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Local events keep things hopping

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR STAFF
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com
Everywhere one turns these days, there is talk of breaking free and taking a vacation especially after a year of being couped up with the events of the past year.

Talk of hitting the white sands of a beach or getting a secluded cabin in the Smoky Mountains complete with a hot tub is always the popular destination for locals, however, one should also keep an open mind to filling their summer by attending the many events that have been planned.

The list grows daily as the area begins to reopen once again with festivals, special sporting events, weekly music, and much, much more.

Here are just a few suggestions to mark down on your calendar in no particular order.

BBQ, Blues & Brews Festival – Saturday, August 28, 4 p.m. until 9 p.m.
The Friends of Bonnie Kate are hosting the event to raise money to help with the restoration of the historic Bonnie Kate Theater.

The event, which is held at the Covered Bridge Park, includes a BBQ tasting competition with local BBQ from several local restaurants, beer service featuring local breweries, and live music at the Covered Bridge Park stage.

Evenings on Elk special event – Friday, May 14, 5 p.m. until 9 p.m.
Project Move will host this special Evenings on Elk with an evening focused on music and shopping in the downtown district, and food trucks located on a private lot at East E Street and Elm Street.

Also, a Tiny Art Throwdown in collaboration with Create Appalachia will be included in the event. Artists will team up with downtown building owners to create temporary art from unappreciated features such as cracks and holes or streetscapes (windows or building facings only – not on sidewalks, canopies, or columns that are not private property) for attendees to witness.

The art will be taken down by the artists the next day once the judging has concluded. Art will not go on any historical building.

37th annual Roan Groan – Saturday, June 5
The 37th annual race from Elizabethton to the top of Roan Mountain will be staged during this time with riders coming from all over to participate.

Jazz Appreciation Month Fundraiser – Saturday, April 24, 7:30 p.m.
April is Jazz Appreciation Month and in honor of that, the beautiful, historic Bonnie Kate Theater in Elizabethton will be hosting an evening of Jazz.
Featured during the concert will be the talents of Eddie Dalton and the TJO Seven, the Peterson Perkins Quintet, and the ETSU Jazz Faculty and Friends.
The music will begin at 7:30, but there will be food trucks and Riverside Taphouse on-site before the concert begins. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at the door or online at ShowTix4U.com.
Covered Bridge Days 2021 – September 24-26
The festival is making a comeback as arts and crafts, food, and music will once again fill the area around the Covered Bridge.
Applications are currently being accepted for vendors on the Elizabethton Parks and Rec website.

Covered Bridge Jams – Saturday evenings during the summer – 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Covered Bridge Jams is a FREE concert series that takes place on Saturday nights at the Covered Bridge stage during the summer months. This series features top names in local music including country, bluegrass, gospel, classic rock, and more.

Last year hundreds of people came out to take part in this Parks and Recreation sponsored event while enjoying the beautiful view at scenic Covered Bridge Park.

The Show on the Doe – Coming Summer 2021
The Show on the Doe is the Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Department’s concert and movie series held at Covered Bridge Park.

The evening begins with a free concert on the Covered Bridge stage and at dark is followed by a free family-friendly movie on the Department’s 20′ inflatable screen!

Several movies throughout the summer are scheduled.

Independence Day Celebration – July 4
The Parks and Recreation Department hosts the City’s only Independence Day Celebration each year on July 4 (regardless of what weekday it falls) at Covered Bridge Park.

With the help of the City of Elizabethton Fire and Police Department, the celebration features a special opening ceremony with prayer, National Anthem, 21 Gun Salute, and the Pledge of Allegiance.

The day continues with patrons enjoying free inflatables, live music on the stage, concessions for sale, a patriotic bike parade, a beauty pageant, and dance team recitals.

It’s a day filled with patriotism and fun.

Fat Tire Omnium Road Race – Sunday, June 6, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The race requires the closing of several downtown streets in a box, which begins on Hattie Avenue, down Sycamore Street to East E Street, then east on North Riverside Drive to Hattie Avenue, and on Hattie back to Sycamore.
The other two stages of the Omnium will be held on Saturday. They include the Roan Groan, which begins in Elizabethton and takes Simerly Creek Road to Roan Mountain. The top classes do a double loop of Simerly Creek and ride for 80 miles, climbing a total of 9,747 feet.
That race is followed by the Ballad Health Time Trial in Erwin.
2021 First Annual Music & Miles Half Marathon – Saturday, May 8, 8:30 a.m.
The First Annual Music & Miles Half Marathon is set to kick off in Elizabethton in 2021 and will feature runners from all across the country running a course throughout the city.
There will be music throughout the course for runners to enjoy. The event is being sponsored by Elizabethton Federal.
Downtown Cruise-In – Saturdays in April through October – 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Whether one is an old car enthusiast or just likes getting together with friends to chat a spell, the Elizabethton Downtown Cruise-In is the place to be on Saturday nights in the summer in downtown Elizabethton.
Music and food will be available and the proceeds raised by the Elizabethton Car Club are used to support children charities throughout the area.
One also needs to take into account the beautiful waters of Watauga Lake, miles and miles of hiking and biking trails, and the various campsites scattered throughout the county and it is easy to make a full summer of activities right here close by in Carter County.
The previous list is incomplete but one can find other events by Google searching 2021 Events in Carter County for a more in-depth listing.