Several community organizations to host Covered Bridge 140th Birthday Party

Published 4:35 pm Tuesday, February 22, 2022

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The public will have the chance to celebrate one of the city’s most beloved landmarks on Friday when Main Street Elizabethton, the Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Department, and the Elizabethton Public Library join forces to host a 140th birthday for the Covered Bridge.

Built in 1882 and formerly known as the “Five Dollar Bridge,” the historic landmark was contracted by a local doctor, E.E. Hunter, and engineered by Thomas Matson.

The bridge has seen a lot, including a flood in 1901 that threw logs from a lumber operation as well as a barn against it. The Covered Bridge was the only one in the area to survive that flood.

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“This event is going to be everything you think of when you think about the perfect birthday party,” said Kelly Kitchens, Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Program and Special Events Coordinator. “The park will be decorated in true birthday party fashion.”

And while Elizabethton celebrated the birthday of the Covered Bridge last year, Kitchens said that this year’s event will be bigger and better than the previous year.

“Last year was the first year that we were able to celebrate this event, and it was sort of a smaller thing. However this year, since 140 is a big milestone, we wanted to do something bigger and fun for the whole community,” Kitchens said.

“It is such a neat thing to be able to celebrate, as we look to the bridge in a number of ways. Not only is it a place that we utilize quite a bit, but it is also a focal point of our downtown. It is so exciting to be able to celebrate a thing that means so much to the city,” Kitchens said.

Several downtown businesses and other organizations will also be taking part in the festivities such as Carter County Bank, the Elizabethton River Riders, The Greg Odom Agency of Farmers Insurance, Klacie’s Candles and Boutique, Lantern Realty and Development, Northeast Community Credit Union, Southern Restaurant, and The Coffee Company.

The festivities begin at 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 25, at Covered Bridge Park in Elizabethton and will go until 6 p.m. The event is free for all to attend.