Covered Bridge Days postponed due to COVID-19

Published 4:45 pm Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Covered Bridge Days, scheduled for June 10-13, has now been postponed due to COVID-19.
The decision comes as a precaution for citizens, vendors and entertainers.
“I think everyone in some way is going through similar situations in trying to look ahead,” said Mike Mains, director of Carter County Parks and Recreation. “We waited a little bit longer than some of the events that have also been cancelled during this period of time, especially in the month of June.”
Mains said a lot of planning and work had gone into the event. It was previously announced in February that Carter County Parks and Recreation would be planning the event. In a press release sent by the organization, it is commended how much had been planned in such a short amount of time.
“We are extremely disappointed as a tremendous amount of work had been accomplished by a variety of committees in a very short period since taking over operations of this event in February,” wrote Kelly Kitchens, Program and Special Events Coordinator for the organization. “Our department was excited about the entertainment and promotional acts that had been scheduled and we looked forward to debuting exciting aspects to this already successful event.”
While the event is being postponed as of now, Mains said the hope is that something smaller can take place later this summer to early fall to make up for it.
“Our intention was to plan several days,” he said. “We were looking at a weeklong list of entertainment and activities at the park or in the vicinity. So what an event would look like down the road in late August or September would have to be a much smaller, scaled down event just because of the amount of time and planning of course. And the late summer/fall is due to time with high school football, college football, you have a lot of things going on.”
Mains said the organization is looking for a date in late summer or early fall that will possibly be one day compared to the nearly weeklong event previously planned for June. This would still consist of music, activities and entertainment. The larger scale event is still aiming for 2021.
Days reserved for Covered Bridge Jams remain booked. These consist of music and movies. Mains said these will continue to be evaluated.
“Each week, what we are doing as a department is evaluating the situation, and making decisions and trying to figure things out for the future, especially the summer,” Mains said.
The celebration is now celebrating 54 years in the community and remains popular.
“Covered Bridge Days is a staple in Elizabethton and Carter County and draws in many from surrounding areas to celebrate our town,” said Kitchens. “There is a lot of planning and scheduling that goes into an event like this. Not only for the operator, but for the vendors and entertainment acts as well. Since there is no way of knowing when this pandemic will end, we feel it is in the best interest of all those involved to give the proper notice of the event’s postponement.”
For more information on future announcements, please go to www.elizabethton.orgunder the Parks and Recreation tab, check out their facebook page, or call 423-547-6441.
“The fact is, this is just what is going on in our society right now, the uncertainty of things” said Mains. “We have to prepare and make decisions sometimes that are in the best interest of the community.”

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