AREA FUN - EVENTS, PLACES TO GO

Tell me about your favorite things.     See also "Fun for Kids".    (Calendar section is never complete  - too much going on.  Your submissions, corrections or help are welcome!) 

Updated:  December 2013 

December 6 & 7CHRISTMAS AT THE CARTER MANSION , Broad Street in Elizabethton - 18th century Christmas with Carter family. Costumed interpreters, music, hot cider

December 13, 8:00 - APPALACHIAN MEN'S ENSEMBLE (AMEn), First Presbyterian Church, 105 S.Boone Street.   Free.   

December 7 & 8, 7:30  - MILLIGAN COLLEGE CHRISTMAS CONCERT - Seeger Chapel, $5 suggested.
Choir, orchestra, brass choir, organ, in decorated chapel.   

December 13, 2013 - THE SOUNDS OF CHRISTMAS - APPALACHIAN EXPRESS CHORUS – dinner at 6:00, show at 7:00,   Adults $12, 17 and under free with paid adult.   Memorial Park Community Center, 510 Bert St., 437-5750.   

December 14, 2013 –7:30    WINTER WONDERLAND – Johnson City Symphony Orchestra and City Youth Ballet.   Milligan College, Seeger Chapel.    $35 Adults, $30 Seniors, $10 Students with valid ID.      Full schedule for 2014  

December 16, 2013
- 7:00  CHRISTMAS CONCERT - Johnson City Community Concert Band.   First Christian Church, 200 East Mountcadtle Dr.   $5 suggested.   

December 20, 2013 - 7:30    HIGHLANDS YOUTH ENSEMBLE CHRISTMAS CONCERT - Central Church of Christ, 2722 East Oakland Avenue.    Over 40 high school students.  A large part of the group will travel to Greece in July 2014 to give 5 concerts in 13 days.   Highlands Youth Ensemble.

December 12-January 4  - BRISTOL SPEEDWAY SHOW IN LIGHTS -  6 p.m. to 10:15 p.m.   Sundays through Thursdays.    $12 Car, $20  Van.  New entrance, off Bristol Dragway entrance, just off Highway 394.    Four miles of illuminated scenes, a great family event.

November 28 – January 4 - Watauga Valley Art League -  Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area.  
OTHER SYCAMORE SHOALS ACTIVITIES - Traditional Arts workshops, storytelling, re-enactments. changing exhibits.

January 4,  10-4, and January 5, 10-3 -  OLD CHRISTMAS:  MILITIA MUSTER AT FORT WATAUGA.    Sycamore Shoals State Park, Elizabethton  - Christmas isn’t over yet! European migrants brought Old World holiday traditions to America, from the Dutch Sinterklaas to the Twelve Days of Christmas. Discover the English, German, Scotch-Irish, and Dutch roots of our modern holiday celebrations. Contact the park for detailed schedule.

 _______

HISTORIC CELEBRATIONS
December - Candlelight Christmas Eve at Rocky Mount 1791. Tours (90 minutes) every 15 minutes from 4:30. Guides with lanterns escorts introduce you to the Cobb family and their Christmas preparations.  523-538-7396.

RESOURCE LINKS:

www.Netta.com - Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association - excellent site and brochure - many places, well-organized and illustrated. tourism@netta.com
Too much to list - well-organized by area, with times, directions, phones
Large helpful map with mileage chart, index. Examples:
Johnson City - Rocky Mount, Tipton Haynes Historic Site, Hands-on! Regional Museum
Bristol - Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Bristol Caverns
Jonesborough - Historic District, History Museum, Chester Inn
Kingsport - Bays Mountain Park and Platnetarium, Exchange Place pioneer homestead, Netherland Inn
Elizabethton - Sycamore Shoals State Historic area, Roan Mountain Rhodendron Gardens, Doe River Covered Bridge

www.JohnsonCityTN.org - Parks & Recreation Fun Guide - too many activities to list.


