By JOHN McBRYDE
With just three days left until the 36th Annual Main Street Festival, organizers on Wednesday were still trying to get to the number of volunteers needed for the massive two-day event in downtown Franklin.
“It takes about 180 volunteers to pull off the festival, and we have about 107 right now signed up,” Alex Hayes, communications manager for the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, said in an email Wednesday morning.
Volunteers perform all sorts of tasks, from helping make preparations for the event to handling needs during the festival to cleaning up afterwards.
“We could not do what we do without all of our volunteers,” said Bari Beasley, CEO of the Heritage Foundation. “They are critical.”
Some of the volunteers have been helping with the Main Street Festival for years, as well as the Heritage Foundation’s other annual festivals, Pumpkinfest in October and Dickens of a Christmas in December. Others, like Dovey McLeod of Franklin, are volunteering for the first time at Main Street.
“I am excited to volunteer at the Main Street Festival this year,” said McLeod, who will be helping with the pets photo area as well as wherever else she’s needed. “I have attended the festival before, but this will be my first time as a volunteer.
“I have also volunteered for Pumpkinfest and the Dickens Festival,” she added. “At Pumpkinfest I volunteered at the ‘photo op’ area. People would pose in front of a lovely ‘autumnal’ setting and I would take their pic with their phones or cameras. Because I was in costume, many asked to include me in their pic.”
She added, “At Dickens, I volunteered in the Heritage Foundation VIP/Members tent. I greeted members and potential members into the heated and covered tent so they could warm up and get out of the rain… I enjoy attending the festivals, and get to experience them from another perspective as a volunteer. It makes me happy to be able to help others get the most out of what the festivals have to offer.”
The Heritage Foundation is still needing volunteers. If interested, you can visit https://williamsonheritage.org/mainstreet to sign up.
New and traditional activities abound
Guests to the Main Street Festival presented by First Tennessee Bank can experience new activities such as the Bark Lounge sponsored by Mars Petcare, Bavarian Bierhaus Beer Garden, Leiper’s Fork Distillery Whiskey Lounge, Heritage Foundation’s Heritage Classroom Hands-On History Experience, Photo Challenge Scavenger Hunt, and the Little Miss Main Street Pageant sponsored by Sweet CeCe’s.
Traditional activities include arts and crafts, food trucks, photo-ops, Heritage Foundation VIP Member Lounge sponsored by Efficiency Home Improvement, and the Kid’s Zone sponsored by Stride Rite.
There is also limited parking downtown (no street parking within the festival footprint.) Franklin Transit will offer shuttle services to and from Main Street Festival. Shuttle rides are $1 per person each way and will be available both days.
All Franklin Transit vehicles are ADA accessible. No pets (except certified service dogs), non-folding strollers, or food and drink except bottled water are permitted on the trolleys. Franklin Transit pickup locations will be the Park at Harlinsdale Farm on both Saturday and Sunday and Church of the City on Saturday only. For handicap accessible parking, please use the Second and Fourth Avenue garages or Franklin Transit’s Park & Ride service.
Main Stage: Saturday
10 a.m. – Opening Remarks & Ribbon Cutting
10:20 a.m. – Bells of Franklin
10:30 a.m. – Little Miss Main Street Pageant
1 p.m. – Ann Carroll School of Dance
1:30 p.m. – WCPR Rhythm & Spirit Program
2:45 p.m. – Joseph Shackleford
3:30 p.m. – Rodeo Gypsy
4 p.m. – Smith & Gone
5 p.m. – Taylon Hope
5:45 p.m. – Sweet Tea Trio
Main Stage: Sunday
11 a.m. – Histown Dance Academy
11:30 a.m. – Grassland Dance Academy
Noon – Stage Right School of Performing Arts
12:30 p.m. – ROOTS Music & Dance Academy
1:30 p.m. – Rocky Top Revue
2:30 p.m. – Carly Moffa
3:15 p.m. – Nalani & Josh
4 p.m. – The Rische’s featuring Lillie Mae
4:45 p.m. – Dawn Beyer
GSRM Acoustic Corner Stage (Landmark Booksellers parking lot): Saturday
10:30 am – Eagle Jump Force
11 a.m. – Conservatory of Annie Moses
1 p.m. – Jessica Miller
2 p.m. – Steven Cade
3 p.m. – Zach Ray
4 p.m. – Carson Hill
GSRM Acoustic Corner Stage (Landmark Booksellers parking lot): Sunday
11:30 a.m. – Anthony Panagopoulos
12:30 p.m. – Hailey Dawn
1:30 p.m. – Alayna Carroll
2:30 p.m. – Anthony Michael
3:30 p.m. – Kristen Cothron