Tomorrow is the first day of summer…enjoy!

Published 10:59 am Tuesday, June 20, 2023

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Tomorrow is the first day of summer 2023. The first day of summer is also known as the summer solstice. Summer has had a hard time getting here as we have had several cool days since the first of June along with some rainy weather.
With tomorrow being the first day of summer, it is also the longest day of the year. This day is known as the “longest” because it sees the most hours of sunlight each year. Conversely, the winter solstice sees the fewest hours of daylight and is the shortest day of the year.
Whether taking a day to explore the Rhododendron Gardens on Roan Mountain or spending a day at the swimming pool or at beautiful Watauga Lake, summer in Carter County promises a colorful escape from the ordinary. So get ready to soak up the sun and let the good times roll.
Although many people think the entire day of June 21 is the solstice, technically it’s just a brief moment in time, according to astronomy experts at Here’s how they explain it:
“The summer solstice for the northern hemisphere is the exact moment when the axial tilt of the Earth is at its most inclined toward the sun during its 365-day orbit – at an angle of 23° 26′. That doesn’t happen at midday, nor does it happen at midnight; it happens at the exact same time for every country on the planet. It isn’t like a New Year’s celebration when the clock strikes midnight across the time zones in turn – this is a global time event, with the solstice occurring at the same moment.”
For people who work in the weather industry, like forecasters for the National Weather Service, the summer season starts on June 1 and covers the three hottest months of the year, ending on Aug. 1. They call it the meteorological summer.
For most of the rest of the world, summer officially starts on June 21 this year and runs through Sept. 23. And the season is known as the astronomical summer – based on the position of the Earth during its rotation around the summer.
Regardless of when summer comes for you, there’s plenty to do and and celebrate locally during the long days of summer.
There’s baseball almost nightly at the Northeast Community Credit Union Ball Park in Black Bottom with the River Riders returning for a second summer. At Sycamore Shoals State Park – a skip and hop down the road – the outdoor drama “Liberty! The Saga of Sycamore Shoals” continues with shows this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and again next weekend.
Each Saturday evening there is a car show in downtown Elizabethton, which draws folks from all around as well as scores of older model cars. There is also Music in the Park each Saturday evening at the Covered Bridge Park. Coming up in a couple of weeks is the big Independence Day Celebration in Elizabethton, which will include a Patriotic Pedal. The best decorated bike will be chosen followed by an easy four-mile loop around town, beginning and ending at the Covered Bridge Park.
There will also be a Patriotic Pup Pageant, followed by the Little Miss Firecracker Pageant and Music in the Park later in the evening. Then, finally there will be fireworks.
And, don’t forget the July Fourth Boat Parade at Watauga Lake…there’s so much summer has to offer in Carter County and Elizabethton. And, it’s just getting started.
Finally, there are First Friday events in downtown Elizabethton, and the opportunity every day to walk and bike the Tweetsie Trail as well as the Eliabethton Walking Trail. There are plenty of picnicking opportunities at local parks as well as at the lake.
Whether you are headed to a pool, the lake, or just outdoors enjoying the warmer weather, let’s make sure we’re doing all we can to put safety first. Have a safe and fun summer!

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