 www.wcyb.com/community/events    "One tank trips"  (www.wcyb.com) section is fun.  See also "Weather Bug"   www.wcyb.com
www.state.tn.us/environment/parks/ - Sort by region, activity. Links to all of them. Nearest are Sycamore Shoals, Roan Mountain, Warriors Path. www.Tennessee.AreaParks.com - National parks in TN.
www.southernhighlands.org
- Southern Highlands attractions new Blue Ridge Parkway & Skyline Drive, special events, ticket information. 1-800-468-7325
Tennessee - Rocky Mount, Christus Gardens, Gatlinburg, Lost Sea, Lookout Mountain Incline Railway, Rock City, Ruby Falls
North Carolina - Biltmore Estate, Chimney Rock Park, BLowing Rock, Tweetsie Railroad, Old Salem, Museum of the Cherokee Indian and Greak Smoky Mountain Railroad
Virginia - Luray Caverns, Natural Bridge, The Barter Theatre

www.tourelizabethton.com - Carter County, festivals, shows, special events www.elizabethtontennessee.com - great photography
www.handsonmuseum.org - changing interactive exhibits - Hands On! Museum - 315 E Main St., 434-HAND.

www.grayfossilmuseum.org - $10 for special exhibit, $9 for Seniors, $7 for children. Half price for members of Natural History Museum and ETSU students with IDs. 8:30-5, 7 days/week, (to 7:00 on Tuesdays). See also www.etsu.edu/grayfossilsite.

 

www.jcsymphony.com - Johnson City Symphony Orchestra - For season tickets and individual concert orders, click on link or call 926-8742.   Free shuttle from Colonial Hill, Appalachian Christian Village, City Hall.   2014 Season schedule  (www.jcsymphony.com/printlist.php   )

 

 

 

 

 

December 16, 2013  7:00 p.m. - Johnson City Community Concert Band – First Christian Church, 200 East Mountcastle Drive.   Suggested donation $5.00   www.jcccband.org

December 20, 2013, 7:30  Highlands Youth Ensemble (HYE)  concert – Central Church of Christ, 2722 East Oakland Avenue.    Many of the members of this group of  40+ high school students will travel to Greece in July 2014 to sing five concerts in 13 days.    More than 25% of the choir will perform in the ACDA High School Honors choir in Jacksonville in March.  

December 20 & 21, 7:30 p.m. and December 22 at 2:30 – The Nutcracker, by Johnson City Youth Ballet – Milligan College , The Gregory Center for the Liberal Arts.    Tickets at the door or at Bear & Friends.   www.cityyouthballet.org  , 423-434-2195

SPEEDWAY IN LIGHTS - Mid November to January 7. $10/car Sunday through Thurday, $12/car Friday & Saturday. Over 200 displays, mostly animated, 1.5 million lights. Less traffic Sunday-Thursday. I've read that it's even better after a rain.

 

SCHEDULED PERFORMANCES, EVENTS  (After this are links to special places, on-going or annual fun activities;  after that - things to remember with pleasure or wish we'd done - or to plan next year.  (And folks thinking of moving here enjoy seeing how much the area has to offer.)   

 

 


THESE NEED TO BE UPDATED!   AT LEAST THEY'LL GIVE YOU CLUES OF THINGS TO WATCH FOR. 
HISTORIC CELEBRATIONS
December 2,3,9,10 - Candlelight Christmas Eve at Rocky Mount 1791.   Tours (90 minutes) every 15 minutes from 4:30.   Guides with lanterns escorts introduce you to the Cobb family and their Christmas preparations.  Adults $8, children over 5, $6.  Reservations recommended but not required - M-F 9-5, 523-538-7396.  

December 2,3 - Christmas at the Carter Mansion, Broad Street in Elizabethton - 18th century Christmas with Carter family.   Costumed interpreters, music, hot cider.  

December 3, 2-6 p.m.   Tipton Haynes "Visions of Christmas 1861."   Adults $5, children under 12 $2.50.  Tours start at 2 p.m., every five minutes until last tour at 5:30.   Music, refreshments, activites for children.   926-3631.  

APPALACHIAN EXPRESS CHORUS - Christmas concerts   December 5, Monday, 7:00 pm – Kingsport Christmas Show, Renaissance Arts Center, 1200 E Center St., Kingsport. (Adults $15, free under 17)

December 8, Thursday, 7:00 pm – Johnson City Christmas Show, Millennium Center. (Adults $13, free under 17)

December 10, Saturday, 7:00 – Blountville United Methodist Church – free.  3390 Hwy 126, Blountville

December 13, Tuesday, 7:00 – Bristol TN, Paramount Center for the Arts, 518 State St. ($10 donation at door)

 

CHRISTMAS ART SHOW - Watauga Valley Art League - Sunday Nov 28 - January 4.   Sycamore Shoals.
 

