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Spanning time, Celebration goes wireless

What a difference one letter makes.Covered-Bridge-Preview3x4C-300x214
When the Celebration began, Hi-Fi was just finding itself supplanted by stereo.
Nearly a half-century later, Elizabethton’s venerable Covered Bridge Celebration is still on the charts, and a new technology is settling in – Wi-Fi.
The 48th Celebration is set to begin next Wednesday – four days filled with arts and crafts vendors, tasty festival food and entertainment.
And something new: wireless Internet for both vendors and visitors to the annual festival.
Chamber of Commerce Director Tonya Stevens said the wireless Web access is thanks to a sponsorship with CenturyLink. Vendors can tap into password-protected WiFi, and open-access Internet will be provided to the public.
“The vendors will be able to use their electronic devices to take payments and to stay connected without having to use their own WiFi,” Stevens said.
The Celebration also has a backup in case visitors wear out their batteries: CenturyLink will provide a charging station so visitors and vendors can stop in to recharge their electronic devices.
“That is a great asset and we are thankful for CenturyLink for providing that,” she said.
As for the rest of the festival, Stevens said plans are in place and the festival is ready to begin.
“We are excited about it,” she said. “It was a lot of hard work. We are sure it will be a great festival.”
Wednesday night’s Gospel Night and entertainment will begin at 4:30 p.m. on June 11, with a performance by Angel Steps Praise Dancers. Oak Street Baptist Church will perform at 4:45 p.m.; Dale Williams will perform at 6 p.m. and Zion Baptist Church will perform at 7:15 p.m. Headliner The Primitive Quartet will perform at 8:30 p.m.
Thursday night is Bluegrass Night, and entertainment will begin at 4 p.m. with a performance by the Dennis Cove Band. Jeff Brown & Still Lonesome will perform at 5 p.m. and the Carson Peters Band will perform at 6:15. Adkins & Loudermilk will play at 7:15 p.m. The headliner for the night, The Boxcars, will perform at 8:45 p.m.
Friday entertainment is Country Night. Entertainment will start at 4:30 p.m. with the Dandy Line Dancers followed by a performance by Bakersfield at 5 p.m. Acoustifried will play at 7:15 p.m. Headliner the Twang Bangers will perform at 8:30 p.m.
Saturday is Rock Night and entertainment starts at 4 p.m. with Shooter. Trail Blazer Cloggers will perform at 5 p.m.; the Thursday Night Boys will play at 5:30 p.m. and Bulls Eye Band will perform at 6:30 p.m. The Beach Nite Band will play at 7:30 p.m. and Watts Dance Studio will take the stage at 8:30 p.m. Brad Puckett is the headlining entertainment and will perform at 9 p.m.
The festival will also feature Kid’s Island, arts and crafts vendors, resale market place vendors and food vendors.
Other events that will take place during the Covered Bridge Celebration are:
Thursday, June 12
• Food City Ice Cream Social in the Park will be held at 5 p.m.
Friday, June 13
• Elizabethton Municipal Airport will be offering flights over Elizabethton from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost is $20 per person.
Saturday, June 14
• 5k run/3k walk sponsored by Sycamore Shoals Hospital starting at 6:30 a.m.
• E Street yard sale from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• Elizabethton Municipal Airport will be offering flights over Elizabethton from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost is $20 per person.
• Little Mr. and Mrs. Hillbilly Contest at 11 a.m.
• Carter County Car Club Cruise-In from 5-9 p.m.
For more information, call the Chamber of Commerce at 547-3850.