Bonnie Kate fundraiser seeking support before official festival date

Bonnie Kate’s BBQ, Blues and Brews festival is gearing up for another weekend of fun and merriment, but they need the community’s support to make it happen.

John Huber, chairman of the Bonnie Kate Advisory Board, said the festival is all about supporting the theater restoration project while enjoying music and having fun.

“There is music at the [Covered Bridge] park,” Huber said “There will be five or six food vendors, and they will be giving out samples.”

The festival is an annual fundraiser that he said started in 2017 in order to help fund the theater’s restoration. It will take place from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Covered Bridge Park Saturday, October 19.

“This time it will be our third annual event,” he said. “It is a nice time of year.”

In addition to the food vendors, four different kinds of beer will be available to patrons with a special arm band.

Three different performers will play music during the festival, including Julie Williams, the Samantha Gray Blues Band with Billy Crawford and the Blue Fox Band.

The Bonnie Kate Theater Restoration Project has been going for three years now, working day in and day out to restore Elizabethton’s local theater to running condition. After a fire temporarily closed the theater down, fundraisers like this aim to continue the progress as if nothing happened, which is where the need comes into play.

In order to successfully cover the expenses related to the event, the board is looking for sponsors to lend a hand.

“If they do sponsor it, $250 and up, their names will be on the T-shirts,” Huber said. “It is free advertising.”

Sponsorships go from a “Friends Sponsor” at $50 all the way to a “Stage Sponsor” at $2,500. Higher levels of sponsorships will grant larger number of tickets in addition to other perks.

All ticket sales go towards the project itself.

Huber said sponsorships like this help advance a project that will be vital to the Elizabethton community.

“It is a community facility,” Huber said. “It is a multimedia theater. We have a new roof, we just installed two new HVAC systems and we are working on the sprinkler system.”

He said they are working on long-term to expand the theater to 392 seats, as well as obtaining an event manager to organize community events there.

Those interested in sponsoring the event can do so by writing a check to The Friends of Bonnie Kate at 115 S. Sycamore St., Elizabethton, TN 37643. For more information about sponsorships or the restoration project, contact the theater at 423-895-1762.

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