28th Annual Cranberry Festival
This year has been different than we all anticipated. Because of the Covid-19 virus, the Shady Valley Cranberry Festival Committee has decided to make some changes to our usual festival. Due to the encouragement of social distancing, we will not be able to have some of the things we have had in the past. We want to continue with this year’s festival to help keep the sense of community alive, while also, keeping our community safe.
We have decided to forgo our normal Friday night festivities. This will include our Bean Supper we have to raise money for the Olan Bentley Memorial Scholarship and our annual auction we have had to raise money for the school. Prior to Covid-19, we felt it was still important to continue with the auction to raise money for the upkeep of the school building. We plan to use the building to hold community events, help kids with school studies, and other things to keep the community together. We also plan continue to help with the education of the children in the Valley, which was what the Festival was created for! However, because our auction does draw a large crowd (which we are always thankful for), we thought it would be best to hold off this year since there was no way to distance people in our gym. Other options were considered, but this, we thought, was the best one. We will try to hold an auction at our Soup Supper in March (which the proceeds also go to the Olan Bentley Memorial Scholarship). Maybe, by then, we will be able to hold large gatherings again.
The main event on Saturday will still take place. Unfortunately, the Shady Valley Fire Department will not be having their annual pancake breakfast. However, the Shady Valley Preservation Society will be serving biscuits and gravy with sausage to all those interested. We will not have the parade, to help encourage distancing. This will keep people from gathering in large groups to watch the parade. Because of that, we will be beginning our festival an hour early (10am) and possibly go longer with it if the crowd persists. I’m sure our vendors will love the extra attention. We have also decided to not have the inflatables this year because of the difficulty of sanitizing between the kids playing in them. We are looking into other possibilities for the kids to do during our festival. We want them to be included too! We will still have live music, along with craft and food vendors set up outside, as well as in the building. We are also looking into options to spread our vendors out from each other to also encourage distancing. We are asking that any vendors that have sides to their tents, to bring them to help section off from other vendors (thinking at least two sides). We will encourage masks to be worn and encourage social distancing guidelines. We want this festival to be a great one, while keeping everyone safe.
2020 has certainly been a unique year for all of us. We hope next year we will be able to have the biggest and best Cranberry Festival yet! If anyone would like to make a donation, you can do that by sending it to either the Shady Valley Cranberry Festival or the Olan Bentley Memorial Scholarship at 423 Highway 133 Shady Valley, TN 37688. If anyone has any questions at all, feel free to contact us on Facebook at Shady Valley Cranberry Festival, by email at [email protected], or at the building at 423-739-2422.
Cranberry Festival President