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Unicoi calling all hands for 17th annual Strawberry Festival

Sue Guinn Legg • Updated May 6, 2019 at 9:18 PM

UNICOI — Less than two weeks away from the 17th annual Wayne Scott Strawberry Festival, the town of Unicoi is renewing its call for musical performers, vendors of handcrafted goods and nonprofit concessions and festival volunteers.

Set for Saturday, May 18, on the playing fields at Unicoi Elementary School, the festival features up to 100 craft and food vendors, and spots are still available.

While priority is given to vendors of handmade crafts and food concessions that benefit local school groups and nonprofit organizations, commercial craft vendors are invited to apply in event space is left available.

And while the festival’s daylong roster of musical entertainment was tentatively filled Monday, Unicoi Communications and Program Director Ashley Shelton said the lineup is not yet final. There are future musical events coming up in Unicoi, and musicians are encouraged to submit their applications now.

“Whether you have a talent to share, a product to sell or just want to volunteer in your community,” Shelton said, “the Strawberry Festival has it all.”

The headline performer for this year will be Adam Larkey. Other groups in the lineup include Zack McNabb and the Tennessee Esquires and My New Favorite.

The festival also features a kid zone with inflatables and cow train rides, a strawberry dessert recipe contest and a Miss Strawberry Festival Pageant. Festival hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Lee Manning, director of Unicoi’s Mountain Harvest Kitchen, which is sponsoring the contest, said, “People just love food, they want to put their own spin on things and that’s what this contest is all about. We want to see something new, something that will have us all begging for more.

Those who wish to enter the contest should register in advance by contacting the Unicoi Tourist Information and Visitors Center prior to the festival. Entries should be turned in with a copy of the recipe between 10 and 11 a.m. at the Mountain Harvest Kitchen booth. Desserts will  e judged on taste, appearance and creativity and cash prizes of $75, $50 and $25 awarded at 11:30.

Presented by Little Miss Southern Sparkle Pageants, the Miss Strawberry Festival Pageant will be held from from 9 a.m.-noon in the Unicoi Elementary School gymnasium. To enter or for information, contact Valerie Hendrix at [email protected]

Anyone interested in a vendor or performer application, festival sponsorships or volunteering opportunities should contact the Tourist Information and Visitor Center at 423-735-0517 or email [email protected] More festival information is available at UnicoiTN.net and at the town of Unicoi events page on Facebook.

Email Sue Guinn Legg at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at facebook.com/sueleggjcpress.

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