Festival-goers continue to enjoy music, food, vendors on final day
By J.J. Kindred | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jim and Margaret Howard of Madisonville had to leave the Foothills Fall Festival early Saturday night while the popular band Train was playing, because Margaret had a headache.
Despite her little setback, that didn’t stop the couple from setting up their place early Sunday afternoon to see two of their favorite artists scheduled to perform later in the evening — Thompson Square and Darius Rucker.
“We were ready to go to make it to Shoney’s for the breakfast bar,” Jim Howard said with a laugh. “Actually, I’ve liked both of them since the first time I heard them, I reckon. I liked Darius when he was with Hootie and the Blowfish, and Thompson Square’s song, ‘Are You Going to Kiss Me or Not?’ I liked it a lot.”
“Same thing for me,” Margaret Howard added.
The couple said they have been coming to the festival for a long time, and have enjoyed all the festivities, but their favorite part is the music, and the food isn’t bad either.
“It’s a little high, but good,” Jim Howard said. “We had one of those cut-up potato things one night and one of those lemonades that will last you all day. I’ve seen a lot of people eating those blooming onions, so those must be pretty good.”
Sunday marked the final day of the festival, and couples such as the Howards and hundreds of others started setting their place to get a good seat for Sunday evening’s headlining acts. Shannon McCulloch of Loudon, and her boyfriend, Bill Heaton, also came to hear Rucker and Thompson Square, and as an added bonus, her brother has a special connection with Rucker.
“My brother went to school with a guitar player in Darius Rucker’s band in Arkansas, so that’s pretty cool,” McCulloch said.
She and her boyfriend, who have been coming to the festival for four years, attended the festivities all weekend and although they are not Train fans, enjoyed their show as well as 2011 American Idol runner-up Lauren Alaina, who performed early Saturday evening. They have enjoyed artists such as Sara Evans, Reba McEntire, who headlined last year’s festival, and Vince Gill in recent years.
“We’ve enjoyed every one of them and I’m fixin’ to enjoy this bluegrass,” Heaton said.
The many vendors who occupied the streets Broadway during the festival hoped to make a big profit from the festival goers, and some such as Denae Oglesby were one of the hopefuls.
Oglesby, a Knoxville resident who has been a jeweler for 10 years, said as she was helping customers that she designed her jewelry herself in all original designs.
“I work in fine silver, which is a little bit higher silver content than Sterling,” said Oglesby, who runs the web site Design by http://Denae.com . She lists her tree necklaces and bracelets as the most popular items she sells.
She said as far as the length of time it takes to design a piece of jewelry, “Sometimes it goes fast. I get an idea and sketch it out in a few hours or it could take weeks. If I don’t like it, I will take it apart and rework it completely, so whatever inspires me sometimes.”
She said she always sets up vendor booths at events such as the Dogwood Arts Festival, and is also a member of the Foothills Craft Guild She does several shows a year and appears on Market Square in Knoxville on Saturdays.
“I’ve done very well,” Oglesby said. “This is the first time I’ve been here and I’m really happy. I hope to come back next year.”