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Jonesborough Days organizers plan tribute concert to Johnny and June

Evan Mays • Updated Jun 27, 2018 at 11:29 PM

Jonesborough Days are a longstanding tradition celebrating the history of the oldest town in Tennessee, but the festival itself has its own rich history.

In 1973, Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash performed at Jonesborough Days, and this year, the festival’s planners will honor that appearance.

Johnny Cash NOW, a Johnny Cash tribute band, will re-enact Johnny and June’s historic performance on Saturday night, said Melinda Copp, one of the festival’s organizers.

“This band is spectacular, they’re going to put on a great show,” Copp said.

Commemorative T-shirts with the original concert date and the date of the tribute will be available. Also, during show’s intermission, festival attendees can compete in a Johnny Cash lookalike contest.

The Johnny Cash tribute band isn’t the only music you can expect to hear at the festival. The International Storytelling Center, which will be at the center of the action during the festival, will host headliners such as The Music City Stones and The Beach Nite Band.

The Annual Kick-Off Dinner for the festival will also take place at the Storytelling Center Friday at 5:30 p.m. The center will be open all weekend with a variety of musical guests and storytellers taking the stage.

Discovery Park, behind the Storytelling Center, also will host a variety of activities. There you can get a taste for the activities at the McKinney Center for the Arts classes; Oak Hill School sessions complete with a schoolmarm, heritage games and an archaeological dig provided by the Heritage Alliance; Meet the JRT Princesses; Story Circle with the Jonesborough Storytellers Guild; and visits with Domino and Tumbleweed, ponies from Apple Valley Pony Parties.

The Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum will be open throughout the festival to those who wish to take a tour. The Chuckey Depot Museum will also be open, hosting several train-themed activities for kids, as well as featuring some newer exhibits, and the Heritage Alliance will offer four different Historic Downtown Walking Tours for only $3.

The Jonesborough Repertory Theatre will present “1776 the Musical” at various times throughout the festival, and the Jonesborough Senior Center will present “Red, White, Blue and You: A Tribute to the American Flag” on Saturday several times between noon and 1 p.m. in front of the Washington County Courthouse.

Anyone with an affinity for crafts will find themselves right at home at Jonesborough Days, as more than 70 vendors will be in attendance at the festival. There will also be a variety of foods available from tacos to barbecue and, of course, funnel cakes will be available as well.

Festival planners encourage attendees to park at Jonesborough Middle School, where parking will be $3 a car, and a shuttle will be available all weekend.

Other events like The Dog Days of Summer, a costume contest for community pooches, and the Moon Pie Eating Contest, where the winner of each age group gets free Moon Pies for a year, will take place during the festival.

"Jonesborough Days is patriotic Americana at its best. With downtown as its backdrop, it really sets itself apart. It’s truly a celebration like no other,” Copp said.

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