OTHER SYCAMORE SHOALS ACTIVITIES -  Traditional Arts workshops, storytelling, re-enactments.   changing exhibits.

  
 
  

FUND-RAISING EVENTS FOR LOCAL CHARITIES - THIS IS NOT UPDATED.  Details  -

December 18 - Breakfast with Santa, Fun Expedition  9-11.  Second Harvest Food Bank.  
December 11 -Appalachian Express Chorus, for Good Samaritan Ministries. Watauga Ave Presbyterian Church, 3:00.    Admission - 1 can nonperishable food. 
December 5 - Milligan's holiday concert for Salvation Army.  7:30   $5.
December 5 - Songest for Interfaith Hospitality Network.   3-5:30.   $15 / 5   
www.ihnjc.com

JOHNSON CITY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (JCSO)   (For details, see www.jcsymphony.com or call 926-8742

    

RESOURCE LINKS:

www.Netta.com  - Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association - excellent site and brochure - many places, well-organized and illustrated.     tourism@netta.com
Too much to list - well-organized by area, with times, directions, phones
Large helpful map with mileage chart, index.   Examples:
   Johnson City - Rocky Mount, Tipton Haynes Historic Site, Hands-on! Regional Museum
   Bristol - Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Bristol Caverns
   Jonesborough - Historic District, History Museum, Chester Inn
   Kingsport - Bays Mountain Park and Platnetarium, Exchange Place pioneer homestead, Netherland Inn
   Elizabethton - Sycamore Shoals State Historic area, Roan Mountain Rhodendron Gardens, Doe River Covered Bridge
 

www.JohnsonCityTN.org - Parks & Recreation Fun Guide - too many activities to list. 
www.gotricities.com/content/home.dna - great events database
ww.see-tennessee.com/daytrips_main_page.htm - Enormous detail on where to go, history, special events.
www.wcyb.com   "One tank trips" link is great.   See also "Weather Bug"
www.state.tn.us/environment/parks/ - Sort by region, activity. Links to all of them. Nearest are Sycamore Shoals, Roan Mountain, Warriors Path.
www.Tennessee.AreaParks.com - National parks in TN.
www.southernhighlands.org
- Southern Highlands attractions new Blue Ridge Parkway & Skyline Drive, special events, ticket information.  1-800-468-7325
Tennessee - Rocky Mount, Christus Gardens, Gatlinburg, Lost Sea, Lookout Mountain Incline Railway, Rock City, Ruby Falls
North Carolina - Biltmore Estate, Chimney Rock Park, BLowing Rock, Tweetsie Railroad, Old Salem, Museum of the Cherokee Indian and Greak Smoky Mountain Railroad
Virginia - Luray Caverns, Natural Bridge, The Barter Theatre

www.tourelizabethton.com  - Carter County,  festivals, shows, special events www.elizabethtontennessee.com - great photography
www.handsonmuseum.org - changing interactive exhibits - Hands On! Museum - 315 E Main St., 434-HAND.

www.grayfossilmuseum.org -   $10 for special exhibit, $9 for Seniors, $7 for children.  Half price for members of Natural History Museum and ETSU students with IDs.   8:30-5, 7 days/week, (to 7:00 on Tuesdays).  See also www.etsu.edu/grayfossilsite

 

 

www.jcsymphony.com - Johnson City Symphony Orchestra -  Concerts except for Christmas are at Seegar Chapel, Milligan College, 8:00 p.m.   For season tickets and individual concert orders, click on link  or call 926-8742.   Free shuttle from Colonial Hill, Appalachian Christian Village, City Hall.  

www.symphonyofthemountains.org - Symphony of the Mountains - 
Paramount Center for the Arts, Bristol  Call  392-8423

www.Reecemuseum.com - ETSU. Museum open 9-4 Tuesday, Wednesday Friday, 9-7 Thursday. 439-4392. 

