JONESVILLE — Lila Swaim Park was packed Saturday as people flocked for Jonesville’s 19th-annual Jubilee to celebrate the town’s history and community.
The festivities began that morning with a 5K run at 8 a.m. and continued throughout the day with music, presentations, food, arts and crafts, karaoke, putt-putt and dancing. At the end of the day, everyone watched a barrage of fireworks that lit up the night sky for nearly a minute.
“We’ve had a marvelous turnout,” said event coordinator Judy Wolfe. “The race went well, the Starmount High School band played a great performance, and the Elkin High School fencing team did a demonstration for us. One gentlemen brought something in that we’d never seen before: a racing lawn mower. He cut wheelies out in the field for us and put on a show. The fireworks were spectacular, one of the best finales I’ve seen here.”
Throughout the day, people popped in and out to enjoy the festivities.
“It was a perfect day and a wonderful time to be with the fellowship and share with the community,” said Judy Davis, pastor of First United Methodist Church.
Vendors from in and around Jonesville came out to sell and share their arts and crafts to the community, from homemade soap and matchstick crafts, to paintings and jewelry. There was something there for everyone.
“It’s just been an awesome day with beautiful weather and awesome people,” said Robyn Winters, Temperance Creek Farms. “Lot of people have been interested in the business today, and I’m all about the education as well as selling some soap on the side.”
Many local businesses and restaurants also came out to the Jubilee to promote and share their services, including the Jonesville Public Library and the Wood Box Barbecue Restaurant.
“It’s a really good family event. This is my 14th year here as a vendor for the Jubilee,” said Christy Pate, library assistant at the Jonesville Library. “We’ve been getting a lot of people interested in the summer reading program and our upcoming event: the Ride for Readers.”
“This is our third year selling BBQ out here and we learn more each time,” said Cindy Hicks, owner of The Wood Box restaurant. “My favorite part is meeting the people. We see a lot of people who meet our restaurant as well as a lot of new faces out here.”
For many the Jubilee has been a big homecoming. Many folks come to the festivities to meet old friends and family.
“I’ve been going to the Jubilee since the very beginning and have attended all 19 of them,” said local resident Billy Joe Gentry. “I’ve met a lot of friends and classmates that I haven’t seen in years, and it’s just a wonderful time for everyone. We look forward to seeing future events and watching this festival get bigger and better.”
Judy Wolfe is already looking ahead to the 2017 Jubilee.
“Next year is going to be our 20th event, the big 2-0 so we’re looking forward to doing that one right. This Jubilee is such an important home day for us. I can look around and see folks who’ve come back from 50 and 60 years ago coming back to celebrate as much as possible.”
Troy Brooks may be reached at 336-258-4058.