So glad you came back

Fall Antique Festival draws crowds downtown, hailed as a ‘great success’

  • Joey Smith (far left in back of carriage) gives a guided tour of Clinton’s historic residential area along Eagle Bend. The carriage rides were added by Historic Downtown Clinton to enhance the return of the Fall Antique Festival, which resumed after being shut down last year due to the pandemic. - Katherine Birkbeck

  • People check out some of the downtown shops on Market Street during Saturday’s Clinch River Fall Antique Festival, which drew crowds on Friday as well. - Katherine Birkbeck

  • Roxy the dog gets some attention from visitors to the Clinch River Fall Antique Festival as she rides on Market Street in her own special wagon on Saturday, Oct. 2. Pulling the wagon is Roxy’s owner, Gary Tarpley. - Katherine Birkbeck

  • Diana Tilley of Clinton checks out a toy truck for sale at one of the booths on Market Street on Saturday during the 2021 Clinch River Fall Antique Festival in downtown Clinton. - Katherine Birkbeck

Sponsors of last weekend’s Clinch River Fall Antique Festival said Monday that the two-day event was a great success, and that crowds who turned out were as large or perhaps even larger than those the downtown area had seen in pre-pandemic festivals.

“It was great to have the festival return after a year off, and adding a full second day contributed to its success,” said Anderson County Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President Janet Hawkins.

“Each year we try to expand or add something new. This year we added the horse-drawn carriage rides down the historic Eagle Bend residential area,” she said. “We heard multiple comments that this year’s was the best festival ever. Many thanks to our sponsors and volunteers.”

Others agreed.

“We’ve had multiple calls from people who were glad we extended it to two days, and that it was a great success,” said Marsha Stapleton, member-services coordinator for the Chamber of Commerce, a key sponsor of the festival. “On Saturday, we had no fewer people than we had before the pandemic.”

The festival was canceled last fall because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so this was the first fall festival in two years.

“Friday was a great way to kick off the festival, especially with the music,” said Katherine Birkbeck, program coordinator for the Historic Downtown Clinton organization, which worked with the chamber to create and manage the event.

“So many people came out on Saturday,” she said. “It was really great to see those kinds of numbers back on our streets again. All day, I never saw a food truck that didn’t have a line. There were crowds everywhere.”

The event kicked off at noon on Friday, and again at 9 a.m. on Saturday, with multiple vendors selling all kinds of merchandise set up on the streets, and food trucks feeding the crowds.

More than 80 antique vendors and artisans lined Market and Cullom streets showcasing antiques, collectibles, primitives, and more.

Downtown stores also got into the festivities with their own sidewalk displays and specials.

Community sponsors of the festival included Eagle Bend Manufacturing, Y-12 Federal Credit Union, The Lantern at Morning Pointe, 3M, Madison Insurance Group, Fox Toyota, Powell Clinch Utility District, ORUD Natural Gas, Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC, and Enrichment Federal Credit Union.