Surgoinsville's Doc Lyons Festival Saturday features live music and fireworks

Jeff Bobo • Updated Jun 21, 2018 at 1:43 PM

SURGOINSVILLE — Surgoinsville will honor one of its most beloved forefathers Saturday with its annual "Doc Lyons Festival" featuring a breakfast in the morning and a fair at the Riverfront Park in the evening.

Over the course of about 50 years, Dr. Connor Lyons (1892-1966) delivered most of the babies born in Surgoinsville.

Aside from being the town’s primary physician, he was also a much beloved mayor and school board member.

It’s been about a decade since town leaders decided to create an annual Doc Lyons Breakfast in his honor.

Since then the celebration has grown to include a festival at the Riverfront Park which doubles as the town's primary fundraiser for the annual two-day Surgoinsville Riverfront Festival in September.

Although the live music, children's attractions, and fireworks are free, the town will be selling traditional festival food and soft drinks to raise money.

Doc Lyons was a big fan of a hearty breakfast, and as usual this year's celebration begins with a breakfast fundraiser at the Surgoinsville First United Methodist Church from 8-10 a.m., featuring all the traditional fixings of a country breakfast for $8.

This year the festival at the Riverfront Park begins at 4 p.m. with live music; inflatable bouncing, sliding and climbing attractions for the for the kids; hamburgers, hot dogs, funnel cakes and other traditional festival food for sale; prize drawings; and fireworks at 10 p.m.

Surgoinsville, which is located in Hawkins County, was chartered as a township in 1815 along the banks of the Holston River, but it was through the efforts of Lyons that the town was incorporated 142 years later to get a share of state gasoline and sales tax revenues.

When the town was incorporated, Surgoinsville’s boundaries were expanded and its population grew from 200 to 1,200.

Lyons’ office was located at the corner of Main Street and Bellamy Street where the Green Bank is currently located.

Shortly before his death, however, Lyons constructed the Surgoinsville Medical Center next door on Bellamy Street, a facility that remained in operation and ensured there was healthcare available in town for many years after his death.