Concerts, festivals make a town special

Published 1:14 pm Tuesday, August 15, 2023

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Saturday night’s concert by Casting Crowns at the Elizabethton High School football stadium was a big success. Despite the rain which occurred earlier, the concert drew a packed stadium.
It was the largest of concerts which have been held this summer. Large crowds have turned out all summer for the Saturday evening concerts in the Covered Bridge Park, and with the Covered Bridge Festival coming up in September, more concerts are scheduled.
Festivals and concerts promote community pride by celebrating things that make town special and evoke good feelings. They are part of what make Elizabethton a great place to live and visit. Besides being fun, well-managed events such as the Casting Crowns concert offer a host of economic and social benefits to the community.
The benefits are similar to those for tourism, in general. Tourism has the opportunity to bring communities together and instill a sense of community pride and knowledge of their history. The economic benefits of festivals are easiest to see and most often cited – concerts and festivals attract visitors which stimulate the growth of tourism and other businesses in town.
The social benefits of such events are less visible, but they are just as important. They foster community pride, strengthen relationships, and attract visitors. These type of events provide free marketing and advertising for local businesses as visitors talk about their fun experiences when they go back home. Also, town leaders agree that hometown pride is a critical factor in the development and improvement of any community. Residents with community pride are more likely to speak positively about their town to others and to volunteer with organizations and activities that support the common good.
Events such as the Saturday night concert promote community pride by celebrating things that make a town special and evoke good feelings.
Downtown has sponsored First Friday events all summer, and it has been a success, as businesses have come together to offer special events and sales for those who come downtown. Also, the Saturday evening car shows have drawn a large number of visitors from out-of-town all summer.
Involvement and engagement are key to the success of any event and an organized event, whether high profile or low key, can certainly bring a community together. It can help build community spirit and install community pride.
Not every event will cause an increase in downtown business or be a boom to sales. But, there’s more to the downtown than business. The ideal is to promote the community, to foster good will, and to make it a welcoming place to visit. And, we hope the Covered Bridge Festival in September will do just that. It will be a time of more music, arts and crafts, and a time just to celebrate. We hope it, too, will be a time of celebration and community pride.

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