www.jccardinals.com/ - Fix - goes away from site
www.bristolmotorspeedway.com/

JONESBOROUGH
www.storytellingcenter.net  - International Storytelling Festival, October 3-5.   Weekly "Storytelling Live! - Tellers in Residence - June-October, 2pm Tues-Sat.   $9 adults, $8 seniors, students, groups.  800-952-8392 or 913-1276.
www.storytellersguild.org - Tuesdays 7-8:45, Cranberry Thistle, J'boro, 791-3981.
www.musiconthesquare.com  - Friday night summer concerts start in May - free & fun. See site for other concerts at Jonesborough Visitors Center.   752-1010 
www.etsu.edu/physics/plntrm/planetarium.html    7-8 pm third Thursdays, Sept-April.  Free.  
www.FamilyPastime/com  - Magazine and web site for  local family-oriented magazine - places to go, fun activities, etc.   Find it free everywhere you shop, or ask them why they don't have it.  
www.Tipton-Haynes.org  - Colonial farm life and history, eleven buildings, museum, shop, library.    (423-926-3631)

OTHER NEAR-BY ATTRACTIONS:

www.baysmountain.com - Bays Mt Park & Planetarium   Kingsport.  423-229-9447. 

www.grandfather.com   - Grandfather Mountain - Mile-high swinging bridge, wildlilfe, hiking and picnics, nature museum, shop, calendar of special events - highest point in Blue Ridge Mountains. 800-468-7325. (Also at www.Southernhighlands.org
Abingdon, VA tourism   Abingdon, VA - Barter Theatre, Historic district, Virginia Highlands Festival.   Very good brochure by Abingdon Convention & Visitors Bureau.   (email: acvb@abingdon.com
www.biltmore.com (800-543-2961) - Biltmore Estate, Ashville NC - America's largest home (250 rooms), estate of George Vanderbilt, paintings, furniture.   Gardens by Frederick Law Olmstead - 250acres.   Winery.   Directions, tickets, special events, tours.  

 

 

 

www.carterfamilyfold.org - Carter Family Fold - Hilton's, VA. Hilton's Virginia.    276-386-6054, 8:00 
www.bristolcaverns.com - our visitors' favorite trip so far.  
www.andrewjohnson.areaparks.com/ - Greenville
www.bartertheatre.com/ - Abingdon, VA
www.gatlinburg.com/ - Sevierville TN - Great Smoky National Park, skiing, shopping, aquarium
www.danielboonetrail.com/

 

Recent fun still on site just so you'll know what you could have done:

 

Through April 27 - Gray Fossil Site special exhibit - Sue the Tyrannosaurus, fully articulated cast skeleton of most complete T.rex skeleton ever discovered - 42 feet long, 15.9 feet tall. Also interactive displays. $10 for special exhibit, $9 for Seniors, $7 for children. Half price for members of Natural History Museum and ETSU students with IDs. 8:30-5, 7 days/week, (to 7:00 on Tuesdays). See www.grayfossilmuseum.org.

 

April 7 (Saturday) - Bluegrass concert - Milligan Seeger Chapel, 6:30, $20. Blue Highway (9pm), Appalachian Trail, ETSU Bluegrass Band, Adam Larkey & Mountain Time, & Chris Mathes & All-Star Jailbird Band.

April 11, Friday - Tri-Cities Jazz Fest - Millennium Center, $10. ETSU Dept of Music 439-4270 or at door.

April 11 - Milligan College Orchestra - free spring concert, Seeger Memorial Chapel. 461-8723.

April 11 -April 26 - "To Kill a Mockingbird" - JC Community Theatre. 8pm F&S, 2pm Sundays April 13& 20. $10 Students & Srs, $12 adults. 926-2542 or www.Jcct.us. THIS STARS NEIGHBOR JOHN NAGY AS ATTICUS FINCH AND DAUGHTER EMILY AS SCOUT.

April 18 - Concert - Milligan Choir, Women's Chorale & Orchestra, with ETSU Choir - Free, 7:30, Seeger Chapel, 461-8723.

April 12 - Pipe Organ concert - Bristol Paramount Center for Arts, free, 7:30, 518 State St, Bristol. "Mighty Wurlitzer with 1000+ pipes, grand movie theatres on screen, & Buster Keeton short comedy silent movie.

