A fall classic returns to East Tennessee
This time of year there are two things you can count on, the changing colors of leaves and the return of one highly anticipated festival in Clinton, TN. In recent years, this town of about 10,000 has become a mecca for antiques lovers and at no time of the year is that more evident than autumn. On October 13th and 14th, thousands of people are expected to flock to the town just a few miles off I-75, for 17th annual Clinch River Antiques Festival. Sponsored by the Anderson County Chamber of Commerce, this year's festival promises to be bigger and better than ever.
Clinton has long been known for its treasures, including a once thriving freshwater pearl trade. On Friday night, October 13th at 6:00 pm, the Clinch River Antiques Festival kicks off with a special preview party centered in a small park highlighting the glory days of the pearl trade. Throughout the evening, many of the antiques and specialty stores along Market and Main Streets will be staying opening late, offering special sales and more. You'll also find plenty of choices when it comes to food as the downtown eateries and several food vendors serve up a wide variety of tasty treats.
Friday night's festivities include a "Cruze-In" featuring muscle cars lined up along Market Street and the sounds of bluegrass in the Hoskins/Lane Park from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. The Tenos, a family group from Clinton will entertain the crowds. Siblings, William, Leah, Andy and Sam join their parents Trippy and Karyn for a mix of what their website describes as a "mix of traditional bluegrass, gospel and old-time, with rich family harmonies that you will love and enjoy." Be sure and bring your lawn chairs!
Friday 7:00 to 9:00 pm
Overnight, Market Street will undergo quite a transformationas more than 90 antiques dealers and artisans from all around the southeast set up along the streets downtown. At 9:00 am on Saturday, October 14th, folks can start wandering through the seemingly endless array of antiques and collectibles. Whether it's antique signs, old postcards, furniture or china, chances are you'll find what you're looking for at some point during the two day festival.
Antique appraiser, Joe Rosson will also be on hand Saturday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm to help you find out how much your antique treasures are worth. Rosson has been featured on the PBS shows, "Treasures in your attic," and "Antiques Roadshow. (Appraisals cost $5 per item.)
Music promises to be an even bigger part of this year's Antiques extravaganza as four area bands are set to take the stage on Saturday.
Take a look at the music lineup below.
While the music is playing, Barbara and Paul Taylor of Oak Ridge will be out on the "flat" on Market Street in front of Hoskins/Lane Park helping people learn a little folk dancing.
Antique treasures won't be the only things celebrated at the festival. The Anderson County chapter of the Sons of the Revolution will be on hand for another re-enactment of the 1804 pistol duel between Vice President Aaron Burr and Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. The demonstration helps illustrate the significance of the duel and how it led to the town of Burrville becoming Clinton, TN. Christian Holbert, a local blacksmith, will also be on hand demonstrating his metal working skills.
Finding the Clinch River Antiques Festival is easy. Vendors and activities will be lined up along Main Street, Market Street and Cullom Street in Historic Downtown Clinton. A few more vendors are lined up in the alley next to Memorial United Methodist Church.
Visitors will find plenty of free parking throughout Downtown Clinton. A free shuttle is available from some of the parking lots. Just look for the shuttle signs. More information on the 17th Annual Clinch River Fall Antique Festival is available by calling the Anderson County Chamber of Commerce @ 865-457-2559 or visiting: www.clinchriverfallantiquefestival.com .
Anderson County is filled with history and beauty. If you're coming to the festival from out of town here are a few other places you might want to visit.
- The Green McAdoo Cultural Center - A museum telling the story of the Clinton 12, the first African-American students to integrate a public high school in the south.
- The Manhattan Project National Historic Park and the American Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge
- Norris Dam and Norris Dam State Park
- The Museum of Appalachia
- Coal Creek Miner's Museum in Rocky Top