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Outdoors festival to promote recreation and regionalism

Hannah Swayze • Aug 21, 2018 at 11:34 PM

The mountains are coming to Founders Park this weekend, bringing the chance to say “hello” to the world around you and discover the region’s outdoor recreation opportunities at the Meet the Mountains Festival.

Meet the Mountains will be packed full of outdoors activities for beginners and experts of all kinds Friday and Saturday from dawn to dusk.

“We wanted to highlight and showcase our outdoor recreation opportunities throughout the region,” said Kayla Carter, outdoor development manager with the Northeast Tennessee Regional Economic Partnership. “And we wanted to do that by having everybody come together in one place so that you could really see what all we have to offer.”

East Tennessee offers a multitude of outdoor recreation activities in the region, as will the festival, both at the site of the festival, Founders Park, and at locations throughout the region.

Founders Park will be divided into three zones: water, earth and air. Inside each zone will be different activities pertaining to each element.

In the earth zone, visitors can learn skills like knot tying, take part in a pre-ride check clinic, and watch a One Wheel demonstration. In the water zone will be a demonstration pool where festival-goers can try out equipment like paddle boards, learn fly fishing and attend an inflatable kayak seminar. In the air zone, visitors can sign up for a yoga class, try slacklining, or relax in a hammock lounge.

The festival is also encouraging visits to other locations like various bike trails, hiking paths and other events. This is inspired by another goal the organizers of the festival had: promoting regionalism.

“This is bringing together the region through the outdoors so we aren’t being exclusive to one company, one group; we’re really trying to bring together the region through these different opportunities that we have,” said Carter.

Off-site activities include a disc-golf tournament at Winged Deer Park, a sunset hike and shallow-water snorkeling at Rocky Fork State park and group mountain bike rides at Tannery Knobs.

And what festival is complete without music?

Local artists are scheduled to take to the festival stage at 6 p.m. each night. Acts include Daniel Couper Band, Demon Waffle and Doctor Ocular on Friday and The Kindest People, These Are The Angles and Indighost on Saturday. A silent disco will follow the music each night.

For more information on the Meet The Mountains Festival, visit mtmfest.com or its Facebook and Instagram pages. 

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