BBQ, Blues & Brews making return in September

Published 4:50 pm Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Growth is the name of the game for a new addition to the City of Elizabethton’s repertoire.

City Council voted during their February meeting to approve the BBQ, Blues & Brews outdoor festival for a second straight year. This year’s installment is set to take place Saturday, Sept. 15, at Covered Bridge Park and will once again be used as a fundraiser to help benefit the restoration at the Bonnie Kate Theater.

With the approval from Council, the Elizabethton/Carter County Community Foundation — a branch of the East Tennessee Foundation — will now be able to go through the permits’ process to make sure everything’s a go in the months leading up to the event.

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Expected to last from 4 to 10 p.m. this go around, this year’s event will feature a variety of amenities for the public.

ECCCF member and event co-chair Amos Brown penned a letter of request to Council prior to the meeting and stated the 2018 installment of the festival will include a barbecue sampling competition that will feature five to ten local competitors from the year and two to three bands to perform at the park’s mainstage.

With the approval, the ETF is now in the process to obtain a special occasions permit with the state, pending an insurance certificate, to provide alcoholic beverages during the event.

Brown added the event will feature elements of beer and wine being served.

“We are committed to ensuring a safe and orderly event that will be fun for the community and raise much needed funds for community needs, notably the Bonnie Kate Theater Restoration Project,” Brown stated in the letter to Council.

In 2017, hundreds made their way to the park to participate in the event. Six restaurants also competed for the title of crowd favorite with Southern Craft taking home the top honor.

Based out of downtown Johnson City, the restaurant’s pitmaster Tony Wilson knew all too well about the importance of the event, especially for more traffic to come through downtown Elizabethton. Wilson was the original owner of Creekers in Stoney Creek before taking over his newest endeavor in Washington County.

“Elizabethton is a beautiful place. All the downtowns in the area seem to be coming back stronger. It has been awhile since I sold Creeker, but everyone in the city has been so gracious to me,” Wilson told the Elizabethton Star following last year’s event.

To stay up to date with information about the event, including upcoming ticket sales, visit the East Tennessee Foundation or Bonnie Kate Theater Restoration Facebook pages.