By Mike Steely

Where can you find an antique tractor parade, a feed bag toss, a skillet toss and a pumpkin seed spitting contest? How about music, vendors and local authors?

The Union County Heritage Festival is a one-day event Saturday, October 7 at Wilson Park in Maynardville. There’s the Heritage Olympics, a “longest beard contest” a quilt show, authors table, and a photograph show, a Kidz Zone, and crafts and food vendors.  The celebration, “Come Here, Come Home,” is in its 13th year and all events are free to the public.

The festival starts at 10 a.m. when Mayor Mike Williams opens the event. which stretches to the Union County Museum, the historic Snodderly House and the Union County Chamber. Free shuttles will connect all venues to the park.

Knoxville’s Wild Blue Yonder band will play at the gazebo at 11:15 and 1:15. The group brings its unique blend of Appalachian Folk music with warm folk harmonies with acoustic mandolin, guitar, bass and fiddle.

Other music during the event features Stoney Point Bluegrass Band, Virginia Faith, The Going Home Singers, Jim Woods Band and Mark Walker with the Atkins Duo.

Gospel music is also featured with New River, The Valley Boys, the Beason Family, FC Boys with Ray Bull and Brenda Beeler, and Savannah and Chapel Hill. Some music will be performed at the gazebo and some at the Front Porch and Gospel Tent.

More than 85 vendors, everyone from the local 4-H Clubs to Keep Union County Beautiful, will take part in the festival. The Union County Heritage Festival is “pet friendly” and offers free parking and rides from the parking lot to the festival.

More information of this popular event is available by calling (865) 992-2010. You can also find the festival on Facebook or preview the festival events at