Chamber opens Covered Bridge festival to nonprofit vendors

Published 9:41 am Friday, February 6, 2015

Nonprofit organizations play a vital role in any community, helping to serve the citizens and provide assistance when needed.
The Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce is offering a chance for local nonprofits to showcase their services and programs to the community during the first two nights of the annual Covered Bridge Celebration.
The Chamber of Commerce has decided to dedicate the festival’s first two nights to nonprofits and the last two nights to arts and crafts, marketplace and food vendors, Chamber Director Tonya Stevens said.
“We know there are many nonprofits in the community that do so many good things,” Stevens said. “By having the focus on them for Wednesday and Thursday night, we can give them exposure and raise awareness for what they do.”
Stevens said the change came after talking to the arts and crafts vendors, especially those who had to travel for longer distances.
She said those vendors said the cost to travel and participate in the first two days was more than the money they made during the festival.
The Chamber wanted to continue with four nights of music. This led to the opportunity to open up the festival to the nonprofit agencies.
“It had been harder for nonprofits before that wanted to participate,” Stevens said. “There was a very small number of spaces available with the other vendors. When we open it up like this, they can come in and set up their booths to share information on what they do and the services they offer.”
Stevens estimates around 20 spaces will be open for nonprofits to participate on Wednesday and Thursday night of the Covered Bridge Celebration. The deadline to apply is March 1.
The Chamber will review the applications and then notify the nonprofits that have been selected.
“We are just getting the word out and letting people know that this will be happening this year,” Stevens said.
Anyone interested in participating can pick up an application from the Chamber of Commerce or call 547-3850 for more information.

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