Progressive Dinner: Focus on the Volunteers

Plans Underway for Sold Out Jonesborough Progressive Dinner

All  seating times are now sold out including 3 p.m., 4:10 p.m., 5:20 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7:40 p.m.

The magic of Tennessee’s oldest town comes alive during the annual Progressive Dinner hosted by the Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. This year’s dinner takes place on the evening of Sat., Dec. 6 with a variety of seating times including 3 p.m., 4:10 p.m., 5:20 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7:40 p.m.  However, all seating times are now sold out due to an overwhelming response from folks across the region.

Now in its 37th year, the Progressive Dinner provides an enchanting evening of great food, good friends, holiday music and an insider’s look at some of Jonesborough’s spectacular historic structures. Begun as a way to celebrate Tennessee’s Oldest Town’s historic preservation efforts, the event is still the main fundraiser for the Heritage Alliance, this region’s local partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Jonesborough’s preservation specialists.

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Guests will be escorted to five historic structures during the evening as each location features a different course, live holiday music and the signature warmth and hospitality of Jonesborough. Structures are chosen to highlight the diverse architectural styles and periods represented by Jonesborough’s beautifully preserved Historic District. Three of the structures include private homes. By combining public and private buildings with various styles and periods, the Progressive Dinner takes you back to holidays past and offers a calming atmosphere from the hustle and bustle of today’s holiday season.

The main event begins at the state owned Chester Inn Museum and ends at a private home located in Jonesborough.  The meal is provided by locally owned Main Street Café & Catering with the dessert by Embree House Wedding Cakes, Patricia nbso online casino reviews Stern and Ginine Argueta.

The Progressive dinner has become a traditional start to the holidays for many people throughout East Tennessee and surrounding states. Seasonal music by several of our area’s finest musicians, including the ever popular Jonesborough Novelty Band, gourmet food, memorable camaraderie and great fun are the hallmarks of this popular event.

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Another aspect that makes Jonesborough’s Progressive Dinner a memorable tradition is the volunteers.  Executive Director of the Heritage Alliance Deborah Montanti estimates that in order for the event to run smoothly, nearly 80 volunteers are needed in a variety of forms.

“We are so grateful for the support that comes from the community as they step forward to assist in numerous roles,” Montanti said. “Volunteers are what really make the Progressive Dinner personal and fun for the guests.  They assist in decorations, food preparation and presentation, serving and in many other ways.”

“I’ve been involved with the Progressive Dinner since 1988,” Marcy Hawley said.  “It’s just wonderful, and I look forward to assisting with the event each year.”

Hawley has been involved with the Progressive Dinner in a variety of capacities, including hosting the dinner in her home, washing dishes, serving food and cooking several of the courses.

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“I love sharing Jonesborough with people, it is so special and many folks from the area are not familiar with the Progressive Dinner and what Jonesborough has to offer,” Hawley said. “The Christmas season showcases Jonesborough at its best; there have been some of the same groups attending the Progressive Dinner for nearly 25 years.”

Volunteers are still needed for the 37th Annual Progressive Dinner on Dec. 6.  Anyone interested in supporting the event may contact the Heritage Alliance at 423-753-9580.  2015 Progressive Dinner tickets will become available to the public in late August 2015. To be added to a contact list for Progressive Dinner ticket sales, contact the Heritage Alliance at 423-753-9580 or email