The Newport Harvest Street Festival, sponsored by the Cocke County Partnership, kicked off Saturday with a downtown full of people. The festival will continue this afternoon.

The food court was full and lots of new vendors are on hand, lots of non-profits were on hand, along with businesses.

Music, clogging and other entertainment was presented on two stages.

David Hall was on hand with his food truck, “The Spice is Right.”

“Food trucks are becoming more popular because they give consumers more options and an alternative to chain restaurants,” said Hall who travels to festivals all over East Tennessee. His truck is unique in that it allows customers to write messages on the body.

In the past Hall owned eight different brick and mortar restaurants. He says such a business ties down the owner in the back area and does not provide an opportunity to get out and chat with the customers.

But he has this advice to anyone considering a food truck business, “What’s the hardest business in the world? Owning a food truck.”

There is a Civil War display along with a booth manned by the East Tennessee Overhill Intertribal Descendants.

Jack “Thunder Buffalo” Johnson said his organization provides a hands-on museum for adults and children who want to learn about the history and ways of various tribes of American Indians.

“We try to teach what we have learned from our grandparents and we try to pass it on because once it is lost it is gone forever.”

Cayson Hamce of Newport attended the festival with his mother, Sonya Hance. They stopped to color a mural offered by Keep Cocke County Beautiful.

Cayson said he is taught in school about the importance of keeping his community beautiful

He said littering, “makes the county disgusting and you need to keep it clean because God made it and it is not supposed to be dirty.”