Fall Antique Festival is this weekend

2021 Clinch Valley Fall Antique Festival kicks off on Friday night with live entertainment

The usually annual Clinch River Fall Antique Festival will be held this weekend in Historic Downtown Clinton, after taking a one-year hiatus in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Events kick off at noon on Friday, and will continue all Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m.

On Friday, the festival will begin with live entertainment by The NashTones. There will be more live music on Saturday, and there will be vendors set up downtown with a variety of antiques, along with food and other offerings.

As usual, the fall festival will be a showcase for the antiques shops on Main and Market streets.

“I think people are going to flock to this event,” said Marsha Stapleton with the Anderson Cunty Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber, with the City of Clinton, and Historic Downtown Clinton, are sponsors of the event.

“I think it’s going to be the recoil after being shut down for so long.”

Stapleton said.

There will be “dozens” of vendors lining Market Street to add to the atmosphere.

“Every year we get bigger and better,” Stapleton said.

Food trucks will line Freddy Fagan Way — a first in the 20 years of the fall event.

Also returning is the Beer Garden, where craft brews made in Anderson County will be sold for consumption in that area.

“We’re going to have a big Friday evening with the NashTones. And the beer garden has been expanded,” Stapleton said.

To enjoy the beer garden you must have a valid ID and while you can’t take your beverages to the street, it promises to be a big attraction — especially because it’s outside the weekend forecast calls for beautiful weather.

Market Street will be closed to vehicular traffic so the street vendors and food trucks can set up along Market, Cullom and Eagle Bend streets.

An antique car exhibit show will be held on Saturday.

“We are tickled to death to be back with our fall festival,” said Donna Raines, president of the Historic Downtown Clinton Merchants Association. “We love to highlight our community.”

“We are so glad to have the fall festival again after losing it last year, but surprisingly, our downtown merchants had one of their best fall seasons ever last year even without the festival,” Raines said. “I believe that’s because by the fall, people were just ready to get back out again.”

Clinton Mayor Scott Burton said this is an opportunity for Clinton to show off.

“The bottom line is this will bring more people into the city and we can show what we’re all about,” he said.

Historic Downtown Clinton will also offer open carriage rides from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday.

The carriage rides will begin at Clinch River Mercantile and proceed down Eagle Bend in the city’s historic residential area.

Joe Smith will provide a historical guide to the city.

“It’s family friendly fun to go along with the festival,” President of Historic Downtown Clinton Katherine Birkbeck said.

“The program Joey Smith is doing is based on our community, so we can show off a little.”

Historic Downtown Clinton will also have new sweatshirts and glasses available at Clinch River Mercantile.

The fall festival is just the beginning of a season of celebration for downtown Clinton, however.

This fall, there will be a full schedule of events downtown, including the popular Cookie Crawl in early December, Raines said.

“Our downtown Christmas Open House event will be held Friday and Saturday, Nov. 5-6, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and then we will have our Small Business Saturday on Nov. 27, just after Thanksgiving,” she said.

“Then on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 3-4, we will have our Holiday Market for the shops on Main and Market.

“And on Friday night, Dec. 3, we will have our annual Cookie Crawl,” Raines said. “Santa and Mrs. Claus, the Grinch and some ‘Frozen’ characters will be on Market Street from 5 to 8, and you can eat your way through the shops with free cookies.”

These events are sponsored by the Historic Downtown Clinton Merchants Association, Raines said..

There will be free admission and free downtown parking for the fall festival and the other events.