REGIONAL CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Sept. 21-23, 2018 - Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion
See Birthplace of Country Music website.
Sept. 28-30, 2018 - 155th BATTLE OF BLOUNTVILLE Civil War Reenactment
155th ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF BLOUNTVILLE CIVIL WAR REENACTMENT, Sept. 28th-30th, 2018, Old Hawley Farm, 1173 Hawley Rd., Blountville, TN 37617. Event hosted by the Department of East Tennessee Reenacting, the Battle of Blountville Civil War Military Park, and the Sullivan County Department of Archives and Tourism. Further event details to be announced. Information at 423.323.4660. Listen to the story.
Sept. 29, 2018 - Bluff City Heritage Day
Downtown Bluff City, TN. Further details to be announced.
Sept. 29-30, 2018 - Exchange Place: Fall Folk Arts Festival
The Fall Folk Arts Festival is the last full weekend of September. Fall activities typical of a 19th century farmstead, demonstrations and sales of high-quality hand-made handicrafts and a Harvest Market are featured. Traditional music, old-fashioned foods, children’s activities, and animals are important parts of the event. Exchange Place Living History Farm will welcome in the beautiful season of autumn when it hosts its annual Fall Folk Arts Festival.
Always eagerly anticipated, this celebration of pioneer arts and crafts and the harvest season will be held on Saturday, September 29, from 10 am until 5 pm, and Sunday, September 30 from noon until 5 pm. Admission is $5, with those under the age of 12 admitted free. Proceeds go towards the care of the farm’s animals and the continued restoration and preservation of the site, located at 4812 Orebank Road in Kingsport, Tennessee and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For the 47th consecutive year, artists from the region will gather to demonstrate 19th century crafts, as well as to sell a wide array of traditional folk arts and hand-crafted arts of today. Pumpkins and other autumn produce, dried flowers, and plants for fall planting, as well as a wide range of baked goods and goat milk cheeses, will be available. Festival visitors will be able to learn about, and purchase, some centuries-old crafts, such as hand-made oak rockers, cuckoo clocks, paintings on slate, dough bowls carved from one single log, and jewelry and utilitarian household items created out of wire (popularized in the 1800's by tinkers). With cooler weather on its way, socks will definitely be a necessity, and you can see them being crafted on a 19th-century knitting machine. Other artisans will be offering a wide range of wares, from framed photographs to primitive dolls to handmade soaps to paper quilling to unique hand-thrown pottery. This year’s featured Heritage Artist is acclaimed basket maker George McCollum, from Athens, TN. A long-time member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, Mr. McCollum has been making his award-winning miniature white oak baskets for almost four decades. (Please note that Mr. McCollum will only be present on Saturday, September 29.) Guilds have thrived over many centuries. These associations of craftspeople from a particular trade of craft will be well-represented at the Festival as the Overmountain Weavers' Guild will demonstrate spinning and weaving; the Tri-State Basket Guild teaches basket-making to children and youths; and the Senior Artisans, the First Frontier Quilters, and the Renaissance Wood Artists demonstrate their skills. Introduced at last year’s Fall Festival, sorghum will be cooked once again, in a special area located behind the blacksmith’s shop. Sorghum cane planted earlier this year will be cut, stripped and washed in preparation for the time-consuming task of making sorghum. Mules will turn the mill to squeeze the juice from the cane on Saturday, September 29, beginning with the opening of the gates at 10:00 am and continuing until around noon. (We request, by the way, that the mules be observed from a distance; no one will be allowed to ride them or pet them.) The juice will then be boiled until the water has evaporated, to the point where only pure sorghum is left in the pan. This process will take most of the afternoon, with the sorghum likely be taken off the fire around 4:00 or 5:00 pm. On Sunday, September 30, with the milling and cooking completed, volunteers will be on hand during the afternoon to talk about the mill, the cane, and the process of making sorghum. Guests may visit the cane patch and compare the sorghum cane with the sugar cane to see the differences up close. (Please note that the syrup we produce is for demonstration purposes only, but we will be offering for sale some 100% pure sorghum syrup, made fresh this year by the Guenther family in Muddy Pond, TN. History, as always, comes alive throughout the farm. In the log kitchen, the Eden’s Ridge Hearth Cookery Society, and our energetic Junior Apprentices, will prepare some of the foods the Preston family would have eaten in the mid nineteenth century, and outside – weather permitting, of course – they will fire up the newly-covered bread oven to bake sweet potato biscuits. Nearby, apple butter will be cooking, and everyone will be invited to take a turn stirring the kettle. The blacksmith’s shop will be open, demonstrating the various tasks that made the “smithy” such a valuable crafts person in antebellum America. Kendy Sawyer will be on hand on throughout the weekend with her working steers, Cannon and Cole. She will be available to answer all questions, and explain, for instance, that a “working steer” means the animal is trained to work but is not yet old enough to officially be classified as an ox. Children's activities are always prominent during the Festival, and this year’s focus is on heritage toys and games. Modern-day youngsters (and their parents and grandparents!) will learn that, in the years prior to the War Between the States, toys and games were usually made from scraps of materials left from things that were built or made around the farm. Kids will be able to make and take home “buzz saws,” and they will have the opportunity to hand-crank a jump rope on a machine that was typical of the kind used at that time. Children of all ages will also be encouraged to try their hands at some of the "chores” that were expected of them on the farm. New this year will be the first annual Tom Lane Top Challenge. Tom was a very active volunteer at Exchange Place, as well as a gardener and wood crafter, who passed away unexpectedly this summer. In his honor, a Top Challenge has been devised, with a large top scheduled to be given to the winner. Even with all of the new features, many popular Festival traditions remain. Visitors can still see the heritage breed of animals living on the farmstead. The Sullivan County 4-H Club will again be organizing the popular Scarecrow Challenge, which encourages individuals, groups and families to be creative as they continue the tradition of making a scarecrow. To be judged Scarecrows must be on site by 11 am Saturday. A variety of food items will be available for purchase, including kettle corn, funnel cakes, fried pies, lunch items, and more. And as always during festivals, the grounds of the farmstead will be alive with music. Old and new favorites will be playing throughout the weekend; a complete schedule is listed below. (Please note, however, that this list is always subject to last-minute changes.)
Oct. 8, 2018 - The Civil War: "The Winning Combination: Grant & Sherman"
7 PM, Eastman Employee Center, Room 219, 400 S. Wilcox Dr., Kingsport, TN. Presentation by John Marszalek, Historian and Author. Further details to be announced.
Oct. 12-14, 2018 - Rogersville Heritage Days
Year after year Rogersville’s historic downtown district provides a welcoming festival setting for Heritage Days – a traditional community celebration of Rogersville’s unique heritage. The festival showcases traditional music, storytellers, and dancers, special activities for Children, demonstrations of pioneer skills, antique quilts, cars and farm equipment, a juried craft show, and a food court to delight everyone! Further details to be announced.
Oct. 15, 2018 - Sons of Confederate Veterans meeting
7 PM, Mon., Oct. 15, 2018, Historic Sullivan County Courthouse, 2nd Floor Commission Room, downtown Blountville, TN. Meeting is sponsored by the Lt. Robert D. Powell Camp #1817 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Meetings are held on the 3rd Monday of each month. Guest speaker to be announced. General public is cordially invited. For further information, please contact Travis Merrill at (423) 502-7474.
Oct. 26-27, 2018 - Exchange Place Living History Farm: Witches Wynd
Listeners “Wynd” among five professional tellers of legends and love in the nooks and crannies of ancient log buildings. The evening concludes with hot cider and cookies. Advanced tickets, first available at the Fall Folk Arts Festival are required for this event which has sold out every year. Begun in 1992. Further details to be announced.
Oct. 31, 2018 - Trunk or Treat
6 PM, Wed., Oct. 31, Historic Blountville, TN. Stay tuned for details!
Nov. 12, 2018 - Tri-Cities Civil War Round Table
7 PM, Eastman Employee Center, Room 219, 400 S. Wilcox Dr., Kingsport, TN. Presentation by Ed Bearss, Chief Historian Emeritus, National Park Service: "Farthest Forward: Pickett and Pettigrew at Gettysburg". Further details to be announced.
Nov. 19, 2018 - Sons of Confederate Veterans meeting
7 PM, Mon., Nov. 19, 2018, Historic Sullivan County Courthouse, 2nd Floor Commission Room, downtown Blountville, TN. Meeting is sponsored by the Lt. Robert D. Powell Camp #1817 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Meetings are held on the 3rd Monday of each month. Guest speaker to be announced. General public is cordially invited. For further information, please contact Travis Merrill at (423) 502-7474.
Dec. 1, 2018 - Exchange Place Living History Farm: Christmas in the Country
Christmas in the Country is the first Saturday of December. The sales of fresh greenery, roping and wreaths, traditional foods, and demonstrations of winter activities on a 19th century farmstead are featured. Artisans may offer workshops for visitors to create their own folk art. The Yule Log Ceremony concludes the celebration. Further details to be announced.
Dec. 6, 2018 - Historic Blountville Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
6 PM, in front of the old Sullivan County Courthouse in downtown Blountville, TN. Further details to be announced.
Dec. 8, 2018 - Blountville Ruritan Annual Christmas Parade
2 PM, downtown Historic Blountville, TN. Hosted by the Blountville Ruritan. Details at (423) 323-4660.
Dec. 8, 2018 - Bluff City Annual Christmas Parade
5 PM, downtown Bluff City, TN.
Dec. 17, 2018 - Sons of Confederate Veterans meeting
7 PM, Mon., Dec. 17, 2018, Historic Sullivan County Courthouse, 2nd Floor Commission Room, downtown Blountville, TN. Meeting is sponsored by the Lt. Robert D. Powell Camp #1817 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Meetings are held on the 3rd Monday of each month. Guest speaker to be announced. General public is cordially invited. For further information, please contact Travis Merrill at (423) 502-7474.
- Antique Car Show, Friday nights, 6 PM to 8 PM, May thru October, 2012, TriSummit Bank parking lot across from the train station in downtown Bristol. Info at 423.646.7780.
- Blountville Farmers Market, 12 Noon, each Thurs., April through October, located behind the old Sullivan County Courthouse at Blountville. Info at 423.323.4660.
- Cooper's Gem Mine, 11 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday, and 12 Noon to 5 PM on Saturdays, from the 1st of April through October 31. For group tours and information, please call (423) 323-5680. Beginning in October 2015, an online store will be available at coopersgemmine.com and will include natural artifacts.
- Sullivan County Historical and Genealogical Society meets at 7PM, 3rd Thursday evening of each month, 2nd Floor Commission Room, Sullivan County Courthouse, downtown Blountville. Free admission. General public is cordially invited. (423) 323-4660.
- Sons of the Confederate Veterans, John Singleton Mosby Camp #1409, meets at 6PM, 4th Monday of each month, Mama's House Buffet, John B. Dennis Parkway, Kingsport, TN.
- Sons of Confederate Veterans, Lt. Stephen Powell Camp, meets at 7PM, 3rd Monday of each month, 2nd Floor Commission Room, Sullivan County Courthouse, Blountville.
- Netherland Inn, Open Saturday and Sunday - May through October.
Hours: 2p.m. to 4p.m. Admission: Adults $4.00 and age 6 and under $1.00.
Group Tours: April through October by appointment- School, Civic and Church Groups Welcome!
- Old Deery Inn and Museum. Step back in time as you visit this lovely hidden gem in downtown Historic Blountville! Tours include rooms of beautiful antiques inside the 2-story inn, and visitors will also enjoy seeing the dependency buildings including the old brick kitchen, slave quarters, blacksmith shop and more! A must-see for early Tennessee history! Tickets are $5 per person; children under 12 are $3. (423) 323-4660.
- Bristol Farmers Market, May 1 thru October 31, Saturdays 7 AM to Noon, and Wednesdays 3 PM to 7 PM.
- Sullivan County Preservation Association, 3rd Thursday of each month, 7pm, Community Center at Blountville.
- Kingsport Farmers Market, 7 AM to 1 PM, Wednesdays and Saturdays, corner of Clinchfield and Center Streets. Info at 423.246.6550.
- TAMHA Traditional Appalachian Music Heritage Association holds jam sessions at 6PM every Friday at the Anderson Townhouse in historic downtown Blountville. Jams are also held from 2-4 PM at the Bristol Tennessee Welcome Center on the 2nd Saturday of the month. Free and open to the general public.
- Appalachian Ghostwalks, ongoing daily/nightly tours. Reservations required. Interested parties should call (423) 743-WALK (9255) for reservations.
GET YOUR EVENT LISTED HERE! To have your event listed with us, email us or call (423) 323-4660.