ELIZABETHTON — The 47th Annual Covered Bridge Celebration will expand to four days this year, and feature some new opportunities to meet the entertainers.
Stephanie McKinney, events and marketing coordinator for the Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce, said the festival will run from Wednesday, June 19, through Saturday, June 22, this year.
There will also be four nights of entertainment. Wednesday is Gospel Night, featuring Loren Harris, former lead singer of The Perrys. Thursday night is Buegrass Night, featuring the Boxcars. Friday Night is Country Night, returning Australian country singer Jamie O’Neal.
With the Collegians no longer performing, the festival had to search for a different closing act this year. McKinney said the new closer will be the Breakfast Club ’80’s tribute band. Naturally, Saturday night has been designated “80’s Night.” McKinney said there will even be a contest to decide who is dressed in the best ’80’s style.
McKinney said another new feature this year will be a chance to meet and greet the lead groups at private parties at the Chamber. O’Neal will be at the meet and greet Friday, sponsored by WXBQ and Mallard Cove Marina, and the Breakfast Club will be there Saturday, sponsored by Electric 94.9 and Tri-City Beverage. McKinney said tickets are $10 in advance and $15 the day of the event.
The traditional kickoff event for the Covered Bridge Celebration will once again be the Taste of Carter County. That event will be on Tuesday, June 18, at Elizabethton High School. Tickets are now on sale at the Chamber.
Many other popular events are back this year, including Kids Island rides and games for children, the arts and craft vendors and food vendors. A load of events are taking place Saturday, including airplane flights at the municipal airport, the 5K run and 3K walk, the E Street yard sale and the always popular weekly Carter County Car Club Cruise In. The Food City free ice cream social will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday.
Storytelling will once again be featured, but there will be a new and very appropriate location. The Front Porch Storytellers will be entertaining their listeners with “Tales of the Bridge” from inside the recently renovated Covered Bridge.
One of the most traditional parts of the celebration will have a new sponsor this year. The Mr. and Miss Hillbilly Contest for children will be sponsored by Walgreens. Applications are available at the Chamber.
For more information, call McKinney at the Chamber at 547-3850.