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John Thompson

Elizabethton Bureau Chief
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Covered Bridge Festival gets underway tonight in Elizabethton

June 11th, 2014 2:07 pm by John Thompson

Covered Bridge Festival gets underway tonight in Elizabethton

ELIZABETHTON — The 48th Annual Covered Bridge Celebration starts today and runs through Saturday with plenty of music and entertainment, arts and craft vendors and festival food.

Each night will feature a different style of music. Tonight will be Gospel and Worship Night. The entertainment on the main stage starts at 4 p.m. with Angel Steps Praise Dancers. The first gospel group will be from Oak Street Baptist Church at 4:45 p.m. Dale Williams will perform from 6-7 p.m. Zion Baptist Church takes the stage at 7:15 p.m. and the final act of the evening is the Primitive Quartet, starting at 8:30 p.m.

The Primitive Quartet has been traveling and singing for 40 years and the group considers it a privilege to spread the gospel through song. The group traces its start to a fishing trip in which the members sat around a campfire and discovered they had fourt-part harmony.

Thursday is Bluegrass Night. The evening will start at 4 p.m. with the Dennis Cove Band. At 5 p.m., Jeff Brown & Still Lonesome will perform. At 6 p.m., fresh from his appearances on the Grand Ole Opry and the Tonight Show with Jay Leno will be 10-year-old Carson Peters and the Fiddlin’ Carson Peters Band. At 7:15 p.m., Adkins and Loudermilk will take the stage. Russel Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out will take the stage at 8:45 p.m.

Friday the 13th is Country Music Night. The entertainment begins at 4:30 p.m. with the Dandy Line Dancers. Bakersfield will start at 5 p.m. Jeff Sharp & Friends will start at 6 p.m. Acoustifried starts at 7:15 p.m. The Twang Bangers will begin at 8:30 p.m.

The Twang Bangers are products of the East Tennessee State University bluegrass and old-time program. The group has been performing since 2008.

Saturday is Rock Night. Things get started at 4 p.m. with Shooter. The Trail Blazer Cloggers take the stage at 5 p.m. The Thursday Night Boys start at 5:30 p.m. The venerable Bulls Eye Band begins at 6:30 p.m. The return of an old favorite takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. with The Beach Nite Band. The members of this band are remembered as the Collegians, a Carolina beach music band that regularly closed out the festival for many years. After a brief hiatus, the musicians have returned to bring back old memories of past Covered Bridge Celebrations and make some new ones.

Watts Dance Studio will take the stage at 8:30 p.m. Kingsport native Brad Puckett will take the stage at 9 p.m. to close out the entertainment. He was recently honored as 2013 Country Music Independent Artist of the Year.

In addition to all the music, there is always plenty to do at the Covered Bridge Clebration. The popular and free Ice Cream Social in Covered Bridge Park, sponsored by Food City, will be Thursday at 5 p.m.

Another tradition for those who enjoy seeing it all from above is the aerial flights sponsored by the Elizabethton Municipal Airport. Flights are $25 per person and will be offered from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday.

The annual 5K run and 3K walk will be held on Saturday. Registration is 6:30 a.m. at the City Hall parking lot on Hattie Avenue. Both the race and the walk start at 8 a.m. Both the race and the walk finish by going through the Covered Bridge. Refreshments and awards will follow the completion of the run and walk. All funds raised by the event will benefit the Sycamore Shoals Hospital Foundation. For more information, or to register online, go to

The 5th Annual Kids’ Catfish Tournament is also on Saturday, with registration beginning at 8 a.m. The fishing takes place from 9 a.m. until noon. As in past years, the tournament will be held in the pond in front of the Workforce Development Complex at 386 Stoney Creek Highway.

The contest is for children 12 and under and participants must provide their own pole, catfish bait and chairs.

Prizes will be awarded in different age categories for the largest and most catfish caught at the end of the tournament.

In addition to the free fishing, the event also offers free hot dogs and drinks provided by the Workforce Development Complex. For more information, call 542-3649 or email

Another traditional contest for children is the Little Mr. and Miss Hillbilly Contest at 11 a.m., sponsored by Walgreens of Elizabethton. The Kid’s Island amusements for children is sponsored by Sycamore Shoals Hospital.

The annual E Street Yard Sale will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

As usual on Saturdays, the Carter County Car Club Cruise-In will be held on Elk Avenue, beginning at 5 p.m.

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