 

JC Plant Swap - First Saturday, Mize Farm & Garden, 929 W Watauga. Thru Nov. 1. Swap plants, seeds, bulbs.

 

J'boro Storytellers Guild - Tuesday nights, 7-8:30, Cranberry THistle, 103 E Main St, $5. Connie Gill, 791-3981 or cowgirl_connie@comcast.net. May 8 - Molly Catron is storyteller.

 

Johnson City Symphony - 2008-2009 Concert Season (www.jcsymphony.com, 926-8742)
September 7 - VA Gazebo - "A Trip Across Tennessee"
October 18 - Mark O'Connor ("America's Fiddler" says Lib of Congress)
November 22 - Diba Alvi, coloratura soprano
December 13 - JCSO & area choral groups
February 14, 2009 - Trumpeters Mark Clodfelter & Jonathan Stites
March 14, 2009 - Canadian Brass - Bach to blues - "worlds leading brass ensemble"

Johnson City Community Theater - 2008 Season
926-2542, www.jcct.us. $10 - students & 55+, $12 adults. (JC Press: "includes a legendary Broadway show, a literary classic, comedies about mixed-up love lives and a disastrous gone-wrong approach to Shakespeare.")
February 1-March 1 - "Love List"
April 11-April 26 - "To Kill a Mockingbird"
June 6-21 - "Lying in State"
August 15-30 - "The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townwomen's Guild Dramatic Society's Production of 'Macbeth'" (predicted to have Shakespeare turning over in his grave.)
October 10-25 - "Sweeney Todd"
November 28-December 13 - "Don't Dress for Dinner"

NASCAR Race Week - March 14-16. Bristol Motor speedway.

www.bristolmotorspeedway.com/ Food City 600 and Sharpie Mini 300.

 

 

 

Ringling Bros. Circus - March 13-16, Freedom Hall. 7pm Thursday & Friday, 2 & 6 Saturday, 2pm matinee Sunday. See www.JohnsonCityPress.com video report.

 

March 15 - Johnson City Symphony with classical guitarisn Matt Palmer. Also Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, which he said was his "most excellent symphony," Tom Stites conductor. 8 p.m., Seeger Chapel, Milligan. For tickets, call 926-8742 or go to www.jcsymphony.com .

 

March 29-30 - Civic Chorale - American choral music from early 1800s to second half of 20th century - spirituals, folk hymns, folk songs, jazz. March 29 concert is at Kingsport Renaissance Center Auditorium, 8 p.m., $10. March 30 concert is at First Presbyterian Church, donation $10 suggested. See www.thecivicchorale.org or call 247-1147, or e-mail conductordavid@embarqmail.com .

December 17, Monday, 7:00 - Johnson City Community Concert Band - Christmas Carols. Central Baptist Church. Donations. www.JCCCBand.com.

December 15, 16, 17 at 7:00 - "I'll be Home for Christmas" - musical about family and hope in golden days of radio, at First Christ Church of Johnson City - Cast of 70, accompanied by Charles Goodwin Big Band with Rick Simerly. Free but need tickets - 200 E Mountcastle Dr, 232-5700.

November 24, Saturday, 8:00 - Appalachian Brass Ensemble - Science Hill HHS Auditorium. About 20 performers, "among the finest brass and percussion artists in the Appalachian region." $10 for adults, $4 for seniors and students. Call 747-3511 or www.appalachianbrass.org.

(December 15 - deadline for discounts to National Storytelling Festival - see below.)

November 30 and December 1, 7:00. The Nutcracker at NPAC. $10 for Clara's tea party for ages 4-9. Www.greenevillenpac.com or 423-638-1679.

A Christmas Carol - www.bartertheatre.com, 276-628-3991

Nov 17, Saturday - JC Symphony Orchestra with Edgar Meyer, internationally known bassist. www.jcsymphony.com, 423-926-8742. Tickets are going fast. He's played with a lot of greats and has received the MacArthur Foundation Award and three grammies. Distinguished background.

Nov 16, Friday, 7:30- Jazz at the Millenium. First of season 2007-2008 season. This is exciting. David Champouillon director. Trombonists Conrad Herwig & Rick Simerly and The Charles Goodwin Trio, performing with ETSU Jazz Ensemble. Last year was great. $10 general, $20 VIP seats and reception. Call 439-4270.

Nov 2, 6-9pm & Saturday Nov 3, 9-4 - Milligan "Festival of Seasons: Holiday Gift Market." All kinds of crafts, gifts, ornament. Jazz by Rick Simerly, cider, demonstrations. Great fun and lots of good gifts. $5 donation. www.milligan.edu/ALM

 

October 4-6 - Sycamore Shoals Quilt Show - sponsored by the Sycamore Shoals Stitchers, features a show and demonstrations by local quilters held in the park museum. Friday-Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Link has year's schedule of activities at Sycamore Shoals.

October 5 & 6, Fri & Sat - Erwin Apple Festival, 8-8. Schedule of concerts, activities, over 300 venders. Other Unicoi activites on this site also.

October 5-7 Jonesborough Storytelling Festival - (10-10 F-F, 10-4:30 Sunday). Site gives map, schedules, featured tellers, special events. It's too late for pre-registration savings - see site for prices. (Examples, for adults: $150 - full weekend, $102 - Friday or Saturday, $133 - Saturday & Sunday, $47 Sunday) $10 to ghost story and $15 for minight cabaret. Register on-line or at 800-952-8392, x221.

Hour-long programs with 30-minute break between(choose what you want from program), in tents downtown. Shuttle ($1) runs from Jonesborough Elementary to Visitors Center every 20 minutes, 8:30-midnight. Parking $2.

October 12 & 13, Bible Storytelling Festival . $15, Suncrest Drive. 12 tellers, week after International Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough.

Gray Fossil Site - 8:30-5 daily. Free self-guided tours of permanent exhibit. Guided tours of all exhibits and fossil site: Adults $5, Seniors $4, Ages 5-10 $3.

Lakeside Concert Series - 7-10pm Tuesday evenings through August 21, Winged Deer Park. Free. Bring blankets, lawn chairs.

August 7 - Battle of the Bands - local artists 18 years or younger.

August 14 - Drum Line Serenade - area high schools' precision drum lines

August 21 - JC Communicy Concert Band

Farmer's Market - Cherry Street parking lot, Wednesday & Saturday to 2pm until October. Not "entertainment" exactly, but fun and healthy.

 

April 13 & 14, 7:30 - 2007 - Tri-Cities Jazz Fest, ETSU D.P.Culp Center. TIckets 439-4270. Gen admin $10 Friday, $25 Saturday. Last year was spectacular. Don't miss it.

April 14, 10-4 - Tartan Days - Jonesborough, Scotch-Irish celebration. Free. 913-2889 or www.thecelticbupboard.com .

Johnson City history interactive exhibit - Hands On! Museum - 315 E Main St., 434-HAND or www.handsonmuseum.org.

March 12 - Bass fishing event - Cherokee Lake, Morristown. FLWOutdoors.com or 270-352-1000.

March 16-17 - St. Patrick's Day Celtic Celebration. Renaissance Center, 1200 Center St, Kingsport. Concert 6pm Friday $10 - 392-8414. 5-5:45 March 17 - School of Music Fiddlers, $2. Music, history, crafts, silent auction. Info - 392-8414 or 975-0045.

March 15, 7pm - Planetarium show, free. ETSU Hutcheson Hall. "The Origin of Time" - Astronomer Dr. Gary Henson, 439-6906 or hensong@etsu.edu.

March 17, 8pm - Last JC Symphony concert this season - "Dancers and Painters." Concert & watercolors. Tickets 926-8742 or
www.jcsymphony.com or at door ($20 adults, $10 students). Seeger Chapel, Millian College.

March 18, 3:00 - Civic Chorale concert, Munsey Memorial Methodist Church. $10 donation suggested. www.geocities.com/jcchorale, or dhendric@tusculum.edu .

April 27-29 - Quilt & Needlework Exhibit, Appalachian Fairgrounds, Gray. Entries accepted April 26, 10-6. Awards April28, 2pm. For info and pre-registration - Barbara Henson, 727-9182 or Kay Triplett, 727-9021, or skt537@localnet.com