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Marriage proposal, entertainment caps final day of Little Chicago Festival

Zach Vance • Updated Aug 13, 2016 at 9:15 PM

A crowd formed around a dance routine at the corner of Roan and Main streets during the  Little Chicago Downtown Music and Arts Festival Saturday evening.

Just before Kevin Glasper joined his fellow dancers, he announced that his dance routine would be dedicated to his girlfriend, Jessica Noland.

When the song concluded, the circle around Noland and Glasper tightened.

A smile grew on Noland’s face, and Glasper got down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend at the exact spot where he first met her.

As the crowd began taking video and pictures, a long hug and kiss indicated Noland’s answer.

“I believe the plan is, he’s a dancer and he’s going to come in and do a dance routine. He’s got some dancers who are going to come down the street with him,” said Travis Woodall, festival organizer and president of the Merchant’s Association, just before the proposal took place.

“I didn’t know (Glasper) was the guy (proposing), until like five minutes ago,” Woodall said with a smile.

Besides witnessing a marriage proposal, festival goers were treated to a second successful day of entertainment, arts and crafts and food to close out the festival’s first year.

“The unique thing we have going today that we didn’t have yesterday is the dance party at the Main Stage,” Woodall said. The Decades Block Party was scheduled to begin around 9:30 p.m., with DJ Breese playing music until the festival’s end at 11 p.m.

The party featured music from the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, with people welcome to show up in their favorite period attire.

Woodall said Friday night’s entertainment drew plenty of people downtown.

“Both our music stages were both extremely busy (on Friday), and if we were allowed to have gone past 11 p.m., we could’ve done it,” Woodall said.

“I’m sure it will be busier, so I think there will be a better turnout tonight.”

Most of the 33 arts and crafts vendors and 16 food vendors seem pleased with the festival’s turnout. 

“I think this is one of the biggest festivals I’ve attended here in Johnson City,” said Chris Arnold, with the veterans’ motorcycle club Dog Tag Brigade.

Mark Amadi traveled from Augusta, Georgia, to sell Lebanonese-style cuisine from his trailer.

“The people are great, the atmosphere is great. We did OK yesterday, and tonight we’re expecting a good crowd,” Amadi said.

Saturday’s events included a car show.

“It was a big hit, and they were very generous, kind and easy to work with,” Woodall said.

Email Zach Vance at [email protected] Follow Zach Vance on Twitter @ZachVanceJCP. Like him on Facebook.com/ZachVanceJCP

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