Dogwood Arts Parade Preview

Knoxville (WVLT) - Mother Nature hasn't been too kind to one of East Tennessee's biggest traditions. The Dogwood trees had to survive frigid temperatures .

And now the 47th Annual Dogwood Art's Festival might also have to deal with some cooler temperatures, plus some rain.

Volunteer TV's Mike McCarthy spoke with festival organizers and tells us what you should do if you wake up to stormy skies tomorrow.

Cool temperatures and possible rain are no match for belt-maker, Gary McCoy. He's one of 60 artists gathered in Market Square for the Dogwood Art's Festival, and the gray skies don't scare him.

"I've been doing this for 40 years. Sometimes in the weather, sometimes not. It all works out," McCoy said.

But if 55 degrees doesn't make it clear, most people here will tell you it's.

"Really cold!" Traeclyn Albright said.

"I'm freezing! Can't you tell by my gloves!" vendor Whitney Biggs said.

The toe-tapping music kept some warm in today.

"I'm knitting and I've been dancing to the wonderful band!" a vendor's mother, Lilo Rogoish said.

But it's not the temperature that has festival planners concerned.

"The rain has held off and we're optimistic tomorrow will just likewise," Dogwood Arts Festival board president Eddie Mannis said.

Optimistic because rain could really dampen tomorrow's Dogwood Parade.

"If it's a torrential down poor, we'll make that call tomorrow. we would not endanger anyone's life, but if it's just a matter of getting a little wet, I
think it would be worth getting wet," Mannis said.

It's a bitter end to already bitterly cold Dogwood season.

"The dogwoods were beautiful two weeks ago and then the cold weather came and now they're gone," Mannis said.

"With the tents already up and festival goers already lining the streets, festival planners say no matter what mother nature brings them, the show must go on.

"You assume it's going on unless you here otherwise. That's the way we're going to approach the parade tomorrow," Mannis said.

As for McCoy, he'll be happy.

"As long as it doesn't snow tomorrow I'll be fine. If it does, I'll have to go to Wal-Mart and by some snow shovels and start selling them out here," McCoy said.

Festival planners hope just has to sell belts.

There's no back-up plan for tomorrow's parade. So if it's just raining too hard, you'll have to wait till next year, but hopefully, that's not the case.

Join Alan and Kelli live at the Dogwood Arts Festival Parade tomorrow from eleven to noon on My VLT 2.


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