Downtown Elizabethton has been the place to be this summer

Published 1:32 pm Friday, September 22, 2023

Downtown Elizabethton has been the place to be this summer, especially this weekend with the Covered Bridge Festival. The festival will continue today and Sunday with arts and crafts, food, music in the park, and a number of events for children. The Elizabethton Parks & Rec Department is to be commended for their work in making the festival one of the best in the region.
It’s a year-long planning session for employees of the department, who must make contacts months in advance for the music and other vendors. It is also a combined effort with other city departments for traffic control, street closures, parking, and garbage pickup.
The Parks & Rec Department not only plans and coordinates the Covered Bridge Festival, but other events as well such as the Saturday Night Jams in the Covered Bridge Park, which have featured some spectacular talent this year. Attendance has been great.
These events, in addition to First Friday events in the downtown sponsored by Main Street and the Thursday night events in September, have drawn people to the downtown, as well as weekend programs at the Bonnie Kate Theater. The Saturday evening car shows are always popular not only with local residents, but with visitors from out of town.
Our downtown has proven to be a popular place to be this summer. Downtowns, especially in small communities like Elizabethton, are special. Downtown is for everyone, including both the business owners and the public. It is not only a place to purchase things, but a place for friends to gather and have a good time.
Downtown signifies a city’s greater brand or identity. When you visit a new city, where do you go? How do you learn and get acclimated? Where is the economic, cultural and civic center? Chances are you turn to the city’s natural hub – the downtown. Downtowns have historically been the regional epicenter; they’ve evolved into vibrant city centers; and if we are thoughtful and strategic, they hold the potential for an inclusive future. Downtowns generate income tax revenue, city sales tax revenue, city and county property tax revenue. Because of downtown’s productivity, every dollar invested has the potential to generate great returns.
The Elizabethton downtown has some great eating places, parks, walking and bike trails, a Covered Bridge, and the Doe River, all of which are community assets. Also, the shopping district is a great place to spend the afternoon checking out the many unique shops in the town.
Having a vibrant downtown can have numerous benefits for a community. Aside from creating a “sense of peace” and commercial and cultural activity, the downtown can be a vibrant place everyday of the week when businesses are thriving, such as restaurants, coffee shops, etc. They serve as anchors to draw non-local businesses.
Probably one of downtown’s greatest assets is that it has proven safe and comfortable for people who visit in the evening. Plus, it is a beautiful place with safe sidewalks, attractive landscaping, engaging storefronts, and other amenities as the walkability and enjoyment of the downtown.
We take great pride in our downtown and the many people who work to make it the centerpiece of our community – the business owners, city departments, Main Street, the Chamber of Commerce, and the various organizations who sponsor events throughout the summer. It takes everyone working together to make it happen. It has been a wonderful, exciting summer downtown.

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