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Dayton Chamber of Commerce board members Kerry Nabors, Tec Conar and Randy Wells review this year's T-shirts for the 64th annual Tennessee Strawberry Festival's "Strawberry Luau." Photo by Kimberly McMillian

DAYTON, Tenn. - The 64th annual Tennessee Strawberry Festival this week will feature bands playing classic rock on Friday and Saturday, organizers said.

Local band Convertibulls will perform classic selections ranging from Chuck Berry and Otis Redding to Steppenwolf and Eric Clapton on Friday from 8 p.m. until 11 p.m. at the Centennial Park stage across from the courthouse.

According to their website, Convertibulls' members began playing in the 1980s, with one 20-year member remaining. Jeff Rentfro coined the band's name from his adaptability to play an array of musical genres and his "driving" passion for a 1971 Triumph TR-6 sports car.

The Cookeville, Tenn.-based Back Roads Band will perform country and Southern rock tunes Saturday from 8 p.m. until 10 p.m. at the Centennial Park stage.

The festival kicked off last weekend with the return of the Strawberry Rodeo "by special demand" requests from people who had missed its presence at the 2010 festival, said rodeo coordinator Anita Hicks.

More than 1,300 people were estimated to have attended the weekend's performances, festival coordinator Randy Wells said.

Members of the H Bar M Rodeo and the Southern Rough Stock Association competed in barrel racing, calf and break-away roping and bull riding in "The Greatest Show on Dirt" at the Delaware Avenue Complex.

The weeklong festival includes an assortment of family entertainment and food, including fresh strawberries from Tidwell's Strawberry Farm in Spring City.

Kimberly McMillian is based in Rhea County. Contact her at


  • Today: Family carnival behind the Rhea County Welcome Center off Main Street in Dayton, Tenn. The carnival opens nightly from 6 until 11, except on Saturday at 1 p.m.
  • Wednesday: Pie and cake contest at Pooh's Place on Market Street. Delivery for entries begins at 3:30 p.m., with judging at 5 p.m., said April Curtis, contest coordinator. The annual "Berry"-okie will take place at Centennial Park from 7:30 p.m. until 10 p.m.
  • Thursday-Saturday: Craft and food vendors will set up. A fine arts show, for public judging, will take place inside the courthouse.
  • Saturday: Festival parade at 1 p.m., along with a children's fun area and gospel entertainment around the courthouse.
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