By Jessica Mozo
What began as a community Easter parade in Dresden in 1980 has turned into one of Tennessee’s best-loved small-town festivals. Every April, Dresden hosts the highly anticipated Tennessee Iris Festival, a weeklong event that paints the town purple.
Now in its 31st year, the Iris Festival kicks off with an opening ceremony Saturday evening at the City Park of Dresden, including live entertainment, free food and fireworks.
Throughout the week, there’s a citywide yard sale, carnival, bingo games, a baking contest, community gospel sing-along, golf tournament, arts and crafts marketplace, quilt and needlework show, flower show, princess and queen pageants, music fest, 5K run, pet show and tractor pull. The festival culminates on the last day with the Tennessee Iris Festival Parade, which features around 100 colorful floats. The 2014 festival is slated for April 26-May 3.