Hi guys! Be prepared for lots of pictures of Sweetwater Tennessee's Small Town Christmas festival! It happens on the first Saturday after Thanksgiving every year. This young man is Luke. He is one of my son Jack's friends and here he is in the window of his Gramma's shop The Lily Pad. They sell marvelous ladies clothing among other items. (Grandchild abuse! LOL I am sure he was compensated if only by the knowledge he was helping Gramma..he is a sweet boy!)
This is how I arrived at the antiques mall I have a booth in, Main Street Antiques. I actually rode this scooter down the aisle and didn't even wreck. I was decked out in 1950's dress attire complete with hat and gloves, 3 tier necklace and matching earrings. They threatened to take a picture of me but I ran.
Here is Miss Heather the owner's niece hard at work at the register. It got pretty crazy at points. The lovely handmade snowflakes are courtesy of her mom, Sharon.
This is one of their lovely front window displays. That is one of my sheet music wreaths over the mantle. I made it a bit too large to fit in my shipping boxes so up to the mall it went!
The "kitchen" Christmas window.
There was live music in the upper gallery. The auto harp musician is my former shop neighbor Rod. He and his wife Rosie had the shop next to my former antique store. We still have a goldfish named after him by my son!
They were marvelous and must have played for 2-3 hours! People coming in the door would hear the music and look up and get a startled look on their face to realize it was live music! They had an appreciative audience with some people just standing and watching them play.
This is a view from the upper gallery of the store. This was a former hardware and general store. It still has some of the original built in shelving, the hardwood floors and central staircase. There is a huge back room and another floor above this one.
Sharon and Sandy(bending down) holding down the fort at the register.
A tiny portion of one of the dealer's automotive petroliana or as I call it "guy stuff". Even I appreciate this..the graphics are marvelous!
Another view from the upper gallery..it was pretty busy. My one and only big piece of "furniture" a 20 drawer painted oak library file cabinet even sold!
I snuck out to take a spin down the street to get a few pics. Pardon the quality I was literally walking and snapping. There were horse and buggy rides, marshmallow toasting, cider, kettle corn and hot chocolate vendors.
They would not pose for me!
I took mostly front window shots as I was in a hurry. These businesses are much more wonderful inside! This is Miss Maudies cafe.
There were many happy customers inside taking a load off and eating.
The gazebo was the center of activity. There were choir groups and I think maybe even some dancers. The long silver thing is Sweetwater's train car. It is a permanent fixture next to the fountain down town. I guess now is the time to mention this takes place on Sweetwater's main street Highway 11. Sweetwater is between Knoxville and Chattanooga on Interstate 75 . Exits 60 or 62 will take you to the downtown which sits about 2-3 miles from the Interstate. I talked to people who happened upon the festival by accident and they were totally thrilled!
The front window of BobbyTodd's antiques, home and gift boutique. This place is amazing.
They even had someone blowing soap bubble "snow" out of their upstairs windows. The weather was gorgeous..you hardly even needed a coat. (Last year it snowed!)
Some more window shots. I must say I think they win the best window award and there is tough competition!
These are all old original buildings that have been lovingly upkept and rehabbed.
Sweetwater's Main street is sort of bisected by the railroad track..it runs parallel to Main. The last shop in this building almost butts up next to the tracks. You certainly know when a train comes through town. I talked to a lady once who's family ran a cafe in the 30's and 40's in one of these shops. She said the train would stop at the depot (now unfortunately gone) and everyone would come in for a quick bite or sandwich. I think she said they lived upstairs. I find that so interesting! Most of these businesses had families living above them at one time.
This is Sweetwater Antiques. They still have their old shelving fixtures too. They also have an upper floor. The lady that used to own it gave me a tour of the upstairs part that is not yet rehabbed. It was where the store owners used to live and where they stored their stock. (There is an original freight elevator in the back).
This is one of their front windows.
The store was divided for years into 2 side by side shops..a dress shop and a jewelry store, but they have both sides opened to each other now.
This is Hunter's Cafe on the end ..marvelous food and desserts!
The Robin's Nest. She actually had a robin that nested over her light next to her front door!
I like the faces of the 2 tiny girls inspecting the window display!
Cones Cupboard Antiques. Peggy is a great gal and has so many pretties!
Everyone had decorated so beautifully! Hey! I actually know the guy in the leather jacket! I saw him later..I didn't know I got a picture of him!
This is the newest antiques store on the end of the block. I didn't realize Peggy had moved to the larger shop next door until I was showing these to my husband later. He is always so much more up on the gossip/news than I am!
Vintage tinsel tree...love these!
So while I didn't catch the name, it was lovely!
Another shot of Main street..
There are people dressed in Dicken's garb and also Civil War re-enactors. You can get a picture made with Santa and small children can even make ornaments for their parents in one of the banks!
This is one of the newer shops in town, The Paris Apartment. It is a boutique which carries fab women's clothing, home decor and gifts, handmades and they also have a cafe. The local flower shop is set up next door in his new digs since his amazing store was a fire victim a couple months ago. It was a loss as his store had a large gift selelction and of course his fab florals. Glad he had someplace to land and he was back to business shortly after the fire in this shop. There are actually more businesses on Main and I may have missed some and I apologize!
This place is amazing too..I know...I use that word too much along with exclamation points!!! !
If you are close or passing through, you really need to stop in Sweetwater and check out these wonderful shops..you'll be glad you did!
And just when they thought they were safe! This is Sandy and Heather in their 50's garb wishing you a Merry Christmas and telling you to stop on by! Til next time! Julia