ELIZABETHTON — Independence Day won’t be until Monday, but there are plenty of events planned through the weekend in downtown Elizabethton for the nation’s birthday.
The Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Department will hold its annual Independence Day celebration at Covered Bridge Park on Saturday. Also on Saturday, the weekly Cruise-In, sponsored by the Carter County Car Club will take place. On Friday, the monthly First Friday will take place downtown and at Covered Bridge Park, with such events as the Firefly 5K Run/Walk and a live performance by Big Son.
The first event of the weekend is the July edition of First Friday. Main Street Elizabethton, the city of Elizabethton, the Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Department and Carter County Tourism invites everyone to come downtown from 5-10 p.m for extended shopping, local dining, family friendly activities, the foot race/walk and live music.
There will be extended shopping hours at more than 10 downtown businesses, featuring specials, sidewalk sales and giveaways. There will be dining specials throughout the town, including evening hours at The Coffee Company, specials at Simply Elegant Bakery and Kim’s Coffee & Espresso, and food trucks at the Covered Bridge Park. There will be a mobile art ceramic experience by Fired Up Ceramics at Armed Forces Drive and East Elk Avenue. Natural Kneads-Wellness & Massage will provide free five-minute massages. There will be rock painting activities by Tennessee Mountain Art at the Simple Blessings General Store.
Big Son will provide the live music for First Friday, playing on the Covered Bridge Stage from 7-9 p.m. Admission is free and Carter County Bank is sponsoring the musical event.
The Firefly 5K Run/Walk starts and ends on 3rd Street at the Covered Bridge Park, starting at 8 p.m. Awards will be given by age groups.
There will be an After Glow Party in Covered Bridge Park at 8:30 p.m., sponsored by Carter County Bank.
There also will be a late night performance at Riverside Taphouse, starting at 9 p.m.
The downtown section of Elk Avenue will once again hold the weekly Cruise-In. The showcase for classic cars will take place on Saturday, July 2, from 5-9 p.m. In addition to celebrating American independence, the club is also gearing up for the next weekend, when it will present the all-day Car Show, beginning at 9 a.m. on July 9. The weekly cruise-in will follow the show.
The city’s Independence Day celebration takes place Saturday, July 2, at the Covered Bridge Park, beginning at 3:45 p.m. The afternoon will kick off with the Patriotic Pedal, sponsored by Tour Carter County and the Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce.
This patriotic bike parade invites participants to gather at the Edwards Island Parking Lot for a special 4.5-mile ride, beginning at the island and going through downtown, ending at the Covered Bridge Park. Other non-motorized vehicles are welcome to join in the fun by decorating tricycles, wagons, strollers, scooters and similar conveyances. There will be a smaller loop for younger and unassisted riders and non-bicycles, who will gather at Covered Bridge Park at 4 p.m. Once back at the park, the top three winners will be awarded a trophy. Participation is free and pre-registration is required and may be done online at bit.ly/patrioticpedal.
At 4 p.m., the Patriotic Pup Pageant will take place at the Covered Bridge Stage. Pups are invited to put on their best patriotic attire, including shades, hat, bow tie and more to be proclaimed top dog. Registration is free and begins at 3:30 p.m.
The Annual Little Miss Firecracker Pageant will be begin at 4:45 p.m., with trophies awarded in several age categories. Pre-registration is required. Applications can be picked up at the Elizabethton Recreation Center or by calling Amy with Dancer’s Dreams Performing Arts Academy, 504-392-9138.
Afterward, Dancer’s Dreams Performing Arts Academy will take the stage with special dance performances from all ages in several different styles of dance.
The evening will continue with patriotic opening ceremonies with the raising of the flag, patriotic tributes and more.
Spank! The 80’s, a 1980s party band, will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. for a special free performance.
As always, a 4th of July celebration must close with a fireworks show. This one is sponsored by Tour Carter County and the Chamber of Commerce. Viewing areas will be around the Covered Bridge Park and downtown Elizabethton.
Food trucks will be available throughout the day and evening.