene try to get to wherever they can find veteran-related events and do well in attending local events. Calling each other to plan on a daily basis, the two were waiting in anticipation for some of their favorite local music acts, including Thistle Dew and the Old Timers Band. The fun for Gosnell and Greene doesn’t end when Jonesborough Days does, though. They said they love the family-friendly atmosphere of Jonesborough’s Music on the Square, too.
Photographer David Cook also loves the feel of downtown Jonesborough. With his spot set up in the Christopher Taylor House, Cook was selling prints, most of the local landscape variety, and selling them well. When asked what the most popular print is, year after year, Cook said it’s always the shot of downtown Jonesborough.
“The Jonesborough shot always sells well,” he said. “I can always count on that.”
As someone who’s been a part of the event for several years, he said he spends a lot of time in his spot, selling his prints. He said it’s something he loves, because it gives him a chance to strike up conversation with all the interesting people who come through.
He and his girlfriend, an avid hiker, frequently explore the regional trails, giving him a chance to snap shots of all the area has to offer.
Not just people-friendly, the operators of the Shiver Shack say the festival is very dog-friendly, especially in comparison with all the events they go to — and they go to quite a few throughout the calendar’s festival season.
“This festival has way more dogs than any other festival we go to,” Candy Macfarlane said.
To accommodate the furry friends during Jonesborough Days, Macfarlane says she puts out a bowl of water for all the dogs. It’s the water that attracts the dogs, but it’s the chocolate-dipped cheesecake and fresh-squeezed lemonade by the might of her son, Jack, that bring hungry attendees.
She said things have been a little slower the past two years, but this year really picked up, evident in the long lines waiting for their tasty treats.
“It’s been an amazing year,” she said.
Follow Tony Casey on Twitter @TonyCaseyJCP. Like him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tonycaseyjournalist.