Athens’ annual Pumpkintown — A Festival of History, Harvest and Heritage is coming up this weekend and officials have announced a variety of entertainment options that are scheduled to take place during the event.

The festival, hosted by Friendly City Festivals, celebrates the history of East Tennessee by highlighting Native American culture, local history and displaying elements of times past. The festival is set for Saturday, Oct. 9, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The festivities at Market Park Pavilion stage begin at 11:30 a.m. when the Doggie Costume Contest winners are announced. Then festival-goers can partake in hours of music from local bands spanning a variety of genre and musical styles.

Dreams of Kings, a band of three Christian brothers playing everything from traditional Celtic tunes to worship music to classic rock, take the stage at noon. At 1 p.m. local duo Cody & Alex perform a set of original music likely to include covers of popular songs interpreted in the group’s unique, soulful style.

The Never Too Late Band is set to perform at Pumpkintown for the first time at 2 p.m. This group, lead by Shawn Amato of the McMinn County Sheriff’s Department, is a four-piece classic rock band that has played together for four years.

At 3 p.m. Hippie Shakes closes the afternoon with their upbeat arrangements of pop, country, soul and classic songs.

A few paces northwest of the pavilion stage is more entertainment at the steps of the McMinn County Courthouse. The opening ceremonies at 10 a.m. include the presentation of the 500,000th Imagination Library Book to a child in McMinn County, which will be donated by McMinn County Education Foundation to Jadance Vance, an eight month old citizen.

The McMinn Regional Humane Society Mutt Strutt at 10:35 a.m. will follow that and then Inspiration Dance Studio will perform dance and tumbling feats at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Just Us, a Bluegrass band, performs at 11:35 a.m. and 2:40 p.m. The Bluegrass continues at 12:20 p.m. and 2:05 p.m. with Roscoe Morgan, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.

Kinslee Melhorn, a local daughter who plays original and popular country songs, closes the courthouse steps stage at 12:55 p.m. and 3:25 p.m.

Friendly City Festivals and The Arts Center also invite festivalgoers to return to Market Park Pavilion later in the evening for the Sounds of Summer finale featuring Chris Hennessee. The acclaimed country artist with regional ties takes the stage with his band at 7 p.m. Just like Pumpkintown, Sounds of Summer is a free festival.

All this entertainment is in addition to the Pumpkintown PowWow in memory of Scott Crisp, as well as 100-plus vendors, food trucks and shopping in local businesses.

Pumpkintown officials thanked festival presenters and sponsors: City of Athens, McMinn County Tourism Board, Friendly City Festivals, Athens Area Council for the Arts, Main Street Athens, DENSO, Tennessee Overhill, Tennessee Arts Commission, VEC Customer Shares, Willsonthropic, Inc., Wolfenden Family Pharmacies, Companion Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Bowater ECU, Tennessee College of Applied Technology, Starr Regional Medical Center and Mayfield Dairy Farm.

For more information about Pumpkintown 2021, contact Meredith Willson at 423-887-3544 or by e-mail at mere dithw2009@comcast.net

The website is www.will sonthropic.org/friendlyci tyfestivals and for vendor information, questions can be sent to info@friendlyc ityfestivals.com

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