By Ammie Ruddle
The third weekend in September is one that is packed with entertainment, adventure, and excitement. Treasure Mountain Festival, now running 54 years, continued its annual tradition in the town of Franklin this past weekend.
Opening on Thursday night was one of the festival’s newest events, the Queen’s Coronation. Here, Miss TMF Queen Alexandria Wyman received her crown and her civic duties as queen. Wyman then expressed her gratitude and high hopes for the future of the festival and those (queens) who come after her.
On Friday, the entertainment and excitement started. From the book sale to local and outside vendors, attendees had no shortage of venders to buy from.
The period costume competition was in full swing with a multitude of people from all ages participating. Among the contestants were Harper Marsh, daughter of Doug and Kelly Marsh of Fort Seybert, and Ali Barbour, daughter of Laura Brown of Franklin, both wearing their great-grandmother’s dresses: Janet Harper Conrad and Lillian Belle Brown, respectively.
Laura Brown said, “Every Treasure Mountain Festival Saturday morning when I was growing up, my dad always hosted the TMF WELD radio show with Alan Yokum. During part of the show, his mom, my Nana (Lillian Belle Brown), would dress up in one of her old-time dresses and go to the courthouse steps to be in the period costume contest. It was complete nostalgia seeing Ali in one of Nana’s ensembles in this year’s contest. Nana would have loved knowing Ali carried on her tradition.”
The girls were only two of the many contestants, but both walked away proudly carrying blue ribbons.
Following the period costume contest, Raymond’s Gymnastics showed off their skills. Each class displayed their acrobatics, balance, and tumble skills. Some of the gymnasts had been honing their skills for years, while others have only had one class to prepare them for the show.
This year’s TMF provided an abundance of music. Kicking off live entertainment was Justin Hensley on Thursday evening.
The Spencer Hatcher Band, performed multiple times on Friday. They provided live music on two separate stages, both the town parking lot and the main stage.
A local favorite, Bryer Moyers, also performed on the main stage. In addition, American Pride, Snowy Mountain String Band, South River Express, Stoney Creek, and Keplinger Bluegrass, and more provided music and entertainment for those attending TMF.
There can’t be music without dancing. The town parking lot provided space for square dancing on both Friday and Saturday evenings, where many enjoyed kicking up their heels and do-si-dos.
Festivalgoers could take part in the tea room party, or go to the quilt show and vote for their favorite quilt, not to mention the antique cars, trucks and tractors that were on display for all to see.
What kind of TMF would it be without a treasure hunt? The treasure hunt was one of the many friendly competitions festivalgoers could participate in. Other competitions included a horseshoe pitch, beard and mustache, pumpkin painting, turkey calling, cornhole, children’s games and much more.
Families could enjoy the various food venders, as well as crafts for kids. However, the parade was the highlight for families and children. Children sitting along Franklin’s main street smiled and waved hoping the individuals in the parade would pass candy their way.
What sets TMF apart from other festivals is the heritage and history involved with the festival. From the historical walking tour, to the Boggs House Museum, and the individuals who dressed as the first settlers in the area, there is no shortage of history involved with TMF.
The most iconic of the historic events is the reenactment of the fort burning at Fort Seybert, which took place on Saturday. There were campers, muzzleloader shoots and the burning of the fort. Viewers were able to hear, see, and experience the story of the burning.
Overall TMF was successful in providing an abundance of things to do, see, participate in, buy, eat and experience.