The 71st annual Lee County Tobacco Festival will take place on Saturday, October 26, 2019 in Pennington Gap, Virginia. This year’s theme is “Lee County Built on Strong Traditions”. This year’s grand marshal is Edgar Paul Fannon. As usual, the Friends of the Tobacco Festival are coordinating this year’s harvest-time celebration.
The Tobacco Festival Beauty Pageant will take place two weeks before the Festival itself, on October 12, in Lee Theatre. The Pennington Gap Woman’s Club will host the pageant, which starts at 6pm. Categories exist for both boys and girls. For boys are the Little Prince, aged 0-23 months, and Prince, aged two to five years. For Girls are Wee Little Princess, aged 0-11 months, Little Princess, aged 12-23 months, Princess, aged two to four years, Little Miss, aged five to seven years, Pre-Teen, aged eight to 11 years, Junior Miss, aged 12-15 years, and Queen, to be named Miss Lee County Tobacco Festival, aged 16 to 22 years. Pageant entries are available on the Tobacco Festival website.
Annie Hall of Pullin’ Ink designed this year’s Festival t-shirt. You can purchase t-shirts at local businesses and banks, including Powell Valley National Bank, Lee Bank, Farmer’s and Miner’s Bank, Home Appliance, Antiques and More, Pullin’ Ink, and Powell Valley Printing. Youth sizes and sweatshirts must be special ordered at Pullin’ Ink, so be sure to go to Pullin’ Ink as soon as possible to place your order up to October 18. You may go as early as today, and the sooner the better. Prices are $10 for short-sleeved and $15 for long-sleeved shirts. Other prices available at Pullin’ Ink.
Thursday, October 24, 2019
Business window decorating returns with a cash prize for the best window designs. Windows must be decorated by Thursday, October 24 as judging will take place that evening. Prizes are $75 for first place, $50 for second place, and $25 for third place.
Friday, October 25, 2019
On Friday evening before the Festival, there will be a free concert inside Lee Theatre. Hones Outlaws will play from 6 to 7:30pm. Jordan Allen and the Bellwethers take the stage at 8pm.
Food vendors will set up that evening, as well to offer Festival goers a smorgasbord of local eats.
Saturday, October 26, 2019
The festival officially kicks off with the traditional Pancake Breakfast at Pennington Gap First United Methodist Church at 7am.
The 29th Steven Rowlett Memorial Road Race commences with a Fun Run at 8:30am and the Road Race proper at 9am.
A wide variety for artisans and craft vendors will be set up along Main Street for Festival goers to enjoy and purchase wares.
The Marsh Regional Blood Center’s bloodmobile will be set up at Jaxon’s store in the middle of town from 10am to 2pm.
There will be a hot chili pepper eating contest at noon in front of the main stage in the middle of town.
A marshmallow eating contest for kids will take place immediately after the pepper eating contest.
Two bounce houses will be set up — one at Cumberland Auto on the east side of town, and one across from Rooster’s Pub on Harrell Street.
An antique, classic, and custom car will take place at Cumberland Auto on east Morgan Ave across from McDonald’s.
Antique tractors will be shown in the parking lot across from Rooster’s Pub. Contact Fred Woliver at (276)275-6247 to inquire about showing.
In the Community Center (immediately adjacent to Lee Theatre on W Morgan Ave), there will be a Tobacco Museum with a twisting/grading contest.
Music on the stage in the middle of town will feature various acts during the day, including Calvary Baptist Youth, Katie Houston and the Echoes, Town Branch Bluegrass, and Sycamore Hollow.
The Tobacco Festival Parade, a mainstay of the Festival’s 71 years, starts at 3pm. Line-up for the parade starts at 1pm, and floats wanting to be judged must to be in line and ready to be judged by 2pm. Floats arriving after 2pm will now be judged.
Adherence to the theme, “Lee County Built on Strong Traditions” will be part of the criteria utilized by the judges in the categories of commercial, school, civic, and church. Prizes will be paid in each category, with $75 for first place, $50 for second place, and $25 for third. There is no charge to enter the parade, except for political candidates, who must pay $25.
Following the parade, there will be a concert in Lee Theatre. Jordan and Kelly Bledsoe and friends will perform at 6pm. Folk Soul Revival will plat at 8pm. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Tickets are available by calling (276) 546-4000.
Anyone wishing to participate, or having questions may contact the Festival using the Contact form on this website, or by phone at (276) 346-7836. Thank you, and we’ll see you at the Festival!