Officials with the Tennessee Strawberry Festival recently announced that Bobby Beard, owner of the Eagle’s Nest Barber Shop in downtown Dayton will be serving as grand marshal of this year’s parade.
Beard will be celebrating his 50th year in business this year.
The schedule for the upcoming 2019 Tennessee Strawberry Festival has also been released and festivities are set to begin at the end of April with the annual Strawberry Pageant.
This year’s pageant is set for Saturday, April 27, at 10 a.m. at Rhea County High School.
Festivities resume at the beginning of May with Family Fun Night at Pendergrass Park in Dayton on Monday, May 6, beginning at 6 p.m.
On Tuesday, May 7, the carnival returns and opens at 6 p.m. with visitors able to purchase an armband for $20 or individual tickets. The carnival runs until Saturday, May 11, when the carnival opens at 1 p.m. and all-day armbands can be purchased for $25.
On Wednesday, May 8, both live entertainment and Strawberry Shortcake Night begin at 5 p.m. at Centennial Park, followed by a 6 p.m. baking contest at Paint the Town Pottery and Gifts.
Beginning, Thursday, May 9, at 9 a.m., the Dayton Art League Fine Arts Show will set up in the Rhea County Courthouse and will be open throughout the festival. Food and craft vendors will also arrive and set up that day.
On Friday, May 10, food and craft vendors surrounding the Rhea County Courthouse will open at 8 a.m. and will be open until dark. At 5 p.m. the annual Cruise-In along Market Street will begin, and live entertainment begins at that same time on the Centennial Park stage. The TSF Auction Inside the Historic Rhea County Courthouse begins at 6:30 p.m.
Festivities kick off Saturday , May 11, at 7 a.m. with the Ed Gentry Memorial Run/Walk, as well as the Dayton Rotary Club Pancake Breakfast, which also begins at 7:30 a.m.
Beginning at 9 a.m. and continuing until dark, the Children’s Area will be set up along Third Avenue in downtown Dayton. From 9:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. there will be Gospel entertainment at the Courthouse Stage, and from 9:30 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. there will be various entertainers at the Centennial Park Stage.
At 1 p.m. the annual Strawberry Festival Parade begins making its way down Market Street.
After the parade, entertainment will resume on the various stages in Dayton with performers beginning on the Gospel Stage at 2:40 p.m. and continuing until 5:30 p.m. There will be various entertainers on the Centennial Park Stage, starting at 3 p.m. and continuing until 10:30 p.m.
Also part of the Tennessee Strawberry Festival, on Tuesday, May 14, at 6 p.m., the Rhea County Distinguished Young Woman program will hold its reception at Fort Bluff Camp. The scholarship competition portion of the program is set for Saturday, May 18, at 7 p.m. in Rudd Chapel at Bryan College.
The entertainment schedule is as follows:
Wednesday, May 9, Centennial Park Stage
• 5 to 6 p.m. — Tennessee Irish Dancers
• 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. — Centerstage Dancers
• 7:45 to 8:15 p.m. — Rc3 Tumblers
Friday, May 10, Centennial Park Stage
• 5 to 6 p.m. — Carrie Hassler
• 6 to 6:30 p.m. — Live Auction (select items)
• 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. — Walden’s Ridge Community Center
• 7:30 to 8 p.m. — Sock Hop and Costume Judging
• 8 to10:30 p.m. — The Beaters
Saturday, May 11, Centennial Park Stage
• 9 to 10 a.m. — Center Stage Dance
• 11:45 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. — Reviving Dayvid
• 1 to 3 p.m.— Strawberry Parade, stage closed
• 3 to 3:50 p.m. — The Grandview Pickers
• 4:15 to 4:45 p.m. — Boots and Roses
• 5 to 5:45 p.m. — September Song
• 6 to 8 p.m. — Sullivan Band
• 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. — Rhea Springs Revival
Saturday, May 11, Gospel Stage
• 9:45 to 10:15 a.m. — McDonalds Singers
• 10:20 to 10:55 a.m. — Dana Russell
• 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. — Crystle Elam
• 1 to 2 p.m. — Strawberry Parade, stage closed
• 2:15 to 3 p.m. — Ken Hicks and Testimony Quartet
• 3:10 to 3:50 p.m. — The Agee Family
• 4 to 4:40 p.m. — Lakeside Bluegrass Gospel
• 4:50 to 5:30 — The Mays Family
For more information about the upcoming 2019 Tennessee Strawberry Festival, visit www.tnstrawberryfestival.com.