I dare say few people have had muscadines stuck to every surface of their body like me and my fellow stompers! Sticky little pests, but delicious.
From September 26-28, 2014, Historic Downtown Sweetwater will host the National Muscadine Festival, sponsored by the Sweetwater Merchants and Property Owners Association. Our banner sponsor, Aeroflex, is entering their fourth year of supporting the festival and we are so grateful for all of our sponsors who see the value in investing in their community. Their support means there is no admission charge to the festival- concerts, entertainment, etc is free!
This has become a great event, bringing people in from all over the nation. Events throughout the festival include live music, a BBQ contest, a Miss Muscadine pageant, a parade, wagon rides, the kids zone featuring the Trackless Train, a kids art show, and activities at Tsali Notch Vineyard, the state’s largest muscadine vineyard. A shuttle will run from downtown to the vineyard and the Lost Sea, America’s largest underground lake on Saturday.
This year, our concert series features Miss Emi Sunshine and The Rain, who was recently featured on Good Morning America and the Today Show after her local performance went viral. Emi performs Saturday and Sunday at the festival. Also, local favorite SouthBound returns for a rollicking kickoff to the festival on Friday night from 7-10 p.m. at the gazebo. Blue Moon Rising will also perform on Sunday afternoon at the bandstand. Local favorites will be performing too. There will be no lack in awesome music selections for the whole family to enjoy.
The Miss Muscadine pageant, first official event of the festival, is held at Sweetwater Elementary School on Saturday, September 13, 2014. If you know a high school girl who would like to participate and possibly win scholarship funds to the school of their choice, visit the website or Sweetwater City Hall for details. A Little Miss Muscadine pageant is available for younger girls.
Possibly my favorite part of the festival is the extensive selection of vendors, artists, and crafters. Every year I eat too much and buy too much, but have a great time and find some great deals! The vendor registration form is also on the website if you have a great product to show off. If you just want to shop, buy some local honey, muscadines, or unique piece of art, the National Muscadine Festival is the place to do it.
The Muscadine BBQ Contest features $8,000 in prize money, which brings in some quality BBQ vendors. Whether your palate is pleased with sweet or vinegary, you will find some BBQ you love, if you can get one of the coveted 75 “People’s Choice” tickets. If you want to vie for some of that prize money, check out the website for details and registration forms.
Finally, much thanks to the Bingham Group for hosting our amazing website, creating our award-winning commercial, and helping with all aspects of design for the festival. You guys are amazing!