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Unicoi BMA OKs 2021 Strawberry Festival

By Richard Rourk

The Wayne Scott Strawberry Festival for 2021 moved one step forward to fruition after an important milestone was passed on Monday, April 19, with a stamp of approval coming from the Unicoi County Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

The Town of Unicoi BMA voted unanimously to approve that the annual Wayne Scott Strawberry Festival will be held Saturday, May 15, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Unicoi County Elementary School field.

“We’ve had a lot of discussion about this event,” Unicoi Mayor Kathy Bullen said. “I really think this can work. I know people are excited. It’s really looking good.”

Eligibility requirements have been changed this year, and retail vendors will now be allowed to participate alongside the handmade craft vendors. This year, vendor space is limited due to COVID-19 restrictions and each spot is first come first serve. Interested vendors should visit ​ExploreUnicoi.com/events​ for more information and to download an application. Vendors may also register and pay through the EventBrite platform but will be charged a convenience fee through the platform itself. The vendor registration deadline is May 12.

Unicoi Volunteer Fire Department was on hand at the meeting to give the BMA an update for 2020-21.

“We had more than 1,115 training hours in 2020,” said UVFD Fire Chief Wesley Holt. “We had 163 calls and had more than 2,852 man hours. So far, we are four months in and we have had 56 calls and more than 794 man hours. We have already had 287 training hours in 2021.”

The BMA also heard a report about Unicoi County EMS. “Our (Unicoi County EMS) Director (Adam Copas) is so precise and so thorough at his job,” said BMA member Judy Ray. “I see firsthand all that he and his staff does for the whole county. He truly is an asset.”

In closing, the BMA heard an update from the Unicoi County Public Library. “We have been able to offer computer technology skills programs that have been grant funded,” UCPL Director Selena Harmon said. “We have held several author talks since March. We have a program that helps with job searching, resume building and so much more.”

To learn more info about UCPL, including upcoming events, please follow Unicoi County Public Library on Facebook.