By Latala Hodges
Expect the older traditions that members of the community have grown to love with a mix of new experiences at this year’s Bassett Heritage Festival, coming Saturday, Sept. 14 in the area across from Bassett Furniture Industries.
Sponsored by the Stanleytown Ruritan Club, the festival is a community staple, making its 27th appearance. Betty Scott, president of the Ruritan Club, said while the festival will have many familiar features, there will be plenty of exciting happenings for everyone to enjoy.
“The entire local community is involved in making this event a success,” said Scott. “Our businesses are a great support for this event. Many people don’t know how much they do, and how important it is to us.”
More than 30 vendors, including several local churches, will offer handcrafted goods, jewelry, food and more to festival goers. The Kids Carnival will include inflatables and other games. Select vendors also will have free water for visitors.
Scott said the festival has grown a lot since its first year and also doubles as a meeting place for Bassett High School graduates to hold their class reunions.
“Usually many people are already in town, so it’s a great place for everyone to get together,” Scott said.
The parade, starting at 2 p.m., will be held along Main Street. Scott said it’s one of the most exciting events of the day.
“There’s no fee for the parade, so we encourage everyone to join us,” she said. “You can tell it’s a small town because if you’re in the parade, people will call you by your first name as you pass. It’s like one big, happy family. It’s really fun. Everyone knows everyone and it’s more personable that way.”
This year’s entertainment will be The Southern Gentlemen Bluegrass Band, a local band based in Henry County. Johnny Johnson leads the group along with members Burgess Hurd, Steve Shively and Bobby Whitlock.
Scott also wants to remind visitors that the Heritage Notes will be passed out this year, free of charge. The booklet includes articles of local and historical interest. Collinsville Printing is a sponsor of the booklet. The Bassett Historical Society also will open its doors with appearances from local authors.
Another special program includes a display by Bassett Furniture Industries on the Bench Made product line, designed locally. Scott said it’s the first time the company has opened their doors for this type of program.
Sponsors for this year’s festivities include Stanleytown Ruritan Club, Bassett Funeral Services, Shirley Amos and Riverview Flowers and Gifts, Collinsville Printing and Bassett Furniture Industries.
The schedule is listed below:
8 a.m. — Stanleytown Ruritan Pancake Breakfast (beside Wells Fargo Bank)
8:30 a.m. — vendors, Kids Carnival
9 a.m. — opening Ceremony
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Bassett Historical Center open for visitors
10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. — entertainment by The Southern Gentlemen
2 p.m. — Parade begins on Main Street