By Marty Trese, KnoxPages.com Editor
MOUNT VERNON - Downtown streets are blocked off, food trucks are in place, merchant and organization tables are in place and, as of midday Thursday, the 2015 Dan Emmett Music and Arts Festival began under a blue sky with lots of sunshine.
Youth Showcase at the South Main Stage - KnoxPages.com photo by Marty Trese
The Youth Showcase was held at the South Main Stage. Singers and dancers performed to an appreciative audience. Among the performers were the Newcomb sisters, Mayre, 15 and Maya, 14 of Mount Vernon who tap danced to Joan Jett's "I love Rock 'n Roll." See a KP YouTube video clip of their performance here.
The festival also gives you an opportunity to talk to the Mount Vernon mayoral candidates and/or their representatives. Republican Matt Starr is challenging incumbent Democrat Dick Mavis in November.
Mary Rugola Dye at the Democratic booth Matt Starr, seated, and Bradley Whitford at the GOP booth
The Friends of the Knox County Animal Shelter are set up to take your votes for the dogs whose pictures you would like to see on the organization's 2016 calendar. Volunteer photographer Phil Samuell encourages festival goers to vote with cash.
Phil Samuell, seated, encourages Pam Palm to vote
A huge crowd turned out for the annual Cheerleader competition. The athletic young ladies looked and sounded like they are ready for the upcoming football season. The Mount Vernon High School varsity cheerleaders won the competition.
The Mount Vernon cheerleaders posed for a group photo during Thursday night's DEF activities
The evening wrapped up with the perennial favorite 50's and 60's band, Phil Dirt and the Dozers. Their show is always a fun time and this year the first set featured a Platters tune performed as if we were listening to an old record of the song, complete with skips.
If you're hungry, head downtown to the many vendors set up on the square. We enjoyed a "homeless" (no bun) pork sandwich with slaw and baked beans. For desert, the offerings include cream puffs, snow cones, and ice cream.
Food vendors are set up on the Public Square during the DEF
The Dan Emmett Festival continues through Sunday. You can see the schedule of events on the KnoxPages.com local events calendar or for a more extensive list visit www.DanEmmettFestival.org.