The annual Cranberry Festival and Homecoming in Shady Valley will be held Oct. 12 and 13.
Festivities will be held at the Shady Valley Elementary School, which was built by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s. The school has been in continuous use since 1938. Currently, students in pre-K through sixth grade attend the school, and are very competitive in areas of achievement on state assessments.
The festival is one of the year’s biggest happenings in this small community in Johnson County. Vietnam veterans from Shady Valley will serve as grand marshals in this year’s Cranberry Festival Parade, which will be held Saturday, Oct. 13. This year’s festival is dedicated to all those who served in Vietnam.
All proceeds from the festival go to the school, allowing for various projects to be completed when county funding sources are tight. Funds in the past have been used to purchase a sound system for the multipurpose room, additional playground equipment, technology for the newly-renovated library, and lots of supplemental “leveled readers” for classroom use in teaching reading
Also, festival funds have been used to pay for many field trips for students.
This year’s festival will begin with the annual bean supper in the school’s multipurpose room from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday.
Along with the bean supper, the school will have an auction. Donated items will be put up for bid by a staff of professional auctioneers, one of which is usually Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey. The auction will begin at 7 p.m.
There will also be a large silent auction, featuring dozens of items. Winners will be declared at 9 p.m.
A parade down U.S. 421 from the Presbyterian church down to the intersection of 421 and 133, and onto the school will open Saturday’s festivities. The day-long festivities will begin at 11 a.m. following the parade. Activities at the school will include crafters, food vendors, dancing, music by local groups, Star the Clown, train rides, a wildlife exhibit, Indian relics, handmade quilts, storytelling and much more.
New this year will be a community yard sale, fly fishing demonstrations, possibly a group of antiquers, a block party for youth, dance demonstrations and some of the best color in the mountains of Northeast East Tennessee.
The Cranberry Festival is known as the “best little festival around.”