Funding is needed for Covered Bridge Festival

Published 8:40 am Monday, February 17, 2020



Funding is needed for the upcoming Covered Bridge Festival taking place in June.

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On Feb. 12 it was announced that the Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Department would be taking over the historic festival, after the Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce announced last year that they would no longer be overseeing it.

“There was much upset when it was announced that it would no longer take place,” said Kelly Kitchens, Program/Special Events Coordinator. “So somebody needed top step in and fill the gap to make sure it didn’t go away since it was a very successful event for more than 50 years.”

According to Mike Mains, director of Elizabethton Parks and Recreation, the festival matched with many of the other events that they already do for the community, such as Covered Bridge Jams.

The department plans to add some new elements to the popular festival, however these ideas will be later announced, and funding is needed. The event has previously been planned with a year’s time to do so, however the department now only has four months.

“We want it bigger and better and to continue the success, but the only way to do that is for our citizens and businesses to buy into this,” said Mains. “We’ve got to have that help.”

Mains said he believes their team is really creative in coming up with things that will add to the event, but noted that time limits and money are the biggest challenges.

“That’s where we need the cooperation of our community to come in,” he said. “Just call us. If someone is interested in funding some entertainment, we would really like for them to contact us.”

Funding for the festival in the past took place over a year with things like vendor applications and sponsorships with area business. So far there has been a big response from past vendors and a couple has already agreed to sponsor. Additionally, the Chamber of Commerce has been cooperative in sharing who they have worked within the past and aiding in the transition.

“They’ve been monumental in helping us step forward,” said Kitchens.

The event will be taking place from June 10-13.

“We hope that our citizens will come out and enjoy this festival,” said Mains. “We want our residents to come out and support what we do.”