‘Exceptional’ entertainment, new features planned for Covered Bridge Days 2022 – www.elizabethton.com

“Exceptional” entertainment, new features planned for the Covered Bridge Days 2022

Posted at 12:24 p.m. on Thursday, September 1, 2022

In their second year leading Elizabethton’s popular and long-running Covered Bridge Days festival, members of the Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Department say they are excited to be doing it again this fall, September 23-25.

Last year was the first time the city’s parks and recreation department ran the event, and interest in the festival appears to have skyrocketed. The past year has seen a surge in festival attendance and food truck owners and vendors have taken notice. This year, the number of food trucks at the festival doubled and the number of vendors nearly tripled.

“We’re sold out,” said Mike Mains, director of parks and recreation for Elizabethton, calling last year’s event a “great success.”

“We created these memories that we need to create for families,” he said. “We wanted to make sure we had lots of free stuff for the kids to do and that will continue. We also wanted to grow our successes. This year, that’s what we’re doing, especially in the area of ​​entertainment, which has gone up a notch with exceptional and well-known artists. Dave (assistant director of parks and recreation, David Nanney) did an amazing job booking the entertainment for this year’s festival. »

The Parks and Rec team is forecasting record attendance for main stage entertainment including the Grascals on Friday night, Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder on Saturday night and The Isaacs on Sunday. In response, they will provide additional seating in the Covered Bridge Park and along the Doe.

Covered Bridge Days visitors can also expect fun new additions to last year’s popular attractions.

A ‘Love the Butterflies’ exhibit will make its first appearance at Covered Bridge Days this year. The exhibit will allow visitors to get up close and personal with the brilliantly colored monarch butterfly, the long-tailed painted lady, and the large, colorful swallowtail butterflies.

Visitors can also learn about butterfly migration, pollination, and the importance of butterflies to the environment. Feeding sticks will be available for guests to feed the butterflies and let them land on. Then at the end of the festival, all the butterflies will be released into the skies of Elizabethton.

Also new this year will be Friday’s Touch-a-Truck event on the Elk Avenue Bridge. Beginning at 11 a.m., visitors can observe a range of trucks up close and personal, including fire, police and national guard vehicles.

“We wanted to have something extra on Friday during the day since the school is closed that day,” Nanney said.

Popular “paid” attractions such as hydroball, air trampoline, electric animal rides will return, but Kids Island will offer dozens of free attractions including inflatables, character encounters, magic shows and the “ever-famous” moss. to party.

Some entertainment that was on “Betsy’s Back Porch” last year will be moved to the Elk Avenue Bridge stage this year, including the Miss and Mister Covered Bridge Days pageant scheduled for Saturday mornings, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The competition will be followed by performances. by Appalachian Irish Dance Company, Covered Bridge Cloggers, Watts Dance Studio and East Tennessee Ballet Company. Young entrepreneurs will be honored on Sunday afternoon at the Salon des Jeunes Entreprises.

Mainstage entertainment kicks off in Covered Bridge Park on Friday at 6 p.m. with Tim Decker and Tennessee River, followed by the Grascals, a band with three Grammy nominations and two International Bluegrass Music Artist of the Year awards. Association.

On Saturdays, the main stage entertainment begins at noon with Downtown Country, followed by the Bullseye Band. Songs of the South will open for multi-award-winning musician, Ricky Skaggs, who will take the stage at 8 p.m.

Sunday entertainment will feature One Church Worship at 2 p.m., followed by members of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry, The Isaacs, at 4 p.m.

Additionally, there will be a block party on the third block of Elizabethton, hosted by Main Street Elizabethton, and for the first time, two paid kick-off concerts at Elizabethton Secondary School’s Citizens Bank Stadium on Wednesday and Thursday 21 and September 22. , featuring Crowder and Big Daddy Weave on Wednesday and Dylan Scott and Kip Moore on Thursday – events led by the City of Elizabethton.

All entertainment during Covered Bridge Days on the stages near Covered Bridge Park, Friday through Sunday, is free.

“We are excited to offer things to our community that will not only take care of our own, our local people, but also allow us to become a regional attraction in this region. We want to showcase our city in a park that is something really beautiful,” Mains said.

“When Ricky Skaggs takes the stage…he’s going to look around and see those fans and that beautiful river. I want artists like him to recognize events like Covered Bridge Days and Covered Bridge Jams, and want to come back and perform for our people.

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