Signs of a good pulse… Community’s heartbeat showing a positive sign of rebounding life
BY IVAN SANDERS
If anyone is questioning whether things are getting back to normal after a year that saw businesses shut down to reopen no more, schools operate virtually at home, and almost all activities canceled, one can start by putting their fingers on the wrist of what is happening in and around the downtown Elizabethton area.
On Friday, it was a full day of activities for First Friday as businesses were opened extended hours, special activities in the downtown area, and to close out things a concert at the Covered Bridge Stage.
With music featuring Spank, who is scheduled to be back on the stage for the Fourth of July celebration, a large crowd came out to find food trucks and plenty of music that was very recognizable for those familiar with the late ’70s and ’80s.
Even young children who weren’t familiar with that era of music found it toe-tapping good as they danced in front of the stage. The event was sponsored by the Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Department.
Music was also filling the streets from Jiggy Ray’s and Riverside Taphouse as both had great crowds to enjoy the evening.
Early Saturday morning, bike riders could be seen all over the downtown area and surrounding streets as they prepared for the 2021 Roan Groan – one of three sessions that were a part of the 2021 Carter County Omnium.
These riders came from as far away as California and Colorado to participate in the very popular event.
Saturday evening, there were too many festivities to count as the 2020 Elizabethton Cyclone state championship football team received their championship rings.
At the same time, the Downtown Car Show was in full swing with car enthusiasts filling the streets of downtown. Many of those found themselves walking down the street to take in Covered Bridge Jams featuring Downtown Country for an evening of country music sponsored by the Elizabethton Star, Elizabethton Parks and Recreation, and WBEJ.
Inside the gymnasium at Elizabethton High School, Professional Wrestling returned which was sponsored by the Carter County Sports Hall of Fame.
With between 800 to 1,000 attendees, it didn’t take long to see the excitement that just being able to have the event brought.
“It was great for the wrestlers to get back into action with the year layoff,” said Charles Peters, who helped organize the event. “It was great to see the fan support and to hear the people say they would be back and how great the show was.
“We are hoping to put together another show in October for these great fans who just love to come out and have a great time watching these guys do their thing in the ring.”
There is a lot more planned for this upcoming weekend including the Covered Bridge Bluegrass Jamboree featuring the 2019 IBMA Entertainers of the Year in Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers along with Hollow Ground.
The concert begins at the Covered Bridge Stage at 5 pm.
With events like this filling the calendars of the upcoming months, the signals are that the heartbeat of Carter County is getting stronger and stronger by the day as the county recoups from the COVID-19 pandemic.