Cue the fireworks.
Jonesborough Days 2021 is officially a go after the COVID-19 pandemic stymied last year’s 50th anniversary event.
The festival, one of Jonesborough’s largest, will return July 3 and July 4, featuring family activities, live music, craft vendors, a patriotic parade and storytelling.
The county’s only scheduled fireworks display this year will be shot off at 10 p.m. on July 4 to mark the end of the festival. They’ll be synced to songs playing on broadcast radio station WAEZ-FM, 94.9.
Admission to the festival is free; hours are July 3 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and July 4 from noon to 10 p.m.
“I think Jonesborough Days is really kind of a coming home celebration for a lot of people who don’t live here anymore but grew up here,” said Town Events Coordinator Melinda Copp.
“It’s a great time for them to come home and visit family and just enjoy kind of the nostalgia of Jonesborough, and it’s great that it happens during the Fourth of July because Jonesborough just feels so American, obviously, so it’s just a great a time for people to come home and great time to celebrate the community.”
As COVID-19 infections rose last June, Jonesborough’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen canceled Jonesborough Days 2020 after several hours of discussion, replacing the larger event with a smaller one focused on bringing local people to shop downtown.
A half-dozen business owners pleaded for the board to not cancel the event — as well as other smaller events — though others, including two aldermen, questioned the safety of hosting a large event during a pandemic.
Copp said the town is ready to welcome people back downtown, and said there’s “nothing like the big festivals.”
Parking will be available at Jonesborough Middle School for $5 a car, with a shuttle providing a ride into downtown. For a complete schedule of events or more information, visit jonesboroughdays.com or call (423) 753-1010.
There are also several pre-events, including a downtown church tour on June 30, a low country shrimp boil on July 1 and a Jonesborough Days Pool Party on July 2. Tickets for those events can be purchased at the jonesboroughdays.com website.
“I’m just looking forward to having everyone back down here and enjoying it,” Copp said. “You know, we’ve had so many people that have moved to the area just before the pandemic started or during the pandemic and they haven’t gotten to experience this yet, so I’m excited for them to experience Jonesborough Days and the town’s festivals and events.
“That’s really what a lot of people have been drawn here from — the events and the community activities that we have — and they really missed out on that, so I’m really excited for people to experience Jonesborough Days for the first time.”