Intern shares first experience with hometown festival

Published 2:36 pm Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Star Photo/Lora Cardwell  The Rhododendron Festival in Roan Mountain includes a variety of musical performances.

Star Photo/Lora Cardwell
The Rhododendron Festival in Roan Mountain includes a variety of musical performances.

Editor’s Note: This Summer, the Elizabethton Star is being joined by Lora Cardwell and Victoria Perkins as part of East Tennessee State University’s Upward Bound Program for their Career Work Study. Both Lora and Victoria are rising seniors at Cloudland High School. They will be taking part in a variety of activities while participating in the program and they will be sharing their adventures with our readers.
I have lived in Roan Mountain my entire life, but never have I ever been to the Rhododendron festival.
My first time going was on June 19 of this year. Two of my very best friends, Cody and Ashley, went with me.
When we got there Ashley and I went to sit down and listen to the music, and Cody wandered off to look at the variety of stuff they had. Ashley and I sat long enough to listen to Reel Steel, then she went off with another friend, and I went to find Cody.
Cody and I walked around looking at all of the neat things they had to offer. The vendors and crafters had all kinds of stuff like window clings, home-turned wooden pens, multiple beautiful photos, and various other things.
The Rhododendron Festival is what I expected for the most part, and by that I mean that I fully expected it to be so packed. A potential reason it may not have been was because I went on the last day, and pretty late in the afternoon.
I can’t believe this has been in my backyard, and I’ve never been. I’ve had plenty of opportunities to go, but I just never had an interest in it.
I couldn’t have had better people to go with though. At one point Cody and I lost Ashley, so we just walked around a lot until we found her. I can guarantee we walked around looking for a good ten minutes, then we got caught up in talking to people we knew. After we got done talking to them we continued to search for Ashley. We finally went and looked where we last saw her (why we didn’t before, I don’t know). Low and behold, we found her and her friend walking back to us.
The festival ended around 5 o’clock, but I wanted to go swing. This being said, Cody and I went to the park next to the festival, and went swinging. We swung until it was time to go get Ashley, and head back to Upward Bound.
While at the festival I realized that there were a lot of people I knew, but more I didn’t, and it showed me how famous the little town I live in is. I always thought it was an off the charts town, and that there was nothing truly spectacular about it, but now I know better. I live in the town with the prettiest of views, and I don’t think I could ever move away.

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