Plagued with low attendance at this year’s Blue Plum festival and the arrest and indictment of former festival director Deanna Hays, its been a trying year for the Blue Plum organization.
Hays is accused of writing checks in a value around $50,000 draining the bank account of the organization “Friends of Olde Towne”.
That is the organization over the Blue Plum festival.
Fast forward nearly 6 months later, Blue Plum is gearing up to host its biggest event since the popular summer festival, the Johnson City Christmas parade.
“I think the Johnson City Christmas parade stands on its own, I think that everybody in the community comes out and rallies behind the Christmas parade,” Jennifer Clements with the Blue Plum board said.
According to Johnson City leaders, the Blue Plum organization still owes thousands of dollars to vendors that participated in this year’s Blue Plum festival.
Board members are remaining tight lipped about the financial status of the organization but say any money collected from the parade will go towards paying for the parade and helping Blue Plum.
“The money will go to other blue plum activities throughout the year that we host,” Clements said.
The parade has the potential to bring in thousands of dollars for the organization.The entry fee is $95 dollars for profit organizations and $45 dollars for non-profit organizations.
Bottom line blue plum board members say the organization is moving forward- and it plans to be around for the foreseeable future.
As it stands now Blue Plum is still planned for next year. Former festival director Deanna Hays is expected to appear in court on theft and forgery charges on December 9th.
The Johnson City Christmas parade will take place on December 3rd. It will leave from East Tennessee State University at 11:30 am and wind its way through the downtown area. This year’s theme is “A Whoville Christmas